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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ISS Utilization SBIRs Include Fiber Optic Manufacturing, Plastics Recycler & Printer

NASA has selected a fiber optics manufacturing unit , a 3D metal printer, and a plastics recycling and printing system for negotiations on SBIR Phase II contracts. All three projects are designed to enhance utilization of the International Space Station.

The three selected projects, which are eligible for contracts worth up to $750,000 apiece over two years, include:

  • Space Facility for Orbital Remote Manufacturing (SPACEFORM) — FOMS, Inc., San Diego, Calif.;
  • Sintered Inductive Metal Printer with Laser Exposure — Techshot, Greenville, Ind.; and,
  • ERASMUS: Food Contact Safe Plastics Recycler
    and 3D Printer System — Tethers Unlimited, Bothell, Wash.

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NASA Revamps Technology Commercialization Readiness Program

NASA LOGOWASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA is re-introducing an updated Civilian Commercialization Readiness Pilot Program (CCRPP) to further advance innovative technology with high potential for commercial impact. This program is being offered to small businesses that have successfully completed Phase II awards under any federal agency’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program. NASA will match the investments with SBIR/STTR program funds up to $2 million for each CCRPP award.

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NASA Announces Opportunities for Small Businesses to Advance Innovative Technologies

NASA LOGOWASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA is seeking proposals from small businesses and research institutions for research, development, and demonstration of innovative technologies that will have potential for successful transition of technology into NASA mission programs and other markets through the 2017 NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program solicitation.

“The SBIR and STTR programs seek to empower small businesses to deliver technological innovation that contributes to NASA’s interests, provides societal benefit, and grows the U.S. economy”, said Jenn Gustetic, SBIR/STTR program executive for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) in Washington. “We do this by creating opportunities through awards to leverage small business knowledge and technology development. I’m excited to see what kinds of companies and technologies enter our innovation pipeline in the FY17 cycle”.

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SpaceWorks Continues Statis Research

spaceworks_logoATLANTA (SpaceWorks PR) — SpaceWorks Enterprises, Inc. (SEI) is pleased to release an update to its research into a human stasis approach at the 2016 International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The concept involves placing the crew of a Mars mission into a prolonged hypothermic state during the in-space transit phases, both Mars-outbound and Earth-return. With Phase II support and funding provided by the NASA HQ’s NIAC program, SpaceWorks has identified four key areas to further focus their efforts and assembled an invaluable medical team to assist in the research.

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SpaceWorks Receives DARPA SBIR Phase I Contract

spaceworks_logoATLANTA, August 24, 2016 (SpaceWorks PR) — SpaceWorks Enterprises, Inc. (SEI) announces the recent award of a Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for the development of a persistent, geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO)-based platform capable of sustainable and evolvable on-orbit operations.

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NASA Awards SBIR Phase III Contract Terminal Velocity for Reentry System

High-altitude balloon lifts space reentry capsule for flight test. (Credit: Near Space Corporation)
High-altitude balloon lifts space reentry capsule for flight test. (Credit: Near Space Corporation)

ATLANTA, July 15, 2016 (TVA PR) — Terminal Velocity Aerospace (TVA) was awarded a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract from NASA entitled, “Low-Cost Small Reentry Devices to Enhance Space Commerce and ISS Utilization.”

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DARPA Awards TUI/Firmamentum Contract to Develop “Constructable” Persistent GEO Platform

Constructable GEO platform (Credit: TUI)
Constructable GEO platform (Credit: TUI)

Bothell,WA (TUI PR) — Firmamentum, a division of Tethers Unlimited, Inc. (TUI) dedicated to developing in-space manufacturing and construction services, announced that it has signed a contract with DARPA to design a persistent geostationary orbit (GEO) satellite platform.

Under the “Constructable™ Platform” Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award, Firmamentum will collaborate with Space Systems Loral (SSL), NanoRacks LLC, and Vulcan Aerospace to develop a modular architecture for constructing stations in Earth orbit capable of supporting multiple government and commercial payloads.

Firmamentum’s Constructable approach entails launching suitcase-sized modular elements at low cost using DARPA’s PODS payload delivery system and then robotically assembling these modules to form a space station in GEO capable of providing power, communications, stationkeeping, and other key services to ‘tenant’ payloads.

Firmamentum’s technologies for manufacturing satellite components such as trusses and reflectors on-orbit will enable integration of these small modules to form large, stable platforms that can grow and evolve to meet the needs of many different payloads over multiple decades of operation.

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NASA Selects Propulsion SBIRs & STTRs

NASA LOGOAs I was looking through NASA’s recent small business selection announcement for propulsion-related projects, I have found that the space agency has selected 29 Small Business Innovation Research and 8 Small Business Technology Transfer proposals for funding.

The proposals cover a wide range of areas, including in-space propulsion for CubeSats to technologies for new launch vehicles. Several proposals are also focused on in-space propellant depots.

A list of the selected projects with links to the proposals follows.

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NASA Selects Augmented Reality Projects for SBIR Awards

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly performing checkouts for NASA’s Project Sidekick, which makes use of Microsoft’s HoloLens device. (Credit: NASA)
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly performing checkouts for NASA’s Project Sidekick, which makes use of Microsoft’s HoloLens device. (Credit: NASA)

NASA has selected three augmented reality projects for funding its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I program. The projects include:

  • The Station Manipulator Arm Augmented Reality Trainer — Systems Technology, Inc.
  • Context-Sensitive Augmented Reality for Mission Operations — TRACLabs, Inc.
  • MonitAR — Adventium Enterprises, LLC

Descriptions of the three selected projects follow.

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NASA Selects ISRU Projects for SBIR Awards

NASA LOGONASA has selected eight research projects focused on in-situ resource utilization for funding under its Small Business Innovation Research Phase I program.

The selected projects include:

  • Extraterrestrial Metals Processing — Pioneer Astronautics
  • Robotic ISRU Construction of Planetary Landing and Launch Pad — Honeybee Robotics
  • Extruded Clay-Based Regoliths for Construction on Mars, Phobos and NEAs — Deep Space Industries
  • In-Situ Generation of Polymer Concrete Construction Materials — Luna Innovations
  • ISP3: In-Situ Printing Plastic Production System for Space Additive Manufacturing — Altius Space Machines
  • Compact In-Situ Polyethylene Production from Carbon Dioxide — Opus 12
  • Micro-Channel Reactor for Processing Carbon Dioxide to Ethylene — Reactive Innovations
  • OpenSWIFT-SDR for STRS Polyethylene Production from In-Situ Resources in Microchannel Reactors — TDA Research

Full descriptions of the projects are below.

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NASA Selects SBIR Projects to Enhance Manufacturing on ISS

NASA astronaut and Expedition 47 Flight Engineer Jeff Williams works with the WetLab-2 system aboard the International Space Station. WetLab-2 is a research platform for conducting real-time quantitative PCR for gene expression analysis aboard the ISS. The system enables spaceflight genomic studies involving a wide variety of biospecimen types in the unique microgravity environment of space. (Credit: NASA)
NASA astronaut and Expedition 47 Flight Engineer Jeff Williams works with the WetLab-2 system aboard the International Space Station. WetLab-2 is a research platform for conducting real-time quantitative PCR for gene expression analysis aboard the ISS. The system enables spaceflight genomic studies involving a wide variety of biospecimen types in the unique microgravity environment of space. (Credit: NASA)

NASA has selected five proposals designed to enhance activities aboard the International Space Station for Small business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I awards.

Three of the proposals would enhance manufacturing aboard the orbiting laboratory. A fourth proposal would recycle wast plastic for 3D printing, and the fifth would improve the monitoring of air quality.

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NASA Selects Tethers Unlimited for 4 SBIR Awards

Tethers_Unlimited_LogoNASA has selected Tethers Unlimited of Bothell, Wash., for four Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I awards to develop advanced spaceflight technology.

The selected proposals include:

  • ERASMUS: Food Contact Safe Plastics Recycler and 3D Printer System
  • 3D Printed Composite-Z and Graded-Z Radiation Shields (CoGZ-Rad)
  • Modular Advanced Networked Telerobotic Interface System (MANTIS)
  • OpenSWIFT-SDR for STRS.

Full descriptions of the proposals are below.

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