An artist's rendition of the 2007 Phoenix Mars probe during landing depicts dust particles stirred up from thrusters. CFD Research Corporation, in conjunction with the University of Florida, received a NASA 2012 STTR Phase II award to further develop a debris simulation tool that will predict the flow of granular materials in similar spacecraft landings. (NASA/JPL)
NASA has selected 23 projects from small businesses and research institutions for continued development of innovative technologies to support the agency’s future missions or become commercialized.
The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program Phase II selectees may enter contract award negotiations, worth a combined total of about $17.2 million. The selected projects will demonstrate the feasibility of new propellants for in-space propulsion, increase capabilities to perform autonomous navigations, and advance new methods for the manufacturing of advanced materials, according to NASA.
“Through modest investments in technology development among American small business and research institution teams, we’re developing the new knowledge and capabilities needed to keep NASA leading the way forward in space exploration, while also keeping America in the lead in high-tech business enterprises,” said Michael Gazarik, NASA’s associate administrator for space technology, in a statement.
The STTR Program is a competitive, three-phase award system that provides collaborative opportunities between qualified small businesses and research institutions to address specific technology gaps in NASA’s programs. Phase I examined feasibility of proposals. Phase II offers as much as $750,000 to support research for up to two additional years. Phase III focuses on commercialization and requires non-STTR funding.