FAIRMONT — NASA's assets in Fairmont continue to prove their importance.
TMC Technologies, a tech company in Fairmont, was recently awarded a $24 million contract to create software tools for NASA's Katherine Johnson Independent Verification and Validation Facility at the I-79 Tech Park.
No stranger to working with NASA, in the last 10 years TMC has worked on multiple on contracts for the nation's aerospace research agency. The new contract allows TMC to develop simulation software for NASA's new moon mission, Artemis. This will allow the IV&V facility do their work and potentially save lives.
"That's really a big deal for NASA," said Randy Hefner, vice president of TMC. "We are building the capability to test the major components of the Artemis mission."
TMC will use the funds to hire developers who will build the new software. Previous TMC NASA projects include developing similar software for the James Webb Space Telescope.
"The Fairmont [IV&V] facility has become extremely relevant to NASA missions," said TMC President Wade Linger. "It's been important for safety for several missions from the James Webb Telescope and now this moon [mission]."
NASA's Fairmont facility is continually proving that the Mountain State has a lot to offer in the technology sector. TMC is as well, as they hire many WVU graduates in the field, focusing on keeping the expertise and money here in West Virginia.
"West Virginia continues to strive to diversify its economy and this high-tech movement is an important part of it," Linger said. "It's a nice sign to see, not only the Fairmont NASA site become more and more relevant, but that when they have a big, important contract like this, a West Virginia company is able to win it and staff it with West Virginians."
Hefner says the talent in the area that TMC is able to pull is one of the major reasons the company is able to work these big contracts and be as successful as it is.
"Our crew is just so extraordinary," Hefner said. "We attract people here to West Virginia from all over. I'm just so proud of our guys and gals and we've just been blessed to have NASA as a customer."
This sort of contract is not only good for TMC and NASA, but West Virginia as a whole, Linger said, because it keeps the money and talent in the state.
"It's important that this money stays here because in order to grow West Virginia you have to foster the growth of these small companies," Hefner said.
Hefner attributes much of the success with this project, and projects like it, to his program managers Chris Williams and Scott Zemerick.
"It's because of their work why we win repeatedly," Hefner said.