NASA creates 2 space technology research institutes

Washington: In line with its shift in focus from low-Earth orbit to deep space missions, NASA has selected proposals for the creation of two multi-disciplinary, university-led research institutes that will focus on the development of technologies critical to extending human presence deeper into our solar system.

The new institutes will advance NASA’s aim of developing technologies that will allow long-duration mission crews to manufacture the products they need, rather than relying on the current practice of resupply missions from Earth.

The new Space Technology Research Institutes (STRIs) created under these proposals will bring together researchers from various disciplines and organisations to collaborate on the advancement of cutting-edge technologies in bio-manufacturing and space infrastructure.

The goal is to create Earth-independent, self-sustaining exploration mission capabilities, NASA said in a statement.

“NASA is establishing STRIs to research and exploit cutting-edge advances in technology with the potential for revolutionary impact on future aerospace capabilities,” said Steve Jurczyk, Associate Administrator for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington.

“These university-led, multi-disciplinary research programs promote the synthesis of science, engineering and other disciplines to achieve specific research objectives with credible expected outcomes within five years,” Jurczyk added.

Each STRI will receive up to $15 million over the five-year period of performance, said NASA .