NASA Taps SpaceX Blue Origin to Boost Space Tech

first_imgStay on target NASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This WeekendScientists Discover Possible Interstellar Visitor NASA is preparing to land humans on the moon by 2024 and in order to advance lunar exploration technology, the federal agency is working with Blue Origin, SpaceX, and 11 other companies on key space-focused projects.On Tuesday, NASA announced that it selected 13 U.S. companies for 19 partnerships to take industry-developed space technologies to the next level and maintain U.S. leadership in space, said a NASA press release. The companies will work with NASA centers, which will provide support via expertise, facilities, hardware, and software at no extra cost. With these partnerships, NASA and these key industry players can expand the commercial space sector and introduce new capabilities that could assist future NASA missions, including those that will travel to the moon.“NASA’s proven experience and unique facilities are helping commercial companies mature their technologies at a competitive pace,” said Jim Reuter, associate administrator of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD), in the press release. “We’ve identified technology areas NASA needs for future missions, and these public-private partnerships will accelerate their development so we can implement them faster.”Companies were selected through NASA’s Announcement of Collaboration Opportunity (ACO), which was released in October 2018. According to NASA, these selections cover seven technology focus areas important to the U.S.’s moon and mars exploration approach: advanced communications, navigation and avionics, advanced materials, entry, descent, and landing, in-space manufacturing and assembly, power, propulsion, and other exploration technologies.Blue Origin, which was founded by Jeff Bezos, is participating in three of NASA’s partnerships, Space.com reported. The company will collaborate with the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama and NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia to build and test materials for potential use on lunar landers’ rocket engine nozzles. NASA officials also said Blue Origin will work with the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland and the Johnson Space Center in Houston on two separate projects: One will involve maturing a fuel-cell power system for Blue Origin’s Blue Moon Lander, while the other will create a guidance and navigation system for precise moon landings.SpaceX will be involved in two of NASA’s partnerships focused on moon landing and transferring propellant in orbit. The company will collaborate with NASA’s Florida-based Kennedy Space Center to advance their technology to vertically land big rockets on the moon and advance models to assess how engine plume interacts with lunar regolith. SpaceX will also work with Glenn and Marshall Space Flight Center on technology innovations required to transfer propellant in orbit, which is critical in the development of SpaceX’s Starship space vehicle.Other companies that are partnering with NASA include Advanced Space of Boulder, Colorado, Aerogel Technologies of Boston, Aerojet Rocketdyne of Canoga Park, California, Anasphere of Bozeman, Montana, Bally Ribbon Mills of Bally, Pennsylvania, Colorado Power Electronics Inc. of Fort Collins, Colorado, Lockheed Martin of Littleton, Colorado, Maxar Technologies of Palo Alto, California, Sierra Nevada Corporation of Sparks, Nevada, Spirit AeroSystem Inc. of Wichita, Kansas, and Vulcan Wireless of Carlsbad, California.Watch: Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic To Go PublicMore on Geek.com:NASA Spacecraft Ready for Artemis 1 Lunar MissionNASA Plans to Test New Lightweight X-Ray Mirrors in SpaceNASA’s Planet Hunter TESS Discovers Three New Worldslast_img read more