NASA has selected four small local businesses to develop the “mature” technology needed for the upcoming Artemis mission to the moon, with a total value of about $17 million. The four companies are known to be Fibertek in Virginia, Qualtech Systems in Connecticut, Pioneer Spaceins in Colorado, and Protoinnovations in Pennsylvania.
Previously, the agency has been awarded to companies to develop and demonstrate technologies through the SBIR/STTR project. Under these contracts, the two companies developed their own technologies and demonstrated them to NASA.
NASA expects the new contract to help drive and complete the mission on time. These include optical communications, autonomous systems, hardware that converts lunar soils into steel and oxygen, and advanced lunar rover traction control systems.
“Small businesses are an integral part of the development of space technology, helping to promote the efficient use of resources and the development of other important technologies that can be used on the moon, and are confident that they can have a more positive and direct impact on artemis missions to the moon,” explains Jim Reuter, NASA’s deputy director of space technology missions.