Session

Pre-Conference Workshop Session I: Advanced Concepts I

Location

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Abstract

The Small Spacecraft Technology program within the NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate sponsors the Smallsat Technology Partnerships (STP) initiative. The STP initiative awards cooperative agreements between NASA centers and university teams for technology development efforts that advance the capabilities of small spacecraft to achieve NASA mission objectives in unique and more affordable ways.

NASA’s announcement to return humans to the Moon by 2024 raises new opportunities for Smallsats to contribute to missions in cislunar space, though technical challenges are to be overcome to establish their value in this environment. Precursor missions utilizing small spacecraft will blaze the trail for lunar exploration, establishing infrastructure such as communication and navigation networks, and performing assembly and repair services for larger structures and human habitats. To achieve these goals, certain novel Smallsat technologies will need to be developed and demonstrated. The 2020 STP solicitation sought proposals for specific technologies to enable these lunar missions.

For the 2020 STP cycle, NASA selected nine university teams to mature new systems and capabilities in the laboratory, and in some cases, demonstrate in suborbital or orbital spaceflights. This paper describes the STP portfolio, past and present efforts, and the nine partnerships selected.

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Aug 1st, 12:00 AM

NASA Centers and Universities Collaborate in Annual Smallsat Technology Partnerships

Utah State University, Logan, UT

The Small Spacecraft Technology program within the NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate sponsors the Smallsat Technology Partnerships (STP) initiative. The STP initiative awards cooperative agreements between NASA centers and university teams for technology development efforts that advance the capabilities of small spacecraft to achieve NASA mission objectives in unique and more affordable ways.

NASA’s announcement to return humans to the Moon by 2024 raises new opportunities for Smallsats to contribute to missions in cislunar space, though technical challenges are to be overcome to establish their value in this environment. Precursor missions utilizing small spacecraft will blaze the trail for lunar exploration, establishing infrastructure such as communication and navigation networks, and performing assembly and repair services for larger structures and human habitats. To achieve these goals, certain novel Smallsat technologies will need to be developed and demonstrated. The 2020 STP solicitation sought proposals for specific technologies to enable these lunar missions.

For the 2020 STP cycle, NASA selected nine university teams to mature new systems and capabilities in the laboratory, and in some cases, demonstrate in suborbital or orbital spaceflights. This paper describes the STP portfolio, past and present efforts, and the nine partnerships selected.