Journey to Mars. Photo: NASA
American businesses will help NASA land astronauts on the Moon in five years and establish a sustainable presence there, as part of the agency’s larger Moon to Mars exploration approach.
NASA said Tuesday (June 18) that it has selected 363 proposals from small businesses and research institutions across 41 states to help advance the types of capabilities needed for those future missions, as well as to support the agency in other areas.
These selections have an estimated value of more than $45 million and are part of NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.
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“We are excited about the entrepreneurial, innovative ideas that these small businesses are bringing to the table,” said Jim Reuter, associate administrator for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD). “The technologies show great promise in helping NASA achieve its objectives across all mission areas, including our efforts to send American astronauts to the Moon, and then on to Mars, while also providing a long-term boost to the American economy.”
Nearly a hundred of the selected companies will be first-time recipients of a NASA SBIR or STTR contract. More than 20% of the businesses are from underrepresented communities, including minority and women-owned businesses.
The selected proposals will support aeronautics, human space exploration and operations, science, and space technology.