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NASA Selects Proposals to Enable Manufacturing In Space for Earth

Following a decade of assembly of the International Space Station and the subsequent decade of research onboard the ISS National Lab, NASA moves boldly into the decade of results with the award of new and promising technologies for in-space manufacturing of advanced materials and products for use on Earth. With more than 21 years of continuous occupation, the International Space Station continues to demonstrate the benefits of microgravity not just for discovery but for the development of new technologies and products that have the potential to improve the quality of life on Earth.

Decades of microgravity research have laid the foundation for U.S. industry to demonstrate the unique market value of in-space manufacturing, technology advancement, and drug development with the help of NASA’s investment in dedicated transportation and research time for ISS National Laboratory investigations. To date, NASA has provided seed money in excess of $38 million for more than a dozen technologies to enable innovative companies to mature their concepts and stimulate demand for future markets. The awards are a key element of NASA’s goal to develop a robust economy in low-Earth orbit where NASA will be one of many customers.

NASA has selected additional proposals to enable U.S. businesses, institutions of higher learning, and other organizations to raise the technological readiness level of their manufacturing technologies and products, move them to market, and to propel U.S. industry toward developing a sustainable, scalable, and profitable non-NASA demand for products and services in low-Earth orbit.

“NASA is excited to begin collaboration with these new partners in our efforts to enable development of a robust commercial economy in low-Earth orbit,” said Kevin Engelbert, In Space Production Applications portfolio manager. “Enabling proof-of-concept demonstrations on the International Space Station National Lab is a first step towards future production of important new materials and products that will benefit people everywhere on Earth, while strengthening U.S. leadership in advanced materials and manufacturing in space.”

NASA selected the following eight proposals submitted in response to Focus Area 1A of the NASA Research Announcement(NRA) seeking In Space Production Applications (InSPA) flight demonstrations:

  • Biomanufacturing of Drug-Delivery Medical Devices, Auxilium Biotechnologies, Inc., San Diego, California
  • Expansion of Hematopoietic Stem Cells for Clinical Application, BioServe Space Technologies and the University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Establishing Production of Stem Cell Therapies, Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute, Los Angeles
  • Fabrication of FlawlessGlass in Microgravity, Flawless Photonics, Inc., Los Altos Hills, California
  • Volumetric Additive Manufacturing for Organ Production, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California
  • Pharmaceutical In-space Laboratory (PIL), Redwire Corporation Inc., Greenville, Indiana
  • Biomimetic Fabrication of Multifunctional DNA-inspired Nanomaterials, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut
  • Semimetal-Semiconductor Composite Bulk Crystals, United Semiconductors, LLC, Los Alamitos, California

The selected proposals have a total award value of up to $21 million through fiscal year 2025, depending on milestones achieved.

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