NASA Selects 8 Early Stage Tech Innovations from US Universities

Illustration of Artemis astronauts on the Moon. NASA’s Artemis mission will establish a sustainable presence on the Moon to prepare for missions to Mars. (Credits: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Research and development in labs across the country today could lead to enhanced capabilities in space in the future. NASA has selected eight university-led research proposals to study early-stage technologies relating to advanced materials, quantum communications, and more.

Each selection will receive up to $650,000 in grants from NASA’s Space Technology Research Grants program over up to three years, giving the university teams the time and resources to iterate multiple designs and solutions.

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AFRL Announces Winners of Space University Research Initiative Funding Opportunity

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO (AFRL PR) – The Air Force Research Laboratoryvia its basic research office, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, announced December 17, the winners of the newly established Space University Research Initiative (SURI) program – a first step in improving the transition of critical concepts from academia into revolutionary new military technologies for the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force (USSF).

“Our way of warfare depends on space superiority and AFRL has a long history of research and development in support of this domain. With the recent standup of the USSF, along with the emergence of U.S. Space Command and new energy in the commercial space sector, we have exciting opportunities to modernize the way we lead and manage S&T,” wrote AFRL Commander, Maj. Gen. Heather Pringle in her 2021 Commander’s Intent.

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Hyperspace Challenge Accelerator Announces 24 Finalists to Participate in 2021 Cohort

Finalists Will Present Technologies That Can Solve Problems in Space to Compete for $100k in Cash Prizes at the Fourth Annual Hyperspace Summit on December 2

ALBUQUERQUE, NM, October 5, 2021 (Hyperspace Challenge PR) – Hyperspace Challenge, a business accelerator run by the Air Force Research Laboratory and CNM Ingenuity as part of the new SpaceWERX for the U.S. Space Force, announced today it has selected 13 startups and 11 university teams to participate in its 2021 cohort. Finalists comprising the cohort represent 13 states, as well as one company from Ottawa, Canada.

The new cohort is tasked with the development of technology that can be applied to or solve problems in the space domain. This is the first year the program will include a formal university accelerator track which aims to increase collaboration opportunities between the federal government and university research teams, traditionally siloed from commercial and government innovation.

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NASA Selects 19 Small Business Tech Transfer Projects for Further Funding

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected 19 proposals from 17 U.S. small businesses for a total of more than $14 million in follow-on funding through the agency’s Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program. The awards will help advance NASA priorities such as the Artemis program and other initiatives in aeronautics, human exploration and operations, science, and space technology. 

NASA’s STTR program is open to small businesses partnering with U.S. research institutions to develop an innovation or technology. The partnering component distinguishes STTR from its sister program, NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR). 

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Los Alamos Tests New Rocket Technology

Rocket flight test at the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center launch sitE near Socorro, NM. (Credit: Los Alamos National Laboratory)
Rocket flight test at the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center launch sitE near Socorro, NM. (Credit: Los Alamos National Laboratory)

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., Oct. 23, 2014 (LANL PR) — Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists recently flight tested a new rocket design that includes a high-energy fuel and a motor design that also delivers a high degree of safety.

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ORBITEC Selected for 3 SBIR and 1 STTR Phase I Awards

ORBITEC vortex propulsion technology. (Credit: ORBITEC)
ORBITEC vortex propulsion technology. (Credit: ORBITEC)

NASA has selected Orbital Technologies Corporation (ORBITEC) for three Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and one Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I awards for a high performance nano-launcher, miniature CubeSat propulsion, vortex propulsion technology, and a waste compactor.

The OBITEC proposals that NASA selected for negotiations include:

  • High Performance Nanolauncher (STTR with Penn State University)
  • Miniature Nontoxic Nitrous Oxide-Propane (MINNOP) Propulsion
  • VTX HyHeat — vortex propulsion technology
  • Plastic Melt Waste Compactor Flight Demonstrator Payload (PFDP)

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