NASA will invest $5.5 million in nine projects that will test space technologies with suborbital rocket-powered systems, high-altitude balloons and parabolic aircraft.
The space agency said Friday its 2021 TechFlights solicitation will fund technology demonstrations in space-like scenarios without having to launch them into orbit.
NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate selected the technologies through the Flight Opportunities program. The chosen technologies include ultra-wideband sensors, a LiDAR-based hazard detection system, a biosensor coating development process and a modeling method for behaviors of less toxic propellants.
TechFlights focuses on three areas: national efforts on the Moon and cislunar space, Earth observation and U.S. leadership in space. STMD wants to include both humans and robots in space and lunar exploration; use Earth observation systems to address climate change; and further grow the U.S. space industry.
The TechFlights awardees are:
- Astrobotic Technology
- Blue Origin
- Carthage College
- Center for Applied Space Technology
- Honeybee Robotics
- Purdue University
- San Diego State University
- University of Florida in Gainesville