Category: smallbusiness

Today is Small Business Saturday, which the U.S. Small Business
Administration (SBA) recognizes as a day to celebrate and support small
businesses and all they do for their communities.

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Source:
Techshot

We are proud to partner with small
businesses across the country through NASA’s Small
Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer
(STTR) program
s, which have
funded the research, development and demonstration of innovative space technologies
since 1982. This year, we’ve awarded 571
SBIR/STTR contracts totaling
nearly $180 million to companies who will support our future exploration:

  • Techshot, Inc. was selected to bioprint micro-organs in a
    zero-gravity environment
    for research and testing of organs-on-chip devices, which simulate
    the physiological functions of body organs at a miniature scale for health
    research without the need for expensive tests or live subjects.
  • CertainTech, Inc., with the George Washington University, will
    demonstrate an improved water recovery system for restoring nontoxic water from
    wastewater using nanotechnology.
  • Electrochem, Inc. was contracted to create a compact and lightweight regenerative fuel cell system that can store energy from
    an electrolyzer during the lunar day to be used for operations during
    the lunar night.

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Source:
Electrochem

Small businesses are also developing
technologies for the Artemis missions to the Moon and for human and robotic
exploration of Mars. As we prepare to land the first woman and next man on the
Moon by 2024, these are just a few of the small businesses working with us to
make it happen.

Commercial Lunar Payload Delivery
Services

Masten Space Systems, Astrobotic and Tyvak
Nano-Satellite Systems
are three NASA SBIR/STTR alumni now eligible to bid on NASA delivery services to the lunar
surface through Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) contracts. Other small
businesses selected as CLPS providers include Ceres Robotics, Deep Space
Systems
, Intuitive Machines, Moon Express, and Orbit Beyond. Under the Artemis program, these
companies could land robotic missions on the Moon to perform science
experiments, test technologies and demonstrate capabilities to help the
human exploration that will follow. The first delivery could be as early
as July 2021.

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A Pathfinder CubeSat

One cornerstone of our return to the
Moon is a small spaceship called Gateway that
will orbit our nearest neighbor to provide more access to the lunar
surface. SBIR/STTR alum Advanced Space
Systems
will develop a CubeSat that
will test out the lunar orbit planned for Gateway, demonstrating how to enter
into and operate in the unique orbit. The Cislunar Autonomous Positioning
System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) could launch as early
as December 2020.

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Tipping
Point for Moon to Mars

We selected 14
companies
as part of our Tipping
Point solicitation
, which fosters the development of critical, industry-led
space capabilities for our future missions. These small businesses all proposed
unique technologies that could benefit the Artemis program.

Many of these small businesses are also
NASA SBIR/STTR alumni whose Tipping Point awards are related to their SBIR or
STTR awards. For example, Infinity Fuel
Cell and Hydrogen, Inc.
(Infinity Fuel) will develop a power and energy
product that could be used for lunar rovers, surface equipment, and habitats.
This technology stems from a new type of fuel cell that Infinity Fuel developed
with the help of NASA SBIR/STTR awards.

CU
Aerospace
and Astrobotic are also small businesses whose Tipping Point award can
be traced back to technology developed through the NASA SBIR/STTR program. CU
Aerospace will build a CubeSat with two different propulsion systems, which
will offer high performance at a low cost, and Astrobotic will develop small
rover “scouts” that can host payloads and interface with landers on the lunar
surface.

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Small
Businesses, Big Impact

This is just a handful of the small
businesses supporting our journey back to the Moon and on to Mars, and just a taste
of how they impact the economy and American innovation. We are grateful for the
contributions that small businesses make—though they be but “small,” they are
fierce.

Make
sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space:
http://nasa.tumblr.com 

Earlier this month,
Congress introduced a
resolution
officially recognizing Nov. 24, 2018 as Small Business Saturday “to
increase awareness of the value of locally owned small businesses and the
impact of locally owned small businesses on the economy of the United States.”

This annual American
Express campaign
began on the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2010 to support
“local places that make our communities strong.”

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For 60
years, we have supported and partnered with
small businesses
across the country to pioneer the future of space exploration, scientific discovery and
aeronautics research.

Our Small Business Innovative
Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program
funds the research, development and
demonstration of innovative technologies that help address space exploration
challenges and have significant potential for commercialization. In 2018, our
program awarded 555 contracts to small businesses for a total of $180.1
million.

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NASA works with small
business Nanocomp Technologies Inc. of Merrimack, New Hampshire, to advance
manufacturing of carbon nanotube composite materials.

Our investments in small businesses help equip future
missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond by advancing our science and technology
capabilities. They also benefit the U.S. economy. The SBIR/STTR program’s 2017 Economic
Impact Report
indicated
a $2.74 return for every dollar spent on awards—money well spent!

Small businesses
also contribute to scientific advances for the International Space Station as
well as here on Earth. Pancopia, Inc. in Hampton, Virginia, developed
an innovative, high-performance water recycling system
to remove high levels of organic carbon and
nitrogen in wastewater. Recycling water in space saves money on resupply and
enables more Earth-independence and self-reliance. With the help of an SBIR
award, Pancopia is also working on a similar system for public wastewater that
has the potential to cut treatment expenses to less than half the current
costs.

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Small businesses
also contribute to scientific advances for the International Space Station as
well as here on Earth. Pancopia, Inc. in Hampton, Virginia, developed
an innovative, high-performance water recycling system
to remove high levels of organic carbon and
nitrogen in wastewater. Recycling water in space saves money on resupply and
enables more Earth-independence and self-reliance. With the help of an SBIR
award, Pancopia is also working on a similar system for public wastewater that
has the potential to cut treatment expenses to less than half the current
costs.

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When NASA went to the private sector to develop deformable
mirror technology—a key component of starlight-blocking instruments—a
small business in Berkeley, California
, applied for research and development funding through
SBIR to design extra-precision, segmented mirrors. This innovative approach for
a small deformable mirror made up of many tiny hexagonal segments enables
advanced control when paired with other optics.

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Data collected by a
telescope using the Iris AO deformable mirror can be used to determine if the
target investigated in space is an exoplanet based on its orbit, and if the
exoplanet has atmosphere using color spectrum imaging analysis. The Iris AO technology
is currently being refined and prepared for inclusion in a future exoplanet
mission.

Does your small
business have a big idea? Your next opportunity to join our SBIR/STTR program
starts on Jan. 7, 2019, when our next solicitation opens. We’ll be seeking
new innovative ideas from small businesses and research institutions for
research, development and demonstration of innovative technologies. Go to
https://www.nasa.sbir.gov/ to learn more.

Make sure
to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space:
http://nasa.tumblr.com

Today is Small Business Saturday, an annual campaign that American Express started back in 2010 on the Saturday after Thanksgiving to support “local places that make our communities strong.”

The U.S. Senate has even taken note by passing a bipartisan resolution recognizing November 25, 2017 as Small Business Saturday: “an opportunity for all Americans to rally behind these local, independently-owned businesses and support the entrepreneurs who keep our families employed.”

Here at NASA, we look to promote and integrate small businesses across the country into the work we do to pioneer the future of space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research.

Our Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program seeks to fund the research, development and demonstration of innovative technologies that help address space exploration challenges and have significant potential for commercialization. In fiscal year 2017, our program awarded 567 contracts to 277 small businesses and 44 research institutions for a total of $173.5M that will enable our future missions into deep space and advancements in aviation and science, while also benefiting the U.S. economy. This year, the SBIR/STTR program’s Economic Impact Report indicated a $2.74 return for every dollar spent on awards—money well spent!

Our small business partners’ ideas have helped our work become more efficient and have advanced scientific knowledge on the International Space Station. Over 800 small businesses are contributing to the development of our Space Launch System rocket that will carry humans to deep space. SBIR/STTR program awardees are also helping the Curiosity Rover get around Mars and are even preparing the Mars 2020 Rover to search for signs of potential life on the Red Planet.

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Small businesses are also contributing to scientific advances here on Earth like helping our satellites get a clearer picture of soil moisture in order to support water management, agriculture, and fire, flood and drought hazard monitoring.

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In an effort to improve our understanding of the Arctic and Antarctica, a small business developed a cost-saving unmanned aircraft system that could withstand some of the coldest temperatures on the planet.

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Does your small business have a big idea? Your next opportunity to join the SBIR/STTR program starts on January 11, 2018 when our latest solicitation opens. 

We’ll be seeking new ideas from small businesses and research institutions for research, development and demonstration of innovative technologies. Go to www.nasa.sbir.gov to learn more.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.