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NASA Awards Funding for Debris Removal, Surface Dust Mitigation Tech Development, Demonstration

Technology development

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NASA Awards Funding for Debris Removal, Surface Dust Mitigation Tech Development, Demonstration

Six small businesses have received a total of $20 million in funding from NASA to build prototypes of technologies for deorbiting or repurposing space debris and protecting rovers, landers and other spacecraft from highly adhesive and abrasive dust on the surface of other planetary bodies.

Busek, CU Aerospace, Flight Works and Vestigo Aerospace will focus on addressing space junk, while Applied Material Systems Engineering and ATSP Innovations will work on dust mitigation technologies. The prototypes will be launched on future missions for demonstrations, NASA said.

Among the four companies selected for debris removal technology development, Flight Works received the highest funding, worth $4 million, under NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research Phase II Sequential Awards. Flight Works will work on a green propulsion system for multi-object removal or recovery system.

Jason Kessler, program executive for NASA’s SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer programs, said technologies from the four companies can help maintain safe access to low-Earth orbits.

For technologies addressing surface dust, NASA awarded ATSP Innovations $3.2 million to develop advanced bearing materials that could withstand extreme temperatures, pressures and dust environments, while Applied Material Systems Engineering received $2.6 million to demonstrate its dust shedding coating technology.

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Category: Space

Tags: Applied Material Systems Engineering ATSP Innovations Busek CU Aerospace Flight Works NASA orbital debris space surface dust Vestigo Aerospace