(Photo : NASA)
NASA's Space Technology Program announced on Monday its' five picks for proposals meant to address critical technological barriers for advancing space explorations and science missions.
NASA, which first issued its RFP (Request for Proposals) in March 2012, is seeking critical technologies with potential to provide a significant impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of the space Agency's overall capabilities.
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"NASA's Space Technology Program is enabling our future in space by investing in revolutionary and game-changing technologies that could open new doors for how we live, work and investigate space," Michael Gazarik, director of the program at NASA headquarters in Washington said in a statement. "We are confident these selected technologies, with their highly qualified research teams, will enable great new opportunities for the next chapter in NASA's innovation story."
The selected proposals, which were designed to lower the cost of other government and commercial space activities, will be rewarded with a total of $6 million. Individual awards range from $125,000 to $1.8 million. NASA's Game Changing Development Program, a program that "investigates novel ideas and approaches that have the potential to revolutionize future space missions and provide solutions to significant national needs," will be responsible for managing these awards through 2015.
And the winners are:
The University of Massachusetts Amherst, whose proposal was created to improve autonomous robotic operations with AI (Artificial Intelligence) in deep space missions.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. and its proposal that touts technology which could suppress acoustic environments during shuttle launches, which in turn would also reduce pre-launch vibration stress testing for on-board instruments.
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL. and its proposal suggests enhancement of spacecraft navigation capabilities by vastly improving shuttle gyroscopes.
The Boeing Company in El Segundo, CA., which offered up its proposal to develop new thermal material which would enhance heat management for spacecraft.
Oceaneering Space Systems in Houston, TX., which submitted a proposal that seeks to examine technologies that could be used to reduce the number of life support systems needed for astronauts.
According to the Agency, these five winning proposals were selected through independent review of technical merit, as well as alignment with NASA's Space Technology Roadmap priorities and the technology objectives mandated by the National Research Council. For additional information on these proposals, other space initiatives or any of NASA's related programs, visit www.nasa.gov/offices/oct/home/index.html.