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
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
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.
WASHINGTON (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.
WASHINGTON (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”.
ATLANTA (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.
ATLANTA, 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.
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.”
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.
As 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.
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.