NASA’s current administrator is rather fond of private spaceflight, and that’s reflected in the agency’s latest round of technology funding. The organization has forged ten partnerships that will develop “tipping point” tech promising to help both NASA’s own missions as well as the “commercial space economy,” including interplanetary exploration and satellites. Some of the names on the list are very familiar, and you’ll find a couple of clear favorites.
Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin is the best-known name of the bunch, receiving total deals worth $13 million to develop propulsion for lunar landers as well as sensors that could help spacecraft land anywhere on the Moon’s surface.United Launch Alliance, meanwhile, has the most deals. It’s looking at $13.9 million in awards for three partnerships involving upper-stage rocketry, long-duration missions and mid-air retrieval for vehicles falling from orbit.