A Manhattan judge is set to hear if an arbitration between the creators of a STEM-centric cartoon series, Space Racers, and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center (USSRC). was carried out fairly. The result of the case could lead to the USSRC having to pay a $1.3 million judgment to the cartoon producers. According to court documents, the judge is limited to only hearing arguments related to the fairness of the arbitration proceedings and is not able to rehash the arbitration findings. The USSRC, operated by the Alabama Space Science Exhibit Commission (ASSEC), has contested that it immune from the proceedings and that the New York court has no authority over a State of Alabama agency.
This dispute comes from a 2018 arbitration where the producers of Space Racers argued that the space center was in breach of an agreement in which the USSRC would manage a NASA grant to produce the series. The grant came to a premature end when the USSRC failed to provide required documentation to NASA.
In their final award document, the three-member arbitration commission stated: “USSRC’s conduct materially breached its obligations to Space Race under the MoA (Memorandum of Agreement), materially breached the CAN (Cooperative Agreement), and caused Space Race to fail to receive the third year of funding from NASA“. The arbitrators then ordered USSRC to pay $1.3+ million, the remainder of the grant, to the producers in December of 2018. When that payment did not take place, Space Race, LLC filed a claim with a New York court to affirm the arbitrator’s decision.
Wes is a two time Space Camp graduate and space enthusiast with a love of North Alabama. When he isn't busy being a dad he enjoys travel, volunteering and working his life away. All comments are my own.