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For release: 03/30/04
Release #: 04-080  

NASA and Louisiana officials to sign agreement for National Center For Advanced Manufacturing in New Orleans

Photo description: Left to right: Dave King, Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, Governor of Louisiana, Dr. William Jenkins, President of LA State University Systems

NASA and Louisiana officials signed a five-year extension to a Memorandum of Understanding March 26 in New Orleans. The original agreement provided for a joint investment of more than $50 million to promote the growth of a technologically trained aerospace workforce, job creation, and world-class manufacturing capabilities in Louisiana.

Photo: From left, Marshall Center Director David King; Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco; and Dr. William Jenkins, president of Louisiana State University Systems (Lockheed)


David King, director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., will join Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin in the signing of a five-year extension to a Memorandum of Understanding on Friday, March 26, in New Orleans. The original agreement provided for a joint investment of more than $50 million to promote the growth of a technologically trained aerospace workforce, job creation, and world-class manufacturing capabilities in Louisiana.

The National Center for Advanced Manufacturing Initiative serves as a principal resource for NASA's aerospace manufacturing research, development, and innovation needs that are critical to the goals of the Agency.

The extension of the memorandum will continue the National Center for Advanced Manufacturing's Louisiana partnership. The partnership is a joint venture between NASA, the University of New Orleans and Lockheed Martin Space Systems of New Orleans to work jointly on research, development and test activities to meet future space systems needs. It is housed at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.

This agreement builds on the existing strengths and resources within NASA — both at the Marshall Center and at the Michoud Facility — and at the University of New Orleans. The partnership serves as a national resource for research and development and enables the transfer of technology to industry partners and educational institutions. The agreement calls for collaboration in manufacturing research, development, testing and evaluation to assure the best use of scientific and engineering capabilities and facilities.

The National Center for Advanced Manufacturing in Louisiana, originally formed in March 1999, is a joint undertaking among government, academia and industry to fulfill the technology needs of aerospace and strengthen U.S. competitiveness in aerospace and commercial markets.

This agreement is focusing its current research on such technologies as:

  • Friction Stir Welding, a fastening technique that produces high-strength, defect-free joints and can uniformly weld materials that are otherwise difficult to join;
  • Advanced fiber placement, a technique used in building large, complex-shaped structures composed of composite materials; and,
  • Non-destructive evaluation systems, used to determine a product's quality without destroying it.

The center sponsors a consortium of six universities conducting research with a primary focus on advanced materials and manufacturing technologies in the production of aerospace structures.

The Michoud Assembly Facility is one of the world's largest manufacturing plants and includes a port facility with deepwater access for the transportation of large space structures, such as the Space Shuttle's External Tank which is assembled there.

For more information:
News release
Photo
National Center for Advanced Manufacturing
NCAMLP


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