NASA has selected 14 partners that will develop new technologies for the space agency's Artemis program. The companies selected by NASA will assist the space agency in its future missions to the Moon and Mars.
NASA named the 14 US-based companies that will be tasked with creating new concepts that will help the agency with its exploration missions. These missions will be part of the Artemis, which is NASA's latest spaceflight program.
NASA plans to kick-off Artemis with a new crewed mission to the Moon with the goal of establishing a lunar outpost. The agency noted that the lessons it will learn from this mission will be used for a future expedition to Mars.
In order to make sure that the Artemis Program will go smoothly, NASA forged new partnerships with private companies and awarded them with a total investment value of $43.2 million. NASA's new partners will work closely with the agency's various facilities to develop new concepts in the fields of propellant production, storage management, autonomous operations and rover systems.
SpaceX, NASA's long-term partner in its Commercial Crew Program, has been selected to produce and test nozzles that will be used in refueling procedures in space. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, on the other hand, will work with NASA to develop propellant that can be produced on the Moon.
Some of the other companies that have been selected as NASA's new partners include Skyre Inc., OxEon Energy LLC, Paragon Space Development Corporation, TallannQuest LLC and Astrobotic Technology.
According to Jim Reuter, NASA's associate administrator for its Space Technology Mission Directorate, the new technologies and concepts that will come from the agency's new partners will greatly help in the success of the Artemis program.
"These promising technologies are at a 'tipping point' in their development, meaning NASA's investment is likely the extra push a company needs to significantly mature a capability," he said in a press release.
"These are important technologies necessary for sustained exploration of the Moon and Mars," Reuter said. "As the agency focuses on landing astronauts on the Moon by 2024 with the Artemis program, we continue to prepare for the next phase of lunar exploration that feeds forward to Mars."