On August 16, 2021, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) awarded a translation contract worth up to USD 59m to TechTrans International (TTI).
The contract, Russian Language and Logistics Services 2 (RLLS2), covers translation, interpreting, language training, and international logistics to support space station operations in Russia and Kazakhstan.
CEO Beth Williams founded the company in 1993 specifically to provide services to NASA for the International Space Station (ISS). The language service provider (LSP) is headquartered in Austin, Texas with offices in Russia, Jordan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Colombia.
In addition to ISO 9001:2015 certification and NASA-relevant specializations, including aerospace, defense, and global security, TTI offers one decidedly unusual service: the “Train Like a Cosmonaut” Experience in Star City, Russia.
Guided by TTI staff, clients stay at the Russian Space Agency’s primary training center, near Moscow. Participants meet Russian and US astronauts, tour the Yuri Gagarin Museum, and try their hand at wilderness survival, spacesuit training, and negotiating a space station mockup.
According to USAspending.gov, which tracks contracts awarded by federal agencies, TTI’s business with NASA stretches back more than 20 years. The first contract, also for Russian language and logistics services, ran from October 1999 to December 2003 for USD 45.7m.
In 2010, TTI scooped up three more contracts, one for a security overseas seminar (USD 13,390) and two for Japanese language tutorials (USD 37,750 combined). The largest to date, worth USD 89.5m, is a nine-year contract related to Russian language and logistics services that ends September 30, 2021.
The phase-in period for RLLS2 begins September 1, 2021, followed by a two-year base period beginning October 1, 2021, at which point NASA will have the option of extending the contract by three months, nine months, or one year.