NASA Shortlists Fourteen Companies for Moon to Mars Expedition

NASA Shortlists Fourteen Companies for Moon to Mars Expedition

The companies were selected specially to address technology areas such as cryogenic propellant production and management, sustainable energy generation, storage and distribution, efficient and affordable propulsion systems, autonomous operations, rover mobility, and advanced avionics.

FREMONT, CA: American space agency NASA has selected fourteen companies as partners whose technologies will aid the agency in their Moon to Mars exploration approach. The selections were made after the fourth round of competitive Tipping Point solicitation and are worth a combined USD 43.2 million.

The fourteen different companies were identified as Blue Origin LLC of Kent, OxEon Energy LLC of North Salt Lake, Skyre Inc. of East Hartford, SpaceX of Hawthorne, Infinity Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Inc. of Windsor, Paragon Space Development Corporation of Houston, TallannQuest LLC of Sachse, Accion Systems Inc. of Boston, CU Aerospace LLC of Champaign, ExoTerra Resource LLC of Littleton, Blue Canyon Technologies Inc. of Boulder, Astrobotic Technology of Pittsburgh, Intuitive Machines LLC of Houston, and Luna Innovations of Blacksburg.

The companies were selected specially to address technology areas such as cryogenic propellant production and management, sustainable energy generation, storage and distribution, efficient and affordable propulsion systems, autonomous operations, rover mobility, and advanced avionics. Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) will be making milestone payments over a performance period of up to 36 months through firm fixed contracts.

"These promising technologies are at a 'tipping point' in their development, meaning NASA's investment is likely the extra push a company needs to significantly mature a capability," said Jim Reuter, associate administrator of NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD). "These are important technologies necessary for the sustained exploration of the Moon and Mars. As the agency focuses on landing astronauts on the Moon by 2024 with the Artemis program, we continue to prepare for the next phase of lunar exploration that feeds forward to Mars."

The STMD is in charge of developing space technologies to enable future missions. NASA's Artemis lunar exploration program includes sending a suite of new science instruments and technology demonstrations to study the Moon, landing the first woman and next man on the lunar surface by 2024, and establishing a sustained presence by 2028. The agency will leverage its Artemis experience and technologies to prepare for the next giant leap – sending astronauts to Mars.

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