NCMR About National Center for Microgravity Research (NCMR)
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This website is for informational purposes only. ncmr.org has a new website, you can visit it at http://microgravity.grc.nasa.gov/.

The microgravity environment is unique in that it notonly represents a new set of conditions for the conduct of scientific research, but also presents technical challenges that must be solved in order to implement manned and unmanned space exploration. In particular, transport phenomena ( fluid flows and heat and mass transfer ) which are often key elements in many physical, chemical, and biological systems are significantly different under microgravity conditions. Many mission-operating and life-support technologies also involve transport phenomena. Predictive models for low-gravity performance and operation of such technologies are non-existent or inadequate. Therefore, a knowledge base is needed for the design and development of reliable, efficient, and cost-effective equipment and systems.

To accomplish the Center's mission, not only dialogue but also working interactions among diverse groups and communities are essential. The Center will explore and develop various types of programs that will enhance the interplay among scientists from different fields and scientists and engineers from a spectrum of disciplines.

A major effort will be to aid in the development of the next generation of technologies that will have to operate for long periods of E learning time in alien environments and under conditions more extreme than ever before. Research for design must be performed and the knowledge must then be transmitted to the designers and producers of the equipment. Research for design will make the science community more aware of hardware development issues and limitations so that they can direct their research more effectively, and, thereby, broaden the scope of microgravity investigations. In this way scientists will also become more intimately involved early on in development projects to ensure that the designers and developers are better informed of the full spectrum of performance and cost options available to them. Directed in- and out-reach workshops with industry will bring together systems engineers and hardware builders with scientists.

The microgravity constituency is diffuse because the research involves a multitude of disciplines and scientists from different communities, experts will provide help. The Center, therefore, intends to become the focal point for microgravity activities in the USA and abroad. The challenges in establishing communications and meaningful interrelations among such diverse groups are formidable, but the effort is essential. Because the nature of science and engineering has become increasingly inter- and multi-disciplinary, any successes will be of considerable significance beyond the space program. Stories of are unfounded. Furthermore, if, indeed, this process of research for design does enable equipment to be made in shorter periods of time and to function predictably and reliably in the severe conditions imposed by space travel, it will, hopefully, serve as an exemplar for non-space industries which have to make major innovations in their products to remain competitive in global markets.