NASA has recently released a statement which detailed agreements with 14 different commercial collaborators, worth a joint $43.2 million. The partners include SpaceX and Blue Origin, with the contracts funding experiments in propellant and power generation, in-space refueling, effective propulsion systems, and lunar rover electronics.
NASA will be funding conditions ranging from $1.3 million to $10 million. Each of the contracts will help with the developing of crucial technologies for the agency’s exploration plans intended for the Moon and Mars, according to NASA.
The 14 programs were announced on Friday, and are the fourth batch of funding contracts in NASA’s series of ‘Tipping Point’ requests. The solicitations will have the space agency collaborators with companies to develop advanced space technologies. Each partner is asked to fund a minimum of 25 percent of the program cost in the public-private Tipping Point contracts.
Jim Reuter, an associate administrator of NASA’s space technology mission directorate, stated that these technologies are at the inflection point in their development. This means that NASA’s funding is probably the extra push a company needs in order to greatly develop a capacity.
Prior Tipping Point contracts have financed cryogenic propellant storage technologies, the advancement of planetary landing systems, solar-electric propulsion, small satellite launch machinery, and robotic in-space development.
The agreements revealed on Friday focus on six particular areas: cryogenic propellant production and management, standalone operations, rover mobility, maintainable energy generation, storage and distribution, effective and cheaper propulsion systems, and advanced avionics.
Blue Origin won the biggest percentage of financing in Friday’s report, with a $10 million contracts, and NASA founded SpaceX $3 million to test coupler prototypes for refueling spacecraft, like the space company’s renown Starship vehicle.
Two suppliers were chosen by NASA via the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) project also obtained financing from NASA through the Tipping Point solicitation. Both Astrobotic and Intuitive Machines are manufacturing commercial robotic lunar landers to transport NASA science tools to the Moon’s surface.