Constellations, Launch, New Space and more…

Attention Researchers: Space, Suborbital, and Climate-Focused Technologies Wanted

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
July 9, 2021
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A research team from the University of Iowa tested their CubeSat Articulated Boom Option Optimization in Microgravity (CABOOM) experiment in spring 2021 on Zero Gravity Corporation’s G-FORCE ONE parabolic aircraft with funding from NASA’s Flight Opportunities program. (Credits: Zero Gravity Corporation/Steve Boxall)

EDWARDS, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA’s 2021 Tech Flights solicitation is now open! Tech Flights offers funding opportunities to researchers from U.S.-based industry, academia, and private research institutions to rapidly test technologies on commercial suborbital vehicles with awards up to $650,000 per awardee.

Through NASA’s Flight Opportunities program, awardees receive a grant or cooperative agreement allowing them to purchase flights directly from any eligible U.S. commercial flight provider that best suits their technology demonstration. These vehicles include suborbital rockets, rocket-powered vertical takeoff and vertical landing vehicles, high-altitude balloons, and aircraft flying reduced-gravity (e.g., parabolic) flight profiles.

NASA is seeking proposals to address specific agency goals. The topics for the 2021 solicitation are:

  • Topic 1:  Supporting National Efforts at the Moon and in Cislunar Space, Inclusive of Human and Robotic Exploration and Scientific Discovery
  • Topic 2: Earth-Observing Capabilities to Support Breakthrough Science and National Efforts to Address Climate Change
  • Topic 3: Technologies that Ensure National Leadership in Space and Help the Commercial Space Industry Grow

Examples of technologies that address these topics and much more information can be found in the full Tech Flights 2021 solicitation.

Preliminary proposals are due July 26, 2021, and full proposals (by invitation only based on preliminary proposal acceptance) are due Oct. 4, 2021. Awardee selections are targeted for December 2021 with awards targeted for February 2022. These dates are subject to change.

A question and answer session is scheduled for July 14, 2021, at 10 a.m. PDT. Information about how to attend this session will be posted to the solicitation page.

About Flight Opportunities

The Flight Opportunities program is funded by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) at the agency’s Headquarters in Washington, and managed at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California. NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley manages the solicitation and evaluation of technologies to be tested and demonstrated on commercial flight vehicles.