"NASA has selected for possible flight demonstration 10 proposals from six U.S. states for reusable, suborbital technology payloads and vehicle capability enhancements with the potential to revolutionize future space missions.
After the concepts are developed, NASA may choose to fly the technologies to the edge of space and back on U.S. commercial suborbital vehicles and platforms. These types of flights provide opportunities for testing in microgravity before the vehicles are sent into the harsh environment of space."
"As we prepare to venture forth in future science and exploration missions, one of our greatest challenges in advancing cutting-edge technologies is bridging the gap between testing a component or prototype in a laboratory or ground facility and demonstrating that technology or capability in a mission-relevant operational environment," said Michael Gazarik, NASA's associate administrator for space technology in Washington. "Microgravity suborbital flights provide relevant environment testing at a small fraction of the costs required for orbital flights, while advancing technologies that benefit American businesses and our economy."
The proposals selected for technology payloads include:
-- "Technology Demonstration of Graphene Ion Membranes for Earth and Space Applications," Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore
-- "Spacecraft Disturbance Isolation and Rejection Platform," NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
-- "Focal Plane Actuation to Achieve Ultra-High Resolution on Suborbital Balloon Payloads," Arizona State University, Tempe
-- "Rocket Flight of a Delta-Doped CCD Focal Plane Array to Prove Flight Rating," Arizona State University
-- "EDL Technology Development for the Maraia Earth Return Capsule," NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston"