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Thu, Apr 18, 2013

NASA Seeks Innovative Suborbital Flight Technology Proposals

Second Year For 'Game Changing Opportunities' Awards

For a second year, NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate is seeking proposals for suborbital technology payloads and spacecraft capability enhancements that could help revolutionize future space missions.

Selected technologies will travel to the edge of space and back on U.S. commercial suborbital vehicles and platforms, providing opportunities for testing before they are sent to work in the unforgiving environment of space.

The Game Changing Opportunities in Technology Development research announcement seeks proposals for technology payloads, vehicle enhancements, onboard facilities and small spacecraft propulsion technologies that will help the agency advance technology development in the areas of exploration, space operations and other innovative technology areas relevant to NASA's missions. NASA's Flight Opportunities Program is sponsoring the solicitation and expects proposals from entrepreneurs, scientists, technologists, instrument builders, research managers, and vehicle builders and operators. This year, NASA has included a topic on small spacecraft propulsion technologies from the agency's Small Spacecraft Technology Program.

"Investing in transformative technology development is critical to enable NASA's future missions and benefits the greater American aerospace community," said James Reuther, deputy associate administrator for programs in NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate. "NASA Space Tech's Game Changing Development and Flight Opportunities Programs are working with our partners from America's emerging suborbital flight community to foster frequent and predictable commercial access to near-space while allowing for cutting-edge technology development."

Following development, selected payloads will be made available to NASA's Flight Opportunities Program for pairing with appropriate commercial suborbital reusable launch service provider flights. In the case of small spacecraft propulsion technologies, there may be the potential for a direct orbital flight opportunity. "This call will select innovators to develop novel technology payloads that will provide significant improvements over current state-of-the-art systems," said Stephen Gaddis, Game Changing Development Program manager at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA.

Proposals are due June 17 and will be accepted from U.S. or non-U.S. organizations, including NASA centers, other government agencies, federally funded research and development centers, educational institutions, industry and nonprofit organizations. NASA expects to make as many as 18 awards this summer with the majority of awards ranging in value between approximately $50,000 and $250,000 each. The total combined funding for this announcement is expected to be about $2 million, based on availability of funds.

FMI: http://nspires.nasaprs.com/

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