NASA is inviting commercial companies, academic institutions, entrepreneurs, and other innovators to participate in new challenges to fund the development of payloads and suborbital flight tests of innovative space technologies. NASA’s TechLeap Award aims to quickly promote space exploration and earth observation technologies.
In the current stage of the NASA TechLeap Award, the first challenge of autonomous observation is to seek SmallSat observation technology that can autonomously detect, locate, track, and collect transient event data inside and outside the earth. These technologies can advance optical communication networks to help lunar exploration, detection, tracking, and line-of-sight communication with any lander, rover, or object on the moon.
NASA’s TechLeap Award addresses a gap that is of great interest to the small spacecraft research community. “Advancing autonomous observing technology is essential for many future missions that build on the advantages of small spacecraft,” said Christopher Baker, project executive for the Small Spacecraft and Flight Opportunities Technology Program. “Through this competition, we hope to truly change the pace of space by using suborbital testing to increase the rate at which we move forward and eliminate technology to make it mission-ready.” 4,444 entrants must be in by July 28, 2021 Register for TechLeap Awards prior to the date. The submission deadline is August 11, 2021. Up to four winners can each receive a reward of up to $ 500,000 to build their payload. NASA intends to provide the winners of successful payload development with the opportunity to conduct suborbital flight tests at NASA-signed flight service providers.
NASA’s TechLeap Award is funded by NASA’s Flight Opportunity Program, which helps a wide range of space technologies reach maturity faster through testing in suborbital flights. These tests can provide critical data and information about the expected performance of a technology in its expected space environment and help reduce risk before more expensive orbital missions. In response to this challenge, Flight Opportunities is working closely with NASA’s Small Spacecraft Technology Program to address a gap that is of great concern to the small spacecraft research community.
For more information about the TechLeap Award, please visit:
About the NASA TechLeap Award Administrator
NASA Flight Opportunity Program, part of the Technical Mission Council Space Station (STMD) located in Washington and managed by NASA The Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California is facing the challenge. Flight Opportunities quickly demonstrated promising technologies for space exploration, discovery, and expansion of space commerce through suborbital tests with industry flight suppliers. The plan completes the capabilities required for NASA missions and commercial applications, while strategically investing in the development of the US commercial aerospace industry.
NASAs small spacecraft technology program is also part of STMD and is managed by the NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California. The program expands the ability to perform unique missions by rapidly developing and demonstrating the capabilities of small spacecraft suitable for exploration, science, and commercial aerospace.
NASA’s Championship Lab is part of STMD’s awards, challenges, and crowdsourcing programs, and is responding to challenges. The program supports public competitions and crowdsourcing as tools to advance NASA’s R&D and other mission needs. Using its NASA open innovation service carrier 2, NASA hired Carrot, who served as the award manager in the competition.

By Peter

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