To create technology for future Nasa missions, Nasa will spend $45 million in small business.
To create technology for future Nasa missions, Nasa will spend $45 million in small business.

The United States Space Agency (NASA) has announced intentions to contribute $45 million in financing to more than 200 small enterprises to develop innovative technology to preserve the health of astronauts and reduce the danger of collision damage to spacecraft.

In order to fund future NASA missions, the space agency has recently increased funding for its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programme grants, which go to a wide range of small firms and academic institutions throughout the United States.
Out of 249 small enterprises and 39 academic institutions, NASA chose 300 bids for first funding.


The agency stated in a statement that it would spend $45 million, $15 million of which will go to each proposal team so that they can prove the value and viability of their technologies.

Small business innovation research (SBIR) phase one contracts often run for six months, whereas small business technology transfer (STTR) phase one contracts typically last for thirteen months and include a relationship with a research university.

“NASA has a key role to play in growing the aerospace ecosystem in our country,” said Jenn Gustetic, director of early stage innovation and collaborations for Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) at NASA’s headquarters in Washington.

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“Through these early-stage small business awards, we are inviting more innovators into this growing arena and helping them mature their technologies for not only NASA’s use, but also for commercial impact,” he said.

More than a quarter of the awarded firms are women-owned, veteran-owned, disadvantaged, and/or HUBzone small businesses, and around 30 percent are first-time beneficiaries of NASA SBIR/STTR awards.

One of these companies is nou Systems, a tiny Alabama firm run by women that has been chosen to create technologies to aid in the monitoring of microbes in spaceship conditions.

The health of astronauts relies heavily on microbiological surveillance because of the confined and unusual environment of spaceship.

Washington-based HyBrid Space Systems is another option, and it is veteran-owned. The small, two-person startup was given an SBIR grant to aid NASA in its attempts to reduce the danger posed by orbital debris, or man-made objects in Earth orbit that have outlived their usefulness.

At NASA Headquarters, deputy programme executive Gynelle Steele remarked, “We are proud to work alongside the small businesses and research institutions in need of government investment.” The SBIR/STTR programme is funded by the United States Department of Transportation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

According to Steele, “this programme allows NASA to foster innovative ideas from a diversity of innovators across the country that may not attract the initial private industry funding needed to thrive.”



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