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Image Credit: NASA

ZIN is highly experienced in all phases of development, pre-launch, launch, and post-launch checkout of payloads, spacecraft and instruments including time sensitive late stow items. Our personnel are experienced with Control Center operations, ground station maintenance, and communications networks. ZIN develops the systems and provides day-to-day operations, software maintenance and systems engineering for data, as well as science data processing centers that house and process mission data products from ISS payloads, spacecraft and other sources.

Concepts of Operations

ZIN's mission integrators and discipline-specific engineers develop concepts of operations for space missions involving multiple NASA centers, international partners, and commercial entities on the International Space Station (ISS). ZIN leverages our hardware and software topologies, analytical capabilities, demonstrated processes, and mission expertise to fully develop and execute these on-orbit operations.

Flight Manifest

ZIN regularly works with Payload Integration Managers, the ISS Increment Planning teams, and Launch Package Teams to plan, document and arrange manifests for hardware/software integration and de-integration activities at launch sites across the globe. ZIN routinely coordinates the safe shipment, storage and packing of complex flight hardware.

Image Credit: NASA

Mission Planning and Integration

ZIN provides mission planning and integration, flight operations, and post-flight analysis for space programs. Our services include strategic planning, mission design, crew training, payload integration and mission utilization, flight crew operations, risk assessment, and flight cargo manifesting. ZIN also supports the development of flight and mission rules, data files, and imagery analysis, processing, and management.  ZIN is experienced with a number of different launch and on-orbit carriers, and we can customize a schedule tailored to any level of complexity.  We work with US. And International Principal Investigators to help them fly their experiments on ISS, and offer end-to-end support for those organizations who desire to fly and operate ISS payloads, but do not possess the technical or administrative resources to do so.

Integrated Vehicle Systems Analyses

ZIN supports the NASA GRC COMPASS Team that is a multidisciplinary collaborative engineering team whose primary purpose is to perform integrated vehicle systems analyses. Through these analyses, the team conducts trades studies and provides system designs for both exploration and space science missions. COMPASS studies eliminate rework through consistent processes, tools, and subject matter experts (SMEs) enabling space system design assessments that are conducted rapidly in a collaborative environment.  ZIN has provided SMEs in Avionics, Trajectory Analysis, Mission Planning, and Structural Analysis.

Image Credit: NASA

Crew Training

ZIN develops crew training materials, and training unit development and installation at various sites including internationally.  ZIN works with flight crews and the vehicle and/or carrier training organizations to develop training requirements. ZIN provides requirements for training sessions, computer-based training, and on-orbit training. ZIN also provides project hardware and software training on the mission equipment's operational/functional limitations and capabilities, to enable proper decision-making and operational procedure development.

Safety and Hazard Analysis

ZIN is an active participant in the NASA Contractors Safety Committee, and has an Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) and NASA compliant Safety and Health program.  ZIN assures the design's overall system safety that eliminates, reduces, or minimizes safety risk to an acceptable level.  ZIN understands NASA’s system safety process including:


  • Safety Assessment and preparation of flight and ground safety data packages

  • Hazard analysis and reporting

  • Completion of the safety verification process, including logs

  • Conducting phase safety reviews with NASA’s Payload Safety Review Panel

  • On-Orbit Operations and Maintenance / crew procedures

  • Design Drawings and Documentation

  • Engineering Change Order and Ground Operations Reviews

Other safety related capabilities include the review of EEE Parts, FMEA/CIL Analysis, Structural and Thermal Analysis, Maintainability Analysis, Materials Assessment, Reliability Analysis, and Software Assurance.  ZIN also provides a payload safety and certification commercial approach where we will self-certify to ISS safety requirements.

Payload Processing

ZIN regularly works with Payload Integration Managers, the ISS Increment Planning teams, and Launch Package Teams to plan, document and arrange manifests for hardware/software integration and de-integration activities at launch sites. ZIN routinely coordinates the safe shipment, storage and packing of complex flight hardware, and performs launch site integration including late integration for ISS payloads involving NASA, commercial research, and International Partner payloads. This requires interfacing with International Partners, original equipment manufacturers, and hardware providers, as well as coordination among contractors and the Government. ZIN ships, tests, and processes flight hardware at multiple locations in the USA, Russia, Japan and French Guiana.  Ground based payload processing consists of multiple activities including unpacking, setup and inspection, critical lift processes and procedures, functional and performance testing, contingency plans, and final launch site processing.

Mission Control Center Development

ZIN developed, operates and maintains a NASA Telescience Center (TSC) at the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC), a fully functional command and control center supporting complete control of GRC-sponsored ISS experiments and payloads. The TSC includes ground support equipment and technical capabilities, including TT&C processing, payload data distribution and archiving, multiple audio and video channels, and secure public web and file servers.  ZIN performs facility and ISS payload certification, supports mission simulations and operations, and performs payload ground and flight testing.

Image Credit: NASA GRC

Mission Operations

ZIN offers certified flight controllers that provide planning and real-time mission support for numerous flight mission aspects, including on-board Data Interfaces and Networks, Operation Data Files, Operations Planning, Extravehicular Activity (EVA), and ISS systems. ZIN is experienced in ground systems and on-orbit operations, and supports new payload integration activities, console operations, development of operations schedules, mission simulations, and multi-payload 24x7 mission operations.  Our expertise and responsibility includes mission management, with direct command and data control of communications to the TDRSS constellation for the ISS Space Communications and Navigation Testbed (SCaN Testbed).  We have handled flight operations of ISS Physical and Life science and Communication payloads since 2003 with 24/7/365 day operations logging tens of thousands of hours of operation.

Image Credit: NASA GRC

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