NASA Greenlights New Space Exploration Technologies

September 21, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman
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Adaptive space robotics, 3-D printing and autonomous communication systems are among the topics of 21 innovative research and development proposals selected by NASA to enable future solar system missions. The agency’s Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program chose proposals from 41 firms that can negotiate for possible contract awards worth a combined total of about $15.8 million.

The proposals, which are designed to have spinoff effects benefiting the U.S. economy, aim for advances in several areas. These include space weather prediction; gas-sensing technology for spacesuits; planetary compositional analysis and mapping; information systems for robotics; and advanced propulsion system ground test and launch. Some efforts combine innovations, such as new types of rocket fuel and exploitation of spacebound in situ resources.

A full list of the technology proposals is available at http://sbir.nasa.gov/prg_selection/node/56313.

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