The agency will award up to $1.5 million to start-ups with big ideas that will benefit future space missions.
NASA has a message for entrepreneurs: The sky is not the limit.
Have a big idea that could benefit space travel? The agency wants to hear from you. NASA is now accepting ideas from small businesses to create new technologies for future missions.
According to a NASA, the agency's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are soliciting ideas from American small businesses, entrepreneurs, and innovators for the multiphase competition. Chosen proposals will receive anywhere from $125,000 to $1.5 million depending on how NASA chooses to adapt the idea. This year, NASA’s focus is on new technological ideas that will benefit future expeditions into space.
"Space technology is the linchpin that joins together NASA's science, aeronautic and exploration goals, providing the essential new knowledge and capabilities that enables our present and future missions," Michael Gazarik, director of NASA's Space Technology Program, said in the release. "The annual solicitation for the SBIR and STTR programs embodies our desire to generate innovative ideas to address NASA's future mission needs by offering a broad collection of research and development needs and opportunities."
Previous ideas that have emerged from the program include modern air traffic systems, an Earth-observing spacecraft, and the Curiosity rover currently on Mars. The deadline for both programs is November 29, with selections announced late February 2013.
You can find more information on the program here.
MAEGHAN OUIMET is a business and culture reporter whose work has appeared in Boston Magazine and Rolling Stone. She covers technology start-ups and innovations from the San Francisco bureau for Inc.com. @MaeghanO