QinetiQ North America of McLean, Va., will provide engineering services and products at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, under a $1.959 billion contract the U.S. space agency announced Nov. 18.

Work on the new cost-plus-award fee contract begins March 1, 2011. The contract has a five-year base period of performance and three one-year option periods.

Under the contract, QinetiQ North America will support an institutional capability for the engineering and development of ground systems and equipment for handling, testing, servicing and other ground processing of launch vehicles, spacecraft and payloads, NASA said in a press release.

QinetiQ also will perform science and technology development to address Kennedy and NASA’s future operational needs, the release said.