Building a Satellite Servicing Robot and a Career at SAIC

Building a Satellite Servicing Robot and a Career at SAIC

People come to work on NASA missions and stay because of our commitment to them

04-01-2021
Mark Fuerst
SPACE

It is so exciting to be part of the OMES-II team! OMES-II is the Omnibus Multidiscipline Engineering Services II contract that NASA awarded to SAIC for engineering services and support to some of the agency's most cutting-edge missions. On a daily basis, we get to work side by side with NASA's best and brightest on the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS), as well as being integral members of the NASA team that is developing and building the OSAM-1 (On-orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing) spacecraft. Some of the coolest work at NASA is being done at Goddard Space Flight Center!

OSAM-1 is a demonstration of leading-edge technologies including artificial intelligence, machine learning, and a host of others being combined to service the LandSat-7 satellite. OSAM-1 will open the door for future endeavors to extend the mission lives of current satellites in orbit — even those that were not designed to be fixed in orbit — as well as to demonstrate in-orbit assembly capabilities. The challenges are daunting but will usher in an entirely new era for NASA and the space industry.

NASA continues to do things that will inspire generations to come, creating new technologies and exploring deep space. But it cannot hire every single person who wants to join its endeavors. This is where SAIC comes in: we provide an agile engineering workforce that performs seamlessly with NASA's mission objectives. We ensure that NASA has the ability to leverage key engineering disciplines, providing senior-level and junior engineers alike.

People want to join SAIC because we are the team with the technical expertise, skills, and processes who support NASA in making its missions happen. We have talent who has worked with other space organizations, such as the U.S. Air Force and intelligence community, as well as with commercial ventures and more. This deep pool of expertise provides NASA with diversity in ideas and experiences, and at the same time our team members build careers at SAIC by being able to serve many different space missions and customers.

SAIC is a matrix organization, enabling our space professionals to monitor technology advances across all space agencies and the space industry and to select those that best meet customers’ needs. We are actively engaged with customers to understand their future needs and continuing to make investments and explorations into next-generation technologies. This also means that we invest in our people through training and advancement to be able to maximize those technologies and manage our solutions.

 

FURTHER READING: SAIC supports top college students in STEM through Astronaut Scholarship Foundation

 

Having been in the space industry for my entire career, I've enjoyed many challenging opportunities and exciting places to work. I've chosen to work at SAIC, as the company not only works in such an exciting industry, but I have witnessed firsthand its commitment to career growth and a professional and respectful work environment. Along with offering challenging and rewarding work, the SAIC environment values and seeks out ethics and diversity.

Knowing that there are many places to work and companies to work for, I can assure that for those who are looking for rewarding career opportunities in the space industry, and other industries as well, SAIC is the best place to work. 

Be sure to check out the following videos to find out more about the NASA missions that SAIC is supporting JPSS and OSAM-1: 

JPSS

OSAM-1

Posted by: Mark Fuerst

Program Management Director

Mark Fuerst is program management director leading SAIC’s program support on the NASA Omnibus Multidiscipline Engineering Services (OMES) II contract as its program manager. The contract primarily supports missions for the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) and NASA’s Exploration & In-space Services (NExIS) and On-orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing (OSAM) programs. He is responsible for the combined activities of more than 600 personnel.

Fuerst has spent his entire career in the aerospace industry. Before joining the SAIC team in 2020, he worked for large and small companies supporting military and government civilian agencies. He has over 17 years of experience working with NASA at the Goddard Space Flight Center, supporting missions requiring the entire gamut of technical disciplines that includes flight and ground operations, engineering, design, development, testing, as well as pre- and post-launch activities.

He is a graduate of the University of Maryland, with a bachelor’s degree in business management. Fuerst is a certified Project Management Professional and a board member of the Goddard Advocacy Partnership, which consists of supporters, stakeholders, and business partners of the Goddard Space Flight Center. He is a former board member of the Goddard Contractors Association.

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