The Great Lakes Science Center has more than just augmented reality sandboxes, the opportunity to create duct tape hats, and Dippin’ Dots. NASA Glenn Visitor Center moved to the Science Center shortly after 9/11 as a solution for less people on government grounds with heightened security at NASA’s facility by the airport. Now welcoming about 330,000 visitors per year – five times the number of science lovers than when the Center was at NASA Glenn Research Center’s Lewis Field campus – the NASA Glenn Visitor Center offers something for everyone from space pod simulators to a model of the surface of Mars.
Randy Furnas, who runs the Power and Propulsion Division at NASA Glenn Research Center, talked to the Executive Arrangements team about the importance of Cleveland’s NASA presence for our montly exploration day in our region that we call EA University.
NASA Launches in Cleveland
As far as NASA Glenn Research Center itself goes, the Director and Deputy Director are both women (girl power!) Cleveland’s NASA Glenn Research Center represents the Midwest, which might intimidate some, but the accolades the Center has received prove the employees are up to the task: 125 Research & Development Awards, 187 patents (plus 175 Glenn partner patents), 7 Distinguished Presidential Ranks, and even an Emmy for their contribution to the communications technology satellite.
While Kennedy Space Center launches space shuttles (they always launch in the East because the Earth’s rotation helps the shuttles along), the two NASA Glenn Research Center sites are testing facilities with some of the most incredible technology in the world.
About an hour and a half outside of Cleveland, NASA Glenn Research Center’s Plum Brook Station in Sandusky has the highest capacity mechanical vibration test. They can analyze the effects of up to 162 decibels with their acoustic test. (To give some context, anyone standing next to the speakers would instantly die from the vibrations.) They even have a chamber that simulates the conditions on the surface of Venus: 700 degrees, an atmospheric pressure equivalent to one mile below the surface of the ocean (submarines can’t survive that!), and laden with sulfuric acid. Plum Brook has the largest space simulation vacuum chamber in the world, too. NASA bought all the aluminum processed in the USA for three years to form it; at the time, they needed to be able to do nuclear hardware testing, but they never actually followed through with any nuclear tests.
A Look Into the Future of NASA
Combined with Cleveland’s action plan to develop cutting edge technologies in propulsion and power systems, the two NASA Centers in Ohio are a well-kept albeit somewhat nerdy secret that our city has to offer. As we look forward to 2024, NASA Glenn Research Center is developing technology to enable humans to return to the moon, both for short-term data gathering missions and for longer-term stays. The next moon landing mission is called Artemis and will take six people.
The impact of the Center extends far beyond scientific contributions. They bring 7,271 jobs to NE Ohio, and those employees contribute $9 million to state and local taxes. For small STEM businesses, NASA Glenn Research Center licenses out their patents for free and offers 40 hours of complimentary subject matter expert advice.
The next time someone tells you Cleveland’s NASA Glenn Research Center isn’t really that big of a deal, remind them of its impact. With more astronauts coming from Ohio than any other state, STEM innovation is propelling the state forward, encouraging young students through the NASA Glenn Visitor Center that anything – especially space exploration – is possible.
Your candidates and their families need the education and connections that Executive Arrangements provides to newcomers in order to choose NE Ohio as their permanent home. If you’d like to hear a few examples of how we’ve helped our clients steer a tough recruit to the finish line as well as make sure their family was acclimated and growing roots, please call us at 216.231.9311.