NASA has awarded $38 million in research and development contracts for high-tech projects at 270 small businesses, the space agency announced this week.

The contracts are part of the agency's Small Business Innovation Research program and Small Business Technology Transfer program, two initiatives aimed at boosting innovation at smaller firms.

The projects that received funding this week included research into creating reusable flight software for reoccurring satellite missions, and another seeking to improve the navigation technologies used in space missions.

NASA is hoping the programs will lead to cutting-edge technologies for future space missions, as well as new high-tech products for the commercial market.

Businesses eligible for the contracts must have fewer than 500 employees. This week's recipients were chosen based on the merit and feasibility of their projects, as well as commercial potential, the agency said.