[meteorite-list] NASA Selects Proposals for Ultra-Lightweight Materials for Journey to Mars and Beyond

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Wed, 8 Apr 2015 14:41:45 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <201504082141.t38LfjTU007263_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>

April 7, 2015
NASA Selects Proposals for Ultra-Lightweight Materials for Journey to
Mars and Beyond

NASA has selected three proposals to develop and manufacture
ultra-lightweight (ULW) materials for future aerospace vehicles and
structures. The proposals will mature advanced technologies that will enable
NASA to reduce the mass of spacecraft by 40 percent for deep space

"Lightweight and multifunctional materials and structures are one of NASA's
top focus areas capable of having the greatest impact on future NASA missions
in human and robotic exploration," said Steve Jurczyk, associate
administrator for the agency's Space Technology Mission Directorate in
Washington. "These advanced technologies are necessary for us to be able to
launch stronger, yet lighter, spacecraft and components as we look to explore
an asteroid and eventually Mars."

Composite sandwich structures are a special type of material made by
attaching two thin skins to a lightweight core. Traditional composite
sandwich structures incorporate either honeycomb or foam cores. This type of
composite is used extensively within the aerospace industry and in other
applications making it possible for future journeys to Mars. The ULW
materials being developed by NASA vary significantly from traditional cores
and are expected to result in a significant decrease in mass.

Phase I awards of the solicitation are valued up to $550,000, providing
awardees with funding for 13 months to produce 12-by-12-by1-inch ULW core
panels. Technologies selected to continue to Phase II will demonstrate the
ability to scale up to 2-feet by 2-feet by 1-inch and ultimately to produce
10-feet by 11-feet by 1-inch ULW core panels, with NASA providing up to $2
million per award for up to 18 months.

The three awards selected for contract negotiations are:

 * HRL Laboratories LLC of Malibu, California: Ultralight Micro-truss Cores
   for Space Launch Systems

 * ATK Space Systems LLC of Magna, Utah: Game Changing Technology Development
   Program Ultra-Light Weight Core Materials for Efficient Load Bearing
   Composite Sandwich Structures

 * Dynetics Inc. of Huntsville, Alabama: Ultra-Lightweight Core Materials for
   Efficient Load-Bearing Composite Sandwich Structures

Proposals for this solicitation were received from NASA centers, universities
and industry. NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, manages
the Game Changing Development Program for STMD. For more information about
STMD, the Game Changing Development Program and crosscutting space technology
areas of interest to NASA, visit:



Joshua Buck
Headquarters, Washington
jbuck at nasa.gov

Chris Rink
Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
chris.rink at nasa.gov
Received on Wed 08 Apr 2015 05:41:45 PM PDT

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