Successful Orion Ascent Abort-2 (AA2) Test

Today, NASA successfully tested the launch abort system (Ascent Abort-2) for the Orion spacecraft.
METECS is proud to have provided modeling and simulation support and test automation framework to this project.
Read more about program below.



AviatorsBallMETECS was honored to attend the 50th anniversary Apollo Mission’s celebration featuring astronauts Tom Stafford and Harrison Schmitt, with a keynote address from NASA’s Jim Bridenstine. This event, produced by the Tulsa Air & Space Museum, was a special time of celebration and new announcements.

METECS, based in Houston, has worked with NASA JSC for over 16 years on numerous initiatives including the Shuttle, ISS and Orion projects. We are proud of our longstanding NASA partnership and look forward to partnering with the Tulsa Air and Space Museum on a brand-new exhibit featuring the heroic mission of the Tulsamerican B-24 bomber. The crew and specially named aircraft made its last flight during the Battle of the Bulge on December 1944. METECS is honored to help tell this story through a physical installation along with a Virtual Reality Experience. The exhibit will be open to the public by the end of 2019.



NASA’s latest video “We are going to the Moon” gets our team at METECS really excited. We are honored and privileged everyday to be an integral part of what goes on behind the scenes. METECS is helping to develop system architectures for Gateway, backup flight software for Orion, autonomous logistics and robotics capabilities, vehicle simulations, and integration & test infrastructures for both Orion and Gateway. As NASA continues to move forward, so do we. Let’s do it!

Check out the video by clicking the link below!


Congratulations on the completion of the TS21 Project!  The TS21 project involved building a simulation of all major ISS systems that is used to train Astronauts in the Space Station Training Facility (SSTF) along with ISS Flights Controllers, Payload Operators, Commercial Partners, and International Partners.  METECS was heavily involved with the software architecture decisions, requirements definition, model creation, and software integration throughout the entire TS21 project.  TS21 uses software packages including mREST, Pong, and MBDyn.  METECS made significant contributions to the project with its role in the Systems Engineering, Flight Software, Graphics, Dynamics, Robotics, Infrastructure, and Mechanisms teams.
During a TS21 Award Ceremony on May 9th, 9 METECS employees were recognized with a TS21 Group Achievement Award from the Flight Operations Division (FOD).  Also, Thomas Brain and Angela Reeves were each recognized individually in this ceremony for their “outstanding achievement in leading the definition, testing, and deployment of the Training Systems for the 21st Century Project”.  In addition to that, TS21 is the recipient of the JSC Exceptional Software Award for 2019 in the category of “Flight and Flight Support”.  TS21 was also chosen to represent JSC in the 2019 NASA Software of the Year competition.
Although the TS21 project is technically complete, METECS is still working on TS21 software sustaining and integrating the dual-arm Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) robot model they helped build into the simulation.ThomasBrainAwardMay2019 (1) TS21AwardMay2019


METECS is looking to augment our staff with outstanding new members. We are currently accepting resumes from individuals at all levels of experience to support ongoing and future projects for both NASA and commercial customers. Skills of interest include:

  • Software development including familiarity with C++, UML, & web development.
  • Previous experience with ISS or Orion Flight Software
  • Experience with modern web services architectures
  • Avionics hardware in the loop integration
  • Mathematical model domain expertise
  • Robotics, spacecraft, and multi-body dynamics analysis
  • Mechanism and contact dynamics modeling
  • 3-D graphics scene generation
  • Situational awareness tools and training simulations

If you are interested in working with METECS, please email your resume to


METECS provides support for Nasa’s Orion Ascent Abort (AA-2 ) project

METECS is proud to provide modeling and simulation support and test automation framework support to the Orion Ascent Abort 2 (AA-2) project. “NASA is targeting June 12 as the launch date for Orion’s Ascent Abort-2 test, a critical milestone for human missions to the Moon! The test will show Orion’s Launch Abort System can carry a crew to safety in case of an emergency during launch.” – Orion Spacecraft


Jake Macneal is a recent graduate of McGill University, with a B.E. in Computer Engineering (2018). As an undergraduate, he was introduced to embedded systems and control theory as a part of his school’s robotics team, competing in Utah for the University Rover Challenge. He has participated in several technical internships in which he wrote assembly firmware for fMRI-compatible patient input devices, built an Android app allowing customers to update their own firmware, and demonstrated a security vulnerability in the CAN Bus protocol. As a NASA undergraduate intern, Jake worked on two projects: one in which he demonstrated the use of a machine learning model to track sensor locations aboard the ISS using WiFi signal strength readings, and another in which he demonstrated the viability of a Xilinx FPGA chip for handling the video encoding and general processing needs required for next-generation HD space suit cameras.
Jake’s main technical interests are functional programming (with an emphasis on the Clojure language), compilers, computer architecture, and machine learning. In his free time, Jake contributes to an open source genomics project, plays classical guitar, enjoys cooking, and is learning Salsa.

Ken Huffman presents poster at Nasa’s 2019 Human Research program investigators’ workshop


METECS Senior Systems Engineer, Ken Huffman, recently presented a poster at NASA’s 2019 Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop.  The poster was titled “Improvement of Scaling and Inverse Kinematic Results with Additional Upper Body Joints added to OpenSim Rajagopal Model”.  The presentation was well received and documents METECS’ developed improvements to the open-source OpenSim biomechanics community.


METECS is excited to welcome Beau Domingue. Beau graduated with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette followed by a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering focused on Robotics and Controls from Georgia Tech. Beau began his career in robotics by developing a computer vision system for object detection using machine learning. He then began working in warehouse automation where his role was to develop software to enable autonomous navigation using concepts from motion planning and controls. He also participated in the development and implementation of an indoor localization system.

Ditch Witch Introduces HDD VR Simulator

METECS and Ditch Witch have partnered to develop our next generation Horizontal Directional Drill simulator which uses cutting-edge immersive and simulation technologies to provide operators with the experience of operating HDD equipment without the consequences and expense of training on real equipment. Combined with Ditch Witch’s Certified HDD Training curriculum, the simulator helps prepare operators for underground construction by emphasizing safe and effective operation of the HDD equipment.

“The Ditch Witch HDD VR Simulator takes our original HDD simulator to a new level of realism by providing OEM Ditch Witch joysticks and completely immersing the operator in a realistic 360-degree virtual jobsite. This significantly reduces the situational awareness transition between training on the simulator and using the actual equipment,”  said METECS president John MacLean.

For more information about Ditch Witch training and the HDD VR Simulator check out their press release at

HDD contractors and education centers can purchase the simulator at their local Ditch Witch dealership.