NASA has earmarked $51M in funding to support 312 companies’ Phase I technology development activities as part of the agency’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer initiative.
NASA said Tuesday the awardees will each receive a maximum of $125K to develop their concepts meant to support Earth-based applications as well as space exploration missions including the Artemis program.
The agency selected 409 proposals for Phase I including high-power solar arrays, air taxi systems, a compact spacecraft sterilizer and Paragon Space Development's purification system for water found on the moon.
According to NASA, SBIR awards are exclusive to small businesses while STTR awards are meant for partnerships between small businesses and nonprofit research entities.
Phase I contracts under the SBIR division have a six-month performance period while those under STTR will run for 13 months.
Jenn Gustetic, SBIR/STTR program executive at NASA, said the funding comes as part of the agency's efforts to provide industry expertise and business guidance to help the awardees commercialize their technologies.
NASA may approve proposals for additional Phase II funding depending on the companies’ progress during phase one. Phase II will largely focus on establishing a sustainable human presence on the moon and Mars, the agency noted.