SpaceWERX, the innovation arm of the U.S. Space Force, issued 124 five-month contract awards for commercial and research entities to develop in-space servicing, assembly and manufacturing systems.
The grants support phase one projects under SpaceWERX’s Orbital Prime program that will center on active debris remediation as a use case for ISAM platforms, the Air Force Research Laboratory said Thursday.
Ninety-two companies and 66 research institutions will aim to develop technologies and capabilities intended to identify, approach and service a space object.
SpaceWERX made the awards valued at $250,000 each from June 15 to Sept. 22 through the Small Business Technology Transfer program managed by the laboratory’s technology directorate, AFWERX.
Under STTR, businesses must partner with a research organization, a nonprofit or a federally funded research and development center.
The awardees will be invited to pitch for an opportunity to work on phase two of the STTR program in early 2023. The second phase will run for 15 months at a contract value of up to $1.5 million per award.