NASA has selected 17 U.S. companies for 20 partnerships to advance industry-developed space technologies for the agency’s missions, NASA reported on Monday. The partnerships will create a 3D printing system for NASA’s Artemis lunar exploration program, remove dust from planetary solar arrays and mature a first-stage rocket recovery system.
“Space technology development doesn’t happen in a vacuum,” said Jim Reuter, the associate administrator for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD). “Whether companies are pursuing space ventures of their own or maturing cutting-edge systems to one day offer a new service to NASA, the agency is dedicated to helping bring new capabilities to market for our mutual benefit.”
The partners will work with NASA centers to provide expertise and access to the agency’s testing facilities. The partnerships will accelerate the development of emerging space capabilities.
The selected proposals are relevant to technology topic areas outlined in the solicitation, including cryogenic fluid management and propulsion; advanced propulsion; sustainable power; in-situ propellant and consumable production; intelligent/resilient systems and advanced robotics; advanced materials and structures; entry, descent, and landing; and small spacecraft technologies.
The selections will result in unfunded Space Act Agreements between the companies and NASA. The period of performance will range from 12 to 24 months. The total estimated value of agency resources to support the agreements is approximately $15.5 million.
Of the announced partners, SpaceX will work with NASA’s Langley Research Center to capture imagery and thermal measurements of its Starship vehicle during orbital reentry over the Pacific Ocean. SpaceX will use the data to advance a reusable thermal protection system.