NASA plans on sending the next pair of a woman and man on moon exploration mission by 2024 under the Artemis program. This programme will be a stepping stone for establishing a substantial presence of the organisation and eventually the population on the moon. However, NASA is not interested in taking credit for the entire project and has chosen 4 small businesses to produce technologies for the Artemis program.
NASA has increased the investment by providing 17 million dollars to some selected firms for the Artemis program. Jim Reuter, associate administrator for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington said that “Small businesses are integral to the development of space technology. With this new lunar sequential funding opportunity, they will advance in-situ resource utilization, laser communications, and other high-impact technologies for use on the Moon.”
The decision made by the international organisation to involve small businesses in one of its most important projects is an important landmark in the history of space technology. Its anticipated that those small businesses will become a known name after the implementation of the project, but our readers will not have to wait to know about these businesses. Here the list of the selected companies that have been bestowed upon with this huge responsibility:
1. Fibertek of Herndon, Virginia, USA
This business will be responsible for advancing optical communication technologies for small spacecraft around the Moon and beyond.
2. Qualtech Systems of Rocky Hill, Connecticut, USA
This business will mature autonomous systems capable of continuously monitoring and providing fault and health management for the spacecraft.
3. Pioneer Astronautics of Lakewood, Colorado, USA
This firm will be responsible to build and demonstrate hardware to produce oxygen and steel from lunar regolith, or soil.
4. Protoinnovations, Pittsburg, USA
This business will advance traction control and improve the driving ability of robotic and crewed rovers in unknown and highly variable terrain on the Moon.
An individual reward to these small businesses is between 2.5 to 5 million dollars. This is an initiative to help businesses reach their lunar goal and NASA is making sure that money is not an issue for any business involved in this programme. The success of this will pave the way for a lot of small businesses and individuals to contribute directly to huge organisations like NASA.