NASA makes it rain with $243M in contracts to establishments and small companies

NASA makes it rain with $243M in contracts to institutions and small businesses

NASA is spreading the dough round like a pastry chef. As we speak the company introduced $50 million in grants to just about 300 totally different recipients, from small engineering companies to massive-time analysis establishments. After which it really shelled out, awarding a $193 million contract to Universities Area Analysis Affiliation in Maryland.

The smaller money infusions are from the Small Enterprise Innovation Analysis and Small Enterprise Know-how Transfer packages. These are grant competitions, principally, and NASA acquired 1,278 proposals, of which it accepted 399. Every has to elucidate the potential advantages not only for NASA, however for on a regular basis (or at the very least not area-associated) purposes as nicely.

You’ll be able to learn the entire lists right here and right here (extremely lengthy web page warning). Attempt looking for cool key phrases like “laser” and “robotic.”

The tasks run the gamut: flight management software program for drones and landers, LIDAR and different imaging methods, autonomous air-dropped sensors, and, I child you not, a “Planetary Vacuum Cleaner.” It’s precisely what it seems like.

These proposals get six months of funding, as much as $one hundred twenty five,000. If they appear promising on this Part I interval, the contract could be prolonged with a $750,000 Part II award.

There’s a greater probability of that taking place with these tasks, by the best way, than with the Revolutionary Superior Ideas awards, which have been for stuff like repurposing an asteroid into an enormous cosmic engine. The SBIR and STTR concepts are the sort of issues that get purchased up by aerospace giants for tens of millions — however with out a lot fanfare.

The $193 million is for “undertaking help” from USRA, which is one among these large organizations that quietly does all types of primary analysis and testing. USRA will probably be serving to out with every thing from science to subject testing to recruitment. Contemplating the quantity concerned, the NASA press launch is extremely spare.

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Featured Picture: NASA