NASA Announces Awards for ‘Tipping Point’ Technologies
WASHINGTON — NASA awarded contracts and unfunded agreements Nov. 19 for 22 projects to advance space technologies that the agency believes are on the verge of significant advancement.
NASA awarded nine projects to advance technologies in four satellite technology areas. The contracts are fixed-price, milestone-based deals valued at between $1 million and $20 million each over two years, with each company required to contribute at least 25 percent of the overall value.
The four technology areas are: robotic in-space manufacturing and assembly of spacecraft and space structures; low size, weight and power instruments for remote sensing applications; small spacecraft attitude determination and control sensors and actuators; and small spacecraft propulsion systems.
“These awards enable us to continue to foster partnerships with the commercial space sector that not only leverage capabilities to meet NASA’s strategic goals, but also focus on U.S. industry markets that are at a tipping point for commercialization and infusion,” Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, said in a statement.
In addition to the nine contracts, NASA awarded 13 unfunded Space Act Agreements to companies to advance work in other space technologies. The non reimbursable agreements give the companies access to NASA expertise and test facilities, but the agency provides no funding.
The technology areas covered by these agreements include: nanosatellite and suborbital reusable launch systems development; thermal protection system materials and systems development; green propellant thruster technology demonstration; and small, affordable, high-performance liquid rocket engine development.