SpaceWorks Awarded 2 DARPA SBIR Phase 2 Awards

ATLANTA, August 4, 2017  (SpaceWorks Enterprises PR) — SpaceWorks Enterprises, Inc. (SEI) announces the recent award of a Phase 2 Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)’s Tactical Technology Office (TTO) to advance the design of a sustainable and evolvable platform to provide persistent payload hosting capabilities in geosynchronous orbit (GEO).

The GEO platform would be a single spacecraft assembled from multiple smallsat-scale spacecraft modules conforming to the DARPA Payload Orbital Delivery (POD) form factor. The platform would be capable of providing electrical power, data processing, and high-bandwidth communications to hosted customer payloads. Support for both commercial and government customers is envisioned in order to maximize the utility of the platform and create an economically viable system.

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DSI Delivers Space Dirt to NASA

Containers of asteroid simulant are stacked up and ready for delivery to NASA. (Credit: Deep Space Industries)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — Deep Space Industries recently delivered 3.5 gallons of dirt to NASA. But this wasn’t ordinary dirt; it was developed to simulate the material found on an asteroid or moon.

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Altius Space Machines DogTags Project Selected for NASA Funding

We’ve all heard of dogtags for dogs and for soldiers. But, for space robots?

That’s what Jonathan Goff’s Altius Space Machines will begin developing with NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I funding. The contract is worth $125,000 over six months.

Altius’s dogtags are lightweight, passive robotic interfaces that could be attached to habitat structures and objects. Examples of structures include human-tended deep space habitats and commercial manufacturing facilities in Easrth orbit that wouldn’t be permanently staffed.

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NASA Selects Tethers Unlimited for Four Small Business Awards

Tethers Unlimited (TUI) will being developing a small satellite capable of growing itself in orbit and a metal press and milling system capable of creating precision parts in microgravity with the help of NASA funding.

The projects were among four TUI proposals the space agency selected under its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I program. The contracts are worth up to $125,000 apiece over six months.

The selected proposals include:

  • MakerSat
  • Metal Advanced Manufacturing Bot-Assisted Assembly (MAMBA) Process
  • COBRA-Bee Carpal-Wrist Gimbal for Astrobee
  • The Automated X-Link for Orbital Networking (AXON) Connector

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Paragon SDC Projects Selected for NASA Small Business Funding

Paragon Space Development Corporation will begin developing expandable habitats to outfit pressure vessels in space and an advanced space radiator with the assistance of NASA small business funding.

The space agency has selected the Tucson-based company for two Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards. The contracts, which are worth a maxium of $125,000 apiece over 6 months, include:

  • Expandable Habitat Outfit Structures
  • Controlled Stagnation Radiator

The expandable habitat technology is designed for interior use.

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Pioneer Astronautics Selected for NASA Small Business Award

Bob Zubrin’s Pioneer Astronautics has been selected for a NASA small business award to begin development of a system to extract soil from martian soil.

“The Advanced Mars Water Acquisition System (AMWAS) recovers and purifies water from Mars soils for oxygen and fuel production, life support, food production, and radiation shielding in support of human exploration missions,” the proposal states. “The AMWAS removes water from Mars soils using hot, recirculating carbon dioxide gas to provide rapid heat transfer. The AMWAS evaporates water from ice and salt hydrates, leaving dissolved contaminants in the soil residue.”

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Astrobotic Selected for NASA Small Business Award to Develop Lunar CubeRover


Astrobotic Technology has been selected for a NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I contract to develop a new class of rover to evaluate conditions on the lunar surface.

“The proposed innovation is a Lunar CubeRover specialized as a 2 kg payload to evaluate lander ejecta and to characterize small-rover trafficability,” the proposal states. “This CubeRover and its roles are specific to the RFP though broadly more general and impactful for exploration enterprise.

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Vector Space Systems Selected for NASA Small Business Funding

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) additive manufactured injector by was successfully hot fire tested by Vector Space System on Dec. 8, 2016 using Liquid Oxygen/Propylene propellant (LOX/LC3H6). This work was performed under a 2015 STMD ACO Space Act Agreement. (Credit: Vector Space System)

Vector Space Systems has been selected for a NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I contract to develop new technology for the company’s Vector-R small satellite launch vehicle.

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Techshot Selected for NASA Small Business Awards

Techshot will work on developing a rodent centrifuge for the International Space Station (ISS) and software for producing electronic circuits in microgravity with funding from NASA.

The space agency has selected the Indiana company for two Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I awards worth a maximum of $125,000 over six months to develop the technologies.

The rodent centrifuge would allow astronauts to conduct animal experiments in conditions of reduced gravity as future explorers will experience on the moon and Mars.

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NASA Selects Honeybee Robotics for Six Small Business Awards

The green oval highlights the plumes Hubble observed on Europa. The area also corresponds to a warm region on Europa’s surface. The map is based on observations by the Galileo spacecraft (Credits: NASA/ESA/STScI/USGS)

Honeybee Robotics will begin developing new technologies that would allow a lander to drill into the icy surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa and collect samples for analysis with the help of a pair of NASA small business awards.

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NASA to Spend $50 Million on SBIR, STTR Projects

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected 399 research and technology proposals from 277 American small businesses and 44 research institutions that will enable NASA’s future missions into deep space, and advancements in aviation and science, while also benefiting the U.S. economy. The awards have a total value of approximately $49.9 million.

The agency received 1,621 proposals in response to its 2017 solicitation for its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. From those, NASA selected 338 SBIR and 61 STTR Phase I proposals for contract negotiations. The SBIR Phase I contracts last for six months and STTR Phase I contracts last for 12 months, both with maximum funding of $125,000.

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Generation Orbit Awarded Contract for GO1 Flight Testing

Credit: Generation Orbit

ATLANTA, April 7, 2017 (GO PR) – Generation Orbit Launch Services, Inc. (GO) is pleased to announce the award of a Follow-On Phase II SBIR (Small Business Innovative Research) contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory, Aerospace Systems Directorate, High Speed Systems Division (AFRL/RQH) for development and flight testing of the GOLauncher 1 (GO1).

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NASA Selects 5 Space Transportation Projects for SBIR Phase II Funding

NASA has selected five propulsion projects for phase 2 funding under its Small Business Innovation Business (SBIR) program. The space agency will enter into negotiations with the five companies on contracts worth up to $750,000 over two years.

Three of the projects involve technology for the storage and transfer of cryogenic propellants in space. The other two projects would fund development of nuclear systems.

The selected projects include:

  • Lightweight, High-Flow, Low Connection-Force, In-Space Cryogenic Propellant Coupling — Altius Space Machines, Inc, Broomfield, CO
  • Innovative Stirling-Cycle Cryocooler for Long Term In-Space Storage of Cryogenic Liquid Propellants — Converter Source, LLC, Athens, OH
  • Proposal Title: A High Efficiency Cryocooler for In-Space Cryogenic Propellant Storage — Creare, LLC, Hanover, NH
  • Joining of Tungsten Cermet Nuclear Fuel — Plasma Processes, LLC, Huntsville, AL
  • Accident Tolerant Reactor Shutdown for NTP Systems — Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation, Los Alamos, NM

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NASA Selects In-Situ Resource Utilization SBIR Phase II Projects

NASA has selected two proposals related to in-situ resource utilization for funding under its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The space agency will enter into negotiations with two companies for contracts worth up to $750,000 apiece over two years.

The selected proposals include:

  • In-Situ Ethylene and Methane Production from CO2 as Plastic Precursors — Opus 12, Inc., Berkeley, CA
  • Extraterrestrial Metals Processing — Pioneer Astronautics, Lakewood, CO

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Honeybee Robotics Selected for 2 SBIR Phase II Awards

NASA has selected two proposals from Honeybee Robotics for negotiation on Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II awards worth up to $750,000 apiece over two years.

The titles of the two selected projects are:

  • The Stinger: A Geotechnical Sensing Package for Robotic Scouting on a Small Planetary Rover; and,
  • Strut Attachment System for In-Space Robotic Assembly.

According to the proposal summary, the Stinger is “a percussive shear vane penetrometer capable of measuring near-surface and subsurface soil properties to a depth of 50 cm or greater.”

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