NASA Seeks Public-Private Partnerships on Tipping Point Technologies

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA is seeking proposals for U.S. industry-developed space technologies through its ‘Tipping Point’ solicitation, a public-private partnership opportunity to stimulate the commercial space sector, while also delivering technologies and capabilities needed for NASA, other government agencies, and commercial space missions.

The solicitation, titled “Utilizing Public-Private Partnerships to Advance Tipping Point Technologies,” is funded by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD), and addresses the need for technologies in strategic thrust areas, a high-level strategic implementation structure that serves to guide future investment plans for the directorate.

“This is our third Tipping Point solicitation, providing another opportunity to expand our existing partnerships with the private sector, strengthen the U.S. aerospace industry, while meeting NASA’s strategic goals,” said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for STMD at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “NASA-Industry partnerships have and will continue to play a critically important role in stimulating further investments in enabling technologies that may not have been developed and demonstrated otherwise.”

A technology is considered at a ‘tipping point’ if an investment in a demonstration of its capabilities will result in a significant advancement of the technology’s maturation, has a high likelihood of infusion into a commercial space application with a significant improvement in the ability to successfully bring the technology to market, and the technology is at a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of at least 4 at time of submission of the preliminary proposal.

This Tipping Point Appendix is soliciting space technology proposals in the following STMD Strategic Thrust (ST) areas:

ST1: Expand Utilization of Space – develop technologies that enable new in-space capabilities for future NASA missions, other government agencies, and that have viable commercial applications.

ST2: Enable Efficient and Safe Transportation Into and Through Space – development and demonstration of technologies to enable lower cost, reliable access to space, and to advance in-space transportation capabilities with a focus on improving efficiency and reducing trip times for human and robotic missions.

ST3: Increase Access to Planetary Surfaces – enable landing larger payloads on planetary surfaces more precisely and safely, and improving the performance and reliability of Earth entry systems.

Each proposal to the Tipping Point solicitation must be spearheaded by a commercial firm or business incorporated in and operating in the U.S. Funding will occur through milestone payments as part of firm-fixed-price contracts that requires a minimum 25 percent contribution from the industry partner, with STMD covering up to $10 million per award over up to a 36-month period.

The complete solicitation may be found online at the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System (NSPIRES). Mandatory preliminary proposals from eligible offerors are due Jan. 30, and those invited to submit a full proposal will have until May 30 to complete the submission process. Questions and comments about this solicitation should be submitted via email to:

STMD is responsible for developing the crosscutting, pioneering, new technologies and capabilities needed to achieve NASA missions. STMD rapidly innovates, develops, demonstrates, and infuses revolutionary, high-payoff technologies through transparent, collaborative partnerships, expanding the boundaries of the aerospace enterprise. Projects resulting from the Tipping Point solicitation will enable public-private partnerships managed by programs within STMD.

For more information about the Tipping Point solicitation, visit:

For more information about the NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, visit: