NASA Selects 10 Small Business Proposals for Lunar ISRU

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

As NASA prepares to send astronauts back to the moon in the Artemis program, the space agency is increasingly eyeing the use of lunar resources to reduce the expense of launching everything from Earth.

NASA recently selected 10 proposals to develop technologies for in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) under its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

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Gloyer-Taylor Labs, U Tennessee Pursue Small Launch Vehicle

NASA LOGONASA has selected Gloyer-Taylor Laboratories (GTL) and the University of Tennessee Space Institute for a Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II award to develop a new small-satellite launch vehicle.

“GTL has developed the conceptual design for the Advanced Cryogenic Expendable (ACE) nano-launch vehicle,” according to the program’s technical abstract. “The 7700 lb gross lift-off weight ACE vehicle is capable of delivering a 154 lb payload to 400 nmi circular orbit at 28.5 deg inclination.

“With a launch cost of less than $1M at low launch rate, ACE is directly competitive with existing large launch vehicles on a $/lb basis. This affordability is enabled by a combination of high performance, reduced stages and parts count, and simplified operations,” the abstract reads.

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