Dothan Business Helps NASA with Orion Deep Space Project

Article Featured in the Dothan Eagle Newspaper June 9, 2016
by Jim Cook 

A Dothan business is helping NASA move forward with its Orion deep space exploration project.

Space Science Services provides metallurgical testing for NASA to ensure that various metal components used in metal structures are sound. The company checks welds to ensure they’re in good condition and also inspects metal components to ensure they’re in working order. Space Science Services uses a number of imaging technologies to inspect components, including radiographic testing and ultrasound testing.

“Our primary focus is non-destructive testing,” said Dan Geiger, Space Science Services vice president. “Our testing allows us to inspect what NASA has and not destroy what they want to use.”

Space Science Services is currently working on NASA projects including modification of the structure complex for the mobile launch platform for the Orion Project and testing on the vertical assembly building platform for that project. These platforms provide a place for engineers and technicians to stand while they’re building the Orion rocket.

Space Science Services has been in business since 1961 and has had a site in Dothan for about 25 years. It employs 43 people – 23 here in Dothan and 20 in Orlando, Florida. The company opened a location in Dothan during a boom in the local aircraft industry.

In addition to its work with NASA, the company also works with local aircraft and helicopter companies and structural steel fabrication and mechanical pipe fabrication companies. The company also works with Geotechnical Engineering Companies.

Geiger said the company also does work for NASCAR, inspecting various metal components for safety.

The Orion Project will send manned craft into deep space. The program is expected to take humans farther in space than ever before, eventually reaching Mars. The Orion capsule will serve as the exploration vehicle. Delta IV heavy rockets will propel the craft into space.

Space Science Services was recently acquired byApplied Technical Services. ATS, a Marietta, Georgia company, employs about 700 people.