NASA Awards Accelerate Small Business Tech for Earth and Space

Awards under NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program will support technologies for lunar science and exploration. (Credits: NASA)

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA has awarded six U.S. small businesses funding to continue work on technologies poised to make a significant impact in key areas, from wildfire readiness to sustained lunar exploration. Collaborating with small businesses is a crucial part of developing the novel ideas needed for NASA’s ambitious goals.

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Sierra Space Completes Successful NASA Test Readiness Review for Lunar Oxygen Extraction System

Sierra Space ‘Clear to Proceed’ with Physical Testing of Integrated Reactor That Extracts Oxygen from Moon’s Surface

Innovative Technology is Critical for Astronaut Life Support Systems and Propellant Manufacturing in Space

Sierra Space’s processed melt extraction mechanism, or “lunar rake,” removes melted slag from the processing area after lunar material is processed and cooled. (Image Credit: Sierra Space)

LOUISVILLE, Colo. (Sierra Space PR)Sierra Space, a leading commercial space company at the forefront of creating and building the future of space transportation and infrastructure for low-Earth orbit (LEO) commercialization, today announced the successful completion of its $3 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase III Test Readiness Review (TRR) with NASA for its carbothermal reduction technology.

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NASA Funds R&D Projects to Produce Fuel and Process Oxygen on the Moon and Mars

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA has selected two research and development (R&D) projects focused on producing technologies that future astronauts will need to produce fuel and oxygen on the moon and Mars.

Air Company Holdings of Brooklyn, NY, and New York University will share a Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) award worth up to $150,000 to develop a system to produce kerosene-based fuels on Earth and Mars. Innosense of Torrance, Calif., and the University of Virginia (UVA) in Charlottsville will receive a STTR award to develop a hydrogen sensor to be used in the processing of oxygen from lunar regolith.

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NASA Funds R&D Projects for Lunar Construction Technology

Astronaut working on the moon (Credit: NASA)

By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

As NASA prepares to send astronauts back to the moon, the spaced agency is funding a series of research and development (R&D) projects focused on turning lunar regolith into landing pads, blast shields and other useful structures.

NASA recently selected four R&D projects for funding under its Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)  program. The projects, which partner small businesses with academia, will each receive up to $150,000 apiece for studies lasting 13 months.

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NASA Funds 3 Small Business Projects Focused on In-situ Use of Lunar Resources

Astronaut working on the moon (Credit: NASA)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA has selected three companies to continue development of technologies that will allow Artemis astronauts to extract oxygen from and 3D print parts using lunar regolith under the space agency’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.

The Phase II awards to Blueshift, L’Garde and Air Squared are worth up to $750,000 apiece over 24 months. Each company previously received Phase I awards to begin developing the technologies.

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ESRIC Unveils First Five Start-ups Selected as Part of “Start-up Support Programme”

ESCH-SUR-ALZETTE, Luxembourg (ESRIC PR) — Following the first call for applications, the European Space Resources Innovation Centre (ESRIC) has selected the five start-ups to participate in the “Start-up Support Programme” (SSP) and begin their pre-incubation in April 2022.

Based in Esch-sur-Alzette in Luxembourg, ESRIC is Europe’s leading research and innovation centre in the field of space resources. Launched in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA), the Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA), the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), and Technoport (Luxembourg’s main technology incubator), ESRIC’s Start-up Support Programme (SSP) aims to support early-stage start-ups in the space resources sector, to develop their business models, attract their first customers and secure their first investments. Targeting terrestrial and/or space applications, the Start-up Support Programme is managed jointly with ESA.

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New UK Space Funds to Pioneer New Approaches to Energy, Communication and Resources

British space technology will help pioneer new approaches to energy, communications and resources, thanks to new projects from the UK Space Agency

LONDON (UK Space Agency PR) — Science and Innovation Minister George Freeman announced the £2 million boost for 13 new projects during British Science Week (11-20 March), which aims to inspire interest in and celebrate science, engineering, technology and maths for people of all ages.

The projects include Rolls-Royce developing a power station for space that could power the generation of water, breathable oxygen and fuels for solar exploration.

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Team Chosen to Make First Oxygen on the Moon

The European Large Logistic Lander touches down on the moon. (Credit: ESA/ATG-Medialab)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Following a competition, ESA has selected the industrial team that will design and build the first experimental payload to extract oxygen from the surface of the Moon. The winning consortium, led by Thales Alenia Space in the UK, has been tasked with producing a small piece of equipment that will evaluate the prospect of building larger lunar plants to extract propellant for spacecraft and breathable air for astronauts – as well as metallic raw materials for equipment.

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NSF Awards Grant to Emerging Futures to Develop Lunar Landing Pad Material

Portland, Ore., March 10, 2022 (Emerging Futures PR) — Emerging Futures, LLC, a research and analysis consultancy focused on climate change mitigation and the commercial expansion of space, has been awarded a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) 2021-2022 Phase I Grant from the National Science Foundation.

This Grant enables Emerging Futures to continue developing its PolyBrick™ polymer-regolith composite lunar landing pad concept. This innovative, sustainable, and scalable material will be constructed entirely from lunar materials.

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NASA Funds Research into Advanced Oxygen Generation on Mars

Graphic depiction of Breathing Mars Air: Stationary and Portable O2 Generation. (Credits: Ivan Ermanoski)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA is funding research into a system capable of generating oxygen on Mars far more efficiently than the one the space agency tested aboard the Curiosity rover.

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Thales Alenia Space Wins Study Contract to Develop Payload to Extract Oxygen on the Moon

Lunar lander with in-situ resource utilization system to extract oxygen from regolith. (Credit: Redwire Space Europe)

Selected by the European Space Agency, Thales Alenia Space leads study to develop a demonstration payload to extract oxygen from Moon rock

BRISTOL, UK, February 23, 2022 (Thales Alenia Space PR) – Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), has signed a study contract with the European Space Agency worth one million euros for a payload concept to extract oxygen from Moon rock.

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TsNIIMash Developed Experiment to Search for Resources on the Moon

A data visualization showing the area near the lunar South Pole on a ridge not far from Shackleton – the large crater on the right – selected as the landing site for Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C lander, which will deliver technology demonstrations to the Moon’s surface under NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative. The conditions at the site offer the best chance of success for three technology demonstrations onboard. (Credits: NASA)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — The Federal Space Program of Russia for 2016–2025 provides for the launch in 2024 of the automatic interplanetary station Luna-26, designed for remote studies of the surface of the Earth’s natural satellite from a circumlunar polar orbit. Among the tasks of the station are mapping the mineralogical composition and mapping the distribution of water ice on the Moon.

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Five Space Station Research Results Contributing to Deep Space Exploration

European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst works on the MICS experiment aboard the International Space Station. Observations of how cement reacts in space during the hardening process may help engineers better understand its microstructure and material properties, which could improve cement processing techniques on Earth and lead to the design of safe, lightweight space habitats. (Credits: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — More than 3,000 experiments have been conducted aboard the  International Space Station during the 21 years humans have been living and working in space. These experiments have provided insights helping improve life back on Earth and explore farther into the solar system. Researchers have shared these results in thousands of scientific publications.

Over the past few months, scientists shared the outcomes of space station studies that could help us recover more water from life support systems, construct Moon bases, grow plants in space, and more.

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