MSD is where innovation drives exploration and expertise shapes the future. It’s diverse team is dedicated to pushing boundaries, from ground-based research to cosmic exploration, advancing discovery one visionary step at a time.
Materials Engineering Branch (541)
The Materials Engineering Branch resolves unique, materials-specific challenges encountered by flight projects. Discipline engineering support in materials & processes engineering is provided by the branch to flight projects throughout all project phases, but primarily during hardware design, development, and testing. Over 20 laboratories containing analytical equipment are utilized in the branch, specifically tailored to meet the needs of Goddard flight projects, technology development, and agency programs. The Branch’s workforce holds expertise in a wide range of technical areas, and includes chemists, chemical engineers, electrical engineers, materials engineers, mechanical engineers, metallurgists, physicists, and technicians. These personnel provide technical guidance on materials applications, process development, analytical laboratory investigations of materials related issues, design qualification and life testing in anticipated flight environments, and complex failure analyses.
Mechanical System Analysis & Simulation Branch (542)
The Mechanical Systems Analysis and Simulation Branch supports the development of NASA missions through structural analysis, optimization, and testing. The Branch is integral to mission development during all stages of a project’s lifecycle from preliminary design through integration and test and even on-orbit activities. We ensure that spaceflight hardware survives the harsh environments of launch and that structures function as intended on-orbit. The Branch provides a variety of structural analysis services to its customers. Their teams perform multidisciplinary systems analysis and simulation for the development of state-of-the-art systems for space flight missions as well as providing senior structural analysts and structural discipline support to GSFC-managed systems. The Branch perform analysis of structural loads, structural dynamics, thermomechanical and optomechanical analyses. Code 542 supports system analysis, kinematic simulations, trade studies, and structural optimization to aid in the development, monitoring, and verification of systems.
The Mechanical Engineering Branch provides the engineering expertise to develop spacecraft and instrument structures, deployment systems, optical benches and a vast array of spaceﬂight hardware in support of Goddard Projects. Engineers in the branch lead or oversee the development of the hardware including the design, analysis, fabrication, assembly, integration, testing, transportation to launch site, launch and early orbit operations. With a focus on precision and reliability, the Branch ensures the seamless transition of hardware from concept to mission-ready status, collaborating closely with project teams to meet rigorous performance standards and mission objectives. The Division teams actively engage in technology innovation and process optimization, driving advancements in structural design, materials science, and manufacturing techniques to continually enhance the capabilities and efficiency of spacecraft and instrument hardware development.
The Mechatronics and Robotics Branch provides multi-disciplinary support in areas of electromechanical systems engineering, including precision mechanisms, optomechanical systems, control electronics and robotics. The codes capabilities and technology development expertise to conceptualize, define, design, analyze, fabricate, integrate, and test world-class scientific instruments and spacecraft components in support of a variety of ground-based, suborbital, orbital, and interplanetary space and Earth science missions. The Branch collaborates closely with scientists, researchers, and other engineering disciplines to ensure the seamless integration and performance optimization of these cutting-edge components, pushing the boundaries of exploration and innovation in space technology.
The Thermal Engineering Branch at Goddard plays a crucial role in developing and applying technology to meet the thermal requirements of spacecraft and scientific instruments. The Branch develop and integrate thermal control systems, providing support throughout project lifecycles, from concept to flight operations. Conducting research in the Thermal Technology Development and Demonstration Facility, they push the boundaries of thermal control technology. The Branch offers technical oversight and support to various stakeholders, including flight projects and instrument developers, while also contributing to the development of thermal software packages to enhance engineering practices.
The Contaminations and Coatings Engineering Branch offers extensive support to flight projects, covering concept development to mission completion and hardware/sample return. This includes managing contamination control programs, providing technical consultation, and conducting thermal coating spray and thin film deposition. Specialized laboratories enable us to conduct property measurements, environmental characterization effects analysis, and CO2 “snow” cleaning, among other tasks. We also maintain unique NASA facilities for understanding degradation effects on thermal coatings. Our expertise extends to applying composite coatings using aluminum or silver, tailored thin film applications for thermal engineering, and spray applications of various thermal coatings. Additionally, we conduct research in thermal coatings and qualification, extraterrestrial dust mitigation, planetary protection, and advanced cleaning techniques.
The Advanced Manufacturing Branch (AMB) provides a comprehensive set of machining, composites, precision assembly, electroplating, additive manufacturing, logistics, and inspection services for aerospace applications. The Branch offers NASA Goddard’s customers a multitude of technologies and proven processes to support of the agency’s flight, and research and development activities. The AMB collaborates with engineers and scientists to conceive, design, produce and evaluate complex sensor, instrument and spacecraft components to ensure scientific performance goals are met or exceeded; enabling the Agency’s flight programs to make awe-inspiring discoveries.
The Mechanical Systems Branch provides mechanical systems mission design and implementation for sub-orbital and special orbital projects and for earth and space science instrument design and development activities at the Wallops Flight Facility. The Branch is responsible for the entire life cycle of payload/carrier mechanical systems, which includes technical services of mechanical design; structural analysis; thermal analysis; and assembly, integration, and testing. Branch personnel serve in a multitude of roles on key projects and technology development efforts. The Branch provides management and technical oversight of mechanical engineering and technical support tasks of its support contract and maintains responsibility for the development and management of world-class integration and testing facilities and infrastructure at WFF.
Environmental Test Engineering & Integration Branch (549)
The Environmental Test Engineering and Integration Branch provides test facilities to ensure spaceflight hardware, from component through observatory levels, will withstand the launch, space, and electromagnetic environments during missions. Code 549’s testing personnel design and build the test set-ups, develop and direct test procedures, and operate state-of-the-art facilities to meet the goals of each test. The Branch’s Integration and Test (I&T) Complex houses cleanrooms and high bays to build flight hardware. Mechanical integration staff develop procedures and operate equipment for lifting and handling of flight hardware and for ground support equipment (GSE), integrate and assemble hardware into spacecrafts, and support transportation to and provide integration services at launch sites. Code 549 also provides contamination control services, including designing, fabricating, installing, and operating purge gas systems, to maintain the cleanliness of flight hardware during all phases of a project’s I&T campaign. Other services include optical systems integration, alignment, and metrology, EGSE cables and harnesses design and fabrication, and thermal blankets design, fabrication, and installation.