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NASA Seeks Partnerships with U.S. Companies to Advance Exploration Space Tech

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
October 10, 2018
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WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA partnerships are crucial for expanding capabilities and opportunities in space. The agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) is seeking new partnerships with U.S. companies through an Announcement of Collaboration Opportunity (ACO) solicitation.


STMD has five strategic thrust areas, representing the capabilities needed for robotic and human exploration of the Moon and Mars.

  1. Go – Enable safe and efficient transportation into and through space
  2. Land – Increase access to planetary surfaces
  3. Live – Enable humans to live and explore in space and on planetary surfaces
  4. Explore – Expand capabilities through robotic exploration and discovery
  5. Prosper – Accelerate the industrialization of space

Supporting technologies in each area are key to NASA’s Moon to Mars Exploration Campaign. Industry partnerships can reduce the cost of developing these technologies and help infuse emerging commercial capabilities into the agency’s missions.

“These partnerships benefit NASA and the commercial space sector,” said Jim Reuter, the acting associate administrator for STMD at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “They leverage NASA’s expertise to help rapidly mature exploration technology to take us forward to the Moon and beyond, all while expanding the U.S. space economy.”

NASA centers will partner with ACO-awarded companies, providing technical expertise, hardware, software and test facilities. The partnerships are meant to accelerate the development and availability of important technologies that benefit both commercial and government use in space.

Mandatory preliminary proposals for this opportunity are due by December 5. Feedback will be provided on preliminary proposals. Final proposals are due May 15. Awards will be made in the form of non-reimbursable Space Act Agreements—no funds exchanged. Proposals must be led by a U.S. for-profit company. NASA expects to select projects worth a combined total of up to $10 million to U.S. industry.

STMD is responsible for developing the cross-cutting, pioneering, new technologies and capabilities needed to achieve NASA missions with a particular emphasis on supporting lunar exploration. STMD rapidly innovates, develops, demonstrates and infuses revolutionary, high-payoff technologies through transparent, collaborative partnerships, expanding the boundaries of the aerospace enterprise.

To view all active STMD solicitations, visit:

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