Categories: NASA

NASA Seeks ‘Game Changing’ Technology Payloads for Suborbital Research Flights

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA is seeking proposals for small technology payloads that could fly on future NASA-sponsored suborbital flights. These future flights will travel to the edge of space and back, testing the innovative new technologies before they’re sent to work in the harsh environment of space.

“NASA’s Game Changing Development Program focuses on maturing advanced space technologies that may lead to entirely new approaches for the agency’s future space missions while providing solutions to significant national needs and adding to our nation’s innovation economy,” said Michael Gazarik, director of NASA’s Space Technology Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “This solicitation offers an opportunity to develop potentially transformative technologies that take advantage of our Flight Opportunities Program platforms, which allow frequent and predictable commercial access to near-space, with easy recovery of intact payloads.”

NASA’s Game Changing Opportunities research announcement seeks proposals for payloads, vehicle enhancements and onboard facilities for payload integration 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. Sponsored by NASA’s Space Technology Program, the agency expects proposals from entrepreneurs, scientists, technologists, instrument builders, research managers, and vehicle builders and operators.

“This call for proposals is a great opportunity to develop innovative technology development payloads for flight on commercial suborbital, reusable vehicles which have novel ideas and approaches have the potential to revolutionize future space missions,” said Stephen Gaddis, Game Changing Development program manager at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.

Special emphasis will be given to proposals that address basic and applied research as well as development for advanced technologies and the development of test articles and techniques for evaluating the articles. Following development, selected payloads will be made available to NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program for pairing with appropriate suborbital reusable launch service provider flights.

In August 2011, NASA selected seven U.S. companies that can provide flight services and platforms to test innovative technology payloads through the Flight Opportunities Program. Under this solicitation, the selected Flight Opportunities suborbital reusable launch vehicles could be modified to facilitate integration and payload engineering of future payloads in support of specific research needs.

Proposals will be accepted from U.S. or non-U.S. organizations including NASA centers and other government agencies, federally funded research and development centers, educational institutions, industry and nonprofit organizations.

NASA expects to make approximately 20 awards this summer, with the majority of awards ranging between approximately $50,000 and $125,000 each. Several awards may be made for up to $500,000 in the area of vehicle integration and payload engineering technology enhancements and onboard research facilities to improve platform capabilities.

The Game Changing Opportunities in Technology Development research announcement is available through the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System website at:

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