From out-of-this-world technologies that help us research and explore space, to state-of-the-art innovations that improve life on Earth, small businesses make an impact through the NASA SBIR/STTR program. This blog features perspectives from program participants, including small businesses and research institutions, as well as other materials to help guide you on your SBIR/STTR journey.

We update regularly, so be on the lookout for new resources and insight to support you!

SBIR Tech On-Board Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover

Posted 1/17/2022

The NASA Perseverance rover has a number of science missions and functions with numerous areas of focus, from detection of extinct life to the deployment of a small helicopter to assist in the identification of areas for further exploration. The participants in the development of these systems represent a large cross section of the space industry, ranging from academic institutions, foreign space agency partners, major aerospace companies and the small business community. Read more about the NASA SBIR/STTR-derived technologies that contributed to the Perseverance rover.

The Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover is supported by 8 technologies with ties to the NASA SBIR/STTR Program

Iconography of the International Space Station and the Earth with the text From Low Earth Orbit to Benefits on Earth

From Low Earth Orbit to Benefits on Earth: How small businesses use the International Space Station to improve life on our planet

Posted 11/2/2021

Through the NASA SBIR/STTR program, companies have used zero-gravity conditions to develop technologies that bring benefits back down to Earth. Check out our infographic highlighting some small business technologies tested on the ISS.

Q&A with ASTER Labs: Pivoting Technology for NASA and Commercial Use through a Phase II-Extended (II-E) Award

Posted 11/1/2021

In 2004, Suneel Sheikh started ASTER Labs, Inc. while completing his PhD in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Maryland (UMD). Since then, ASTER Labs has grown to do business with multiple government agencies, including NASA, through the SBIR/STTR program. In 2019, the company leveraged the NASA SBIR/STTR program’s Phase II-Extended (II-E) opportunity to support NASA’s needs and pivoted their technology for new customers. We asked Dr. Sheikh, ASTER Lab’s CEO and Chief Research Scientist, about his experience starting his business and beginning a path towards commercialization with the NASA SBIR/STTR program.

The SWARM Toolset SBIR/STTR technology by ASTER Labs, representing a swarm of multiple, cooperating rovers exploring the terrain of the Moon, enroute to search specified target regions while avoiding known crater locations

A woman and man in cold weather gear by frozen waterfall

SBIR/STTR Spinoff: Keeping Warmer in the Great Outdoors

Posted 11/1/2021 | Published by Spinoff 10/1/2021

With NASA SBIR funding in the 1990s, Aspen Systems developed a process to coat insulation fibers with aerogel to trap air while also stopping heat conduction. Today, NASA uses aerogel in myriad ways, and Aspen Aerogels has grown to specialize in what became one of the most widespread spinoffs in NASA’s history. Companies have used this popular NASA spinoff technology to protect batteries and footwear, among other things, in freezing temperatures.

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