NASA Selects Ventions LLC for SBIR Phase I Awards

NASA LOGONASA has selected Ventions, LLC of San Francisco, Calif., for two Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I awards, with both projects involving advanced propulsion systems for spacecraft.

Under one contract, Ventions would develop a low-cost, high-performance propulsion system for use on CubeSats. The other project involves the development of on-board pressurization systems for Mars sample return missions.

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NASA Selects Astrobotic for SBIR Phase I Award

A mission concept to enter and explore a skylight on the Moon using Tyrobot. (Credit: Astrobotic Technology)
A mission concept to enter and explore a skylight on the Moon using Tyrobot. (Credit: Astrobotic Technology)

NASA has selected Astrobotic Technology for a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to develop an auto-landing system for sample return missions.

“The proposed research innovates safe, precise navigation for autolanding for sample return missions to a distant asteroid, planet, or moon,” the proposal summary reads. “The technology suite developed will be packaged as a commercial product.

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NASA Selects Arkyd for SBIR Phase I Award

Arkyd 100 spacecraft. (Credit: Planetary Resources)
Arkyd 100 spacecraft. (Credit: Planetary Resources)

NASA has selected Arkyd Astronautics, the fully-owned subsidiary of the asteroid-mining company Planetary Resources,  for a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase I contract for work on advanced software to better guide robotic spacecraft in their exploration of and sample return missions from near Earth objects.

“A real-time convex optimizer named COARSE (Convex Optimizer for Asteroid Rendezvous and Sampling Return) is proposed in order to efficiently guide path planning operations as well as spacecraft guidance and control,” according to the proposal summary. “COARSE consists of a series of high level goals with specific set of execution steps, rather than complex interaction with ground control. This proposal plans to develop and simulate a basic optimizer for the purpose of a robotic spacecraft in proximity operations to an asteroid for a sample return mission, and implement in a spacecraft avionics software environment.”

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