NASA Space Act Agreements with Virgin Galactic, Moon Express, NanoRacks and More

NASA has released a document listing the 1,206 active Space Act Agreements  (SAAs) the agency has with commercial companies, non-profit organizations and state and local governments.

From that list, I’ve extracted agreements with individual companies. Below you will find tables listing SAAs that NASA has signed with Virgin Group companies, Moon Express and NanoRacks. There is also a fourth table that has SAAs with a number of companies and organizations that we follow on Parabolic Arc.

SAAs come in three varieties: reimburseable, non-reimburseable and funded. Under reimburseable agreements, a company or organization will pay NASA for its services. No money exchanges hands under non-reimburseable agrements. And under funded agreements, NASA pays the company to perform work or provide services. (The space agency made substantial use of SAA’s in the Commercial Crew Program.)

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Tiny Probes Hold Big Promise for Future NASA Missions

This picture shows the entry probe and the metal outer shell. The metal shell allows the probe to be connected with the supply ship and also facilitates the probe to be released during break-up of the supply spacecraft during reentry. (Credit: NASA)

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (NASA PR) — Sometimes to find the best solution to a big problem, you have to start small.

A team of NASA engineers has been working on a new type of Thermal Protection System (TPS) for spacecraft that would improve upon the status quo.

Having seen success in the laboratory with these new materials, the next step is to test in space.

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NASA Awards SBIR Phase III Contract Terminal Velocity for Reentry System

High-altitude balloon lifts space reentry capsule for flight test. (Credit: Near Space Corporation)
High-altitude balloon lifts space reentry capsule for flight test. (Credit: Near Space Corporation)

ATLANTA, July 15, 2016 (TVA PR) — Terminal Velocity Aerospace (TVA) was awarded a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract from NASA entitled, “Low-Cost Small Reentry Devices to Enhance Space Commerce and ISS Utilization.”

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SpaceWorks Awarded Georgia Small Business of the Year Award

spaceworks_logoATLANTA, February 9, 2016 (SpaceWorks PR) – SpaceWorks Enterprises, Inc. was honored yesterday by the Georgia Chapter of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) as 2015’s Georgia Small Business of the Year. Dr. John Olds, CEO of SpaceWorks, accepted the award on behalf of SpaceWorks and its family of companies, including Generation Orbit Launch Services, Inc. (GO), Terminal Velocity Aerospace, LLC (TVA), and Blink Astro, LLC (Blink).

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SpaceWorks Acquires Terminal Velocity Aerospace

Terminal_VelocityATLANTA, September 1, 2015 (SpaceWorks PR) — SpaceWorks Enterprises, Inc. announced today that it has completed acquisition of Terminal Velocity Aerospace, LLC. Terminal Velocity Aerospace (TVA) is an Atlanta-based aerospace design and hardware manufacturing organization focused on orbital reentry devices, heat shields, and thermal protection systems. TVA will become a wholly owned subsidiary of SpaceWorks and a member of the SpaceWorks family of companies.

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Terminal Velocity Aerospace Tests Recoverable Experiments Capsule

High-altitude balloon lifts space reentry capsule for flight test. (Credit: Near Space Corporation)
High-altitude balloon lifts space reentry capsule for flight test. (Credit: Near Space Corporation)

TILLAMOOK, Ore. (NASA PR) — A prototype capsule that one day will return science experiments to Earth was tested by releasing it from a high-altitude balloon in Tillamook, Oregon. Technology like this capsule could one day return biological samples and other small payloads from space in a relatively short time.

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Terminal Velocity Aerospace Selected for NASA SBIR II Award

Terminal_VelocityNASA has selected Terminal Velocity Aerospace (TVA) of Atlanta for negotiations on a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II award to continue development of small capsules to return experiments from the International Space Station.

TVA is developing two types of small reentry devices (RED). The RED-4U is a recoverable capsule that will be able to accommodate a payload that’s the equivalent of at least four CubeSats.

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Terminal Velocity Aerospace to Demonstrate Payload Return Capsule

Terminal_VelocityATLANTA, GA, April 14, 2015 (TVA PR) – Terminal Velocity Aerospace, LLC (TVA) was recently selected by the NASA Flight Opportunities Program (FOP) for demonstration of a small payload return capsule and associated technologies via a high-altitude drop test. Flight test of the prototype capsule will demonstrate mission-enabling communications technologies and verify integrated performance, including functionality of its parachute recovery system. This activity is directly aligned with TVA’s efforts to develop a small reentry device, RED-4U, capable of returning the payload mass and volume equivalent of four or more CubeSats. In addition, as part of this drop test, a payload provided by Dr. Abba Zubair of the Mayo Clinic in collaboration with the Center for Applied Space Technology (CAST-ARMM) and Morehead State University will serve as a pathfinder for the transportation of high value space-based research products from space back to a terrestrial laboratory.

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Terminal Velocity Aerospace Selected for NASA SBIR Award for ISS Sample Return System

Terminal_VelocityNASA has selected Terminal Velocity Aerospace for a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award to develop a payload system capable of returning experimental samples from the International Space Station (ISS).

“The device, named RED-4U, is sized to accommodate a payload mass and volume equivalent to four CubeSats, commonly referred to as units or ‘U’,” according to the proposal summary. “The payload accommodations and concept of operations for RED-4U are currently generically defined, but are readily suitable to the ISS small payload return mission. In the proposed Phase I R&D effort, TVA proposes to (1) design, fabricate, and demonstrate RED-4U payload accommodations specifically for high-frequency sample return from ISS; and (2) detail the concept of operations for RED-4U use on ISS.”

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Terminal Velocity Received NASA Contract for Small Payload Return Capsule

Terminal_VelocityATLANTA, GA, March 4, 2014 (VTA PR) – Terminal Velocity Aerospace, LLC (TVA) has been awarded a contract by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) for development of a prototype small payload return capsule. Designed as a high-altitude drop test article, the prototype will demonstrate mission-enabling communications technologies and verify integrated performance, including functionality of its parachute recovery system. This effort is directly in alignment with TVA’s plan to develop a small reentry device (RED), called RED-4U, capable of returning the payload mass and volume equivalent of four CubeSats, commonly referred to in units of “U.”

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Terminal Velocity Aerospace Appoints Advisory Board

red-splash-3ATLANTA, GA, February 5, 2013 (TVA PR) – Terminal Velocity Aerospace, LLC (TVA), today announced formation of an Advisory Board to help guide the company in its mission to improve reentry safety and further the utilization of outer space.

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Ex-NASA CTO Bobby Braun Co-Founds Terminal Velocity Aerospace

RED-Data is a basketball ball sized device designed to record a re-entry event. (Credit: TVA)

ATLANTA, GA, July 10, 2012 (TVA PR) – Terminal Velocity Aerospace, LLC (TVA) announced operation today as a new venture dedicated to improving reentry safety and furthering the utilization of outer space. TVA offers small protective devices for data collection during reentry breakup events, and for safe return of small payloads from space.

TVA was co-founded by Dr. Robert Braun, Director of the Georgia Tech Space Systems Design Laboratory, and Dr. John Olds, CEO of SpaceWorks Enterprises, Inc. [Editor’s Note: Braun served as NASA’s Chief Technologist in 2010-11.]

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