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NASA loads 14 companies with $370M for ‘tipping point’ technologies – TechCrunch

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NASA has introduced more than a third of a billion dollars worth of “Tipping Point” contracts awarded to over a dozen corporations pursuing probably transformative area applied sciences. The initiatives vary from in-space testing of cryogenic tech to a 4G LTE community for the Moon.

The area company is sort of at all times accepting functions for no less than one in every of its many grant and contract applications, and Tipping Level is straight geared toward business area capabilities that want a little bit of a lift. In accordance with this system description, “a expertise is taken into account at a tipping level if an funding in an indication will considerably mature the expertise, improve the chance of infusion right into a business area software, and produce the expertise to marketplace for each authorities and business functions.”

On this yr’s awards, which take the type of multi-year contracts with a number of milestones, the main focus was on two major areas: cryogenics and lunar floor tech. Observe that the quantities offered are usually not essentially the price of growing the tech, however somewhat the sums deemed essential to advance it to the subsequent stage. Right here’s a short abstract of every award:


  • Eta House, $27M: In-space demonstration of a whole cryogenic oxygen administration system
  • Lockheed Martin, $89.7M: In-space demonstration of liquid hydrogen in over a dozen cryogenic functions
  • SpaceX, $53.2M: Flight demonstration transferring 10 tons of liquid oxygen between tanks in Starship
  • ULA, $86.2M: Demonstration of a sensible propulsion cryogenic system on a Vulcan Centaur higher stage

Lunar floor innovation

  • Alpha House Check and Analysis Alliance, $22.1M: Develop a small tech and science platform for lunar floor testing
  • Astrobotic, $5.8M: “Mature” a quick wi-fi charging system to be used on the lunar floor
  • Intuitive Machines, $41.6M: Develop a hopper lander with a 2.2-pound payload capability and 1.5-mile vary
  • Masten House Techniques, $2.8M: Display a common chemical warmth and energy supply for lunar nights and craters
  • Masten House Techniques, $10M: Display precision touchdown an hazard avoidance on its Xogdor car (Separate award underneath “descent and touchdown” heading)
  • Nokia of America, $14.1M: Deploy the primary LTE community in area for lunar floor communications
  • pH Matter, $3.4M: Display a gas cell for producing and storing vitality on the lunar floor
  • Precision Compustion, $2.4M: Advance an affordable oxide gas stack to generate energy from propellants
  • Sierra Nevada, $2.4M: Display a tool utilizing photo voltaic vitality to extract oxygen from lunar regolith
  • SSL Robotics, $8.7M: Develop a lighter, cheaper robotic arm for floor, orbital, and “terrestrial protection” functions
  • Teledyne Vitality Techniques, $2.8M: Develop a hydrogen gas cell energy system with a 10,000-hour battery life

You’ll be able to learn extra concerning the proposal course of and NASA’s areas of curiosity at the Tipping Point solicitation page.

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Devin Coldewey