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NASA Seeks Academic Partners for SmallSat Technology Collaboration

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Saturday, May 11, 2013

image NASA is seeking small spacecraft technology project proposals from U.S. colleges and universities that would like to collaborate with agency researchers.

Small spacecraft, or smallsats, represent a growing field of space research and operations in which universities often have led the way in technology development. Smallsats, some of which are as small as a four-inch cube, are not expected to replace conventional spacecraft, but sometimes can provide an alternative to larger, more costly spacecraft. Smallsats can serve as platforms for rapid technology testing or specialized scientific research and exploration not otherwise possible. Smallsats also can be developed relatively quickly and inexpensively, and can share a ride to orbit with larger spacecraft.

NASA expects to competitively select approximately 10 proposals. Each team will form proposal partnerships with researchers from any of NASA's field centers. Awards for each project will include as much as $100,000 ($150,000 for teams of more than one school). Proposals submitted in response to this NASA cooperative agreement notice are due June 5, 2013.

In addition, NASA will fund the time for NASA employees to work with each selected team. Project funding is for one year with the potential to continue for a second year. Proposed projects could include anything from laboratory work to advance a particular spacecraft technology to flight testing of a new smallsat. For example, projects might focus on a technology area such as propulsion, power or communications, or on a smallsat capability, such as formation flight or satellite rendezvous.

Details of the opportunity and instructions for submitting proposals are provided in a Cooperative Agreement Notice that is available online at http://tinyurl.com/cb3mqdw.

For additional information on the Small Spacecraft Technology Program, visit http://www.nasa.gov/smallsats.

The Small Spacecraft Technology Program is part of NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate, which is innovating, developing, testing and flying hardware for use in NASA's future missions. For more information about NASA's investment in space technology, visit http://www.nasa.gov/spacetech.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Rachel Khattab at rachel.khattab@nasa.gov.

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