Feature: Moving America’s Heart and Soul: Small to Medium Business Driving Change

NASA Launches With Small Business

Author: Steve Woods
Published: January 04, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Thank you to Spark Business from Capital One for sponsoring this feature highlighting small business.

NASA continues to look to the stars, and wants to bring along small business with it, according to a recent press release from The Wall Street Journal’s Marketwatch. The far-reaching governmental agency has selected proposals from 39 small businesses toward awarding contracts for new technologies in support of its ongoing mission through its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program.

"NASA's SBIR activities foster innovative approaches to technology development — from concept to prototype to an eventual commercial product or service," said Michael Gazarik, who directs NASA’s Space Technology Program Headquarters in Washington, D.C. "Phase 2 marks a major milestone for these projects; they've moved from the drawing board to the lab, solving tough technology problems that will enable NASA's future missions while bringing new, valuable products into our economy."

Partnering with small business is nothing new for NASA, gaining technologies over decades that have led to modernized air traffic control systems, high definition image-gathering satellites, a Mars rover or two, and even the International Space Station - all in part due to the efforts and expertise of small business. When a specific gap is discovered in needed technology, NASA has turned time and again to SBIR’s small business partnership for the solution.

So what’s next on NASA’s small business partnership radar? On SBIR’s sizeable plate will be the creation of a suite of superior software for verification and validation of flight-critical systems, improving safety in the air. Increased fuel-efficiency on airliners with new cryo-cooling systems for turbo-electric motors. New optical technology that could make it easier to find planets outside our Solar System. The next generation of radiation shielding materials to protect astronauts and spacecraft from the harmful effects of space radiation during interstellar travel. And more.

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Article Author: Steve Woods

Tech Geek. Digital Sommelier. Tea Aficionado. Founder of http://www.kupeesh.com Twitter: @YouKnowSteve

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