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Out of This World! NASA Contracting Small Businesses for Technological Advancements

NASA announced this week that they are investing in over 200 small business teams to develop groundbreaking technologies for astronaut health, spacecraft protection, and more! The contracts are awarded through NASA's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, which will propel American small businesses and research institutions towards the future of space exploration. 

Among the selected companies, 30% are first-time NASA SBIR/STTR recipients. One such recipient is nou Systems, Inc., a women-owned small business in Huntsville, Alabama. They're developing an automated system for monitoring microbes using DNA, which is important for keeping astronauts healthy in space. Their technology will likely be used on the International Space Station. 

NASA's investments will support projects in 38 states and Washington. One exciting collaboration is between 2pi Microwave Inc. in California and the University of Maryland. They're creating a special detection system called lidar that uses light waves to make things faster and more efficient in space missions and exploration. It has a wide view, minimal energy loss, and high-speed capturing.

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