Constellations, Launch, New Space and more…
“Tipping Point Technologies”
Ozmens’ SNC Selected for NASA Tipping Point Contract for Groundbreaking Technology to Produce Oxygen on Moon
Oxygen is locked in lunar regolith (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

SPARKS, Nev.,  November 17, 2020 — Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), the global aerospace and national security leader owned by Eren and Fatih Ozmen, has been selected for a contract as part of NASA’s Tipping Point solicitation to further develop its carbothermal reduction process, which harvests oxygen from minerals on the surface of the Moon. 

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  • November 17, 2020
NASA Funds Lockheed Martin to Develop Cryogenic Fluid Management in Space
Credit: Lockheed Martin

BETHESDA, Md. (Lockheed Martin PR) — On Oct. 14, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced a $370 million investment with 14 U.S. partners that will demonstrate and mature space technologies to help forge a path to sustainable Artemis operations on the Moon.

As a recipient of an $89.7 million contract from this Tipping Point solicitation, Lockheed Martin will complete an in-space demonstration mission using liquid hydrogen — the most challenging of the cryogenic propellants. This allows us and our partners to test more than one dozen cryogenic fluid management technologies over the next five years.

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  • October 18, 2020
NASA Tipping Point Selections Include Cryogenic Fluid, Lunar Surface and Landing Tech
An astronaut descends the ladder to explore the lunar surface. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — The following selections, organized by topic area, are based on NASA’s fifth competitive Tipping Point  solicitation and have an expected combined award value of more than $370 million. NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) will negotiate with the companies to issue milestone-based firm-fixed price contracts lasting for up to five years.

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  • October 14, 2020
New Shepard Successfully Completes Mission with NASA Precision Lunar Landing Technology Onboard
New Shepard landing on the pad in West Texas on October 13, 2020, with the NASA Lunar Landing Sensor Demo onboard. (Credit: Blue Origin)

CORN RANCH, Texas (Blue Origin PR) — Blue Origin successfully completed the 13th New Shepard mission to space and back, and the 7th consecutive flight for this particular vehicle, a record. Catch the mission webcast replay on Blue Origin’s YouTube page.

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  • October 13, 2020
NASA Tipping Point Partnership with Blue Origin to Test Precision Lunar Landing Technologies

by Clare Skelly
NASA Headquarters

WASHINGTON — From the rim of Shackleton crater to permanently shadowed regions on the Moon, a NASA-developed sensor suite could allow robotic and crewed missions to land precisely on the lunar surface within an area about half the size of a football field.

Technologies to enable exact and soft landings on the Moon and other worlds will fly on Blue Origin’s next New Shepard suborbital rocket launch, currently targeted for 11:00 a.m. EDT Thursday, Sept. 24. The company’s live launch webcast will start at 10:30 a.m. and air on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

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  • September 22, 2020
Astrobotic Developing Ground Penetrating Radar with NASA Funding

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA has selected Astrobotic Technology for additional funding to continue development of a compact, highly efficient ground penetrating radar (GPR) antenna that will allow rovers to characterize resources under the surface of the moon and other planets.

“The benefits of such technology could enable the characterization of lunar lava tubes, subsurface water-ice, and the location of planetary ore deposits in a manner that is both affordable and simple to integrate with larger systems,” Astrobotic said in its proposal summary.

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  • May 10, 2020
NASA Funds Demonstration of Assembly and Manufacturing in Space
SPIDER on the Restore-L satellite. (Credit: Maxar Technologies)

GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — NASA has awarded a $142 million contract to Maxar Technologies of Westminster, Colorado, to robotically assemble a communications antenna and manufacture a spacecraft beam in orbit. The technology demonstration is slated to take place on NASA’s Restore-L spacecraft, designed to service and refuel a satellite in low-Earth orbit.

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  • February 2, 2020
NASA Seeks Opportunities for Public-Private Partnerships

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) has prioritized funding opportunities for public-private partnerships to achieve NASA’s goals of expanding capabilities and opportunities in space.

These solicitations increase focus on collaborations with the commercial space sector that not only leverage emerging markets and capabilities to meet NASA’s strategic goals, but also focus on industry needs. NASA’s investments in industry partnerships can reduce development costs and accelerate infusion of these emerging space system capabilities.

STMD has issued two solicitations entitled, “2020 Announcement of Collaboration Opportunity (ACO)” and “Utilizing Public-Private Partnerships to Advance Tipping Point Technologies” as an appendix to the STMD umbrella NASA Research Announcement titled “Space Technology Research, Development, Demonstration, and Infusion – 2020 (SpaceTech-REDDI-2020).”

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  • January 31, 2020
In Orbit and On Budget: Launching Small Payloads Faster and Cheaper
The Affordable Vehicle Avionics payload fits into the avionics bay of UP Aerospace’s SpaceLoft vehicle. It provides the intelligence to command the guidance and control system for the rocket. (Credits: U.S. Army)

SPACEPORT AMERICA, NM (NASA PR) — What does a satellite the size of a shoebox, a human skin tissue sample and a 5G network testing device have in common? They are all examples of payloads NASA and other organizations would like to launch into orbit at low cost—to gather data for scientific research; test new technologies; and transmit and receive data for weather, broadcast, military and emergency communications. But doing so on any sort of accelerated schedule can be a challenge.

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  • November 26, 2019