Status Report

NASA LaRC Tech Transer: Mars Airplane

By SpaceRef Editor
March 4, 2015
Filed under , ,

Synopsis – Mar 02, 2015


General Information


    Solicitation Number: TT-01103

    Posted Date: Mar 02, 2015

    FedBizOpps Posted Date: Mar 02, 2015

    Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No

    Original Response Date: Mar 02, 2016

    Current Response Date: Mar 02, 2016

    Classification Code: 99 — Miscellaneous

    NAICS Code: 927110

    Set-Aside Code: 


Contracting Office Address


NASA/Langley Research Center, Mail Stop 12, Industry Assistance Office, Hampton, VA 23681-0001




NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA solicits inquiries from companies interested in obtaining license rights to commercialize, manufacture and market the following technology. License rights may be issued on an exclusive or nonexclusive basis and may include specific fields of use. NASA provides no funding in conjunction with these potential licenses.




Scientists at NASA Langley Research Center have Researchers at NASA’s Langley Research Center have developed an airplane capable of being stowed in a confined volume and deployed in a high altitude environment for extended duration flight operations in a low-density atmosphere. Engineers, scientists, and end users can take advantage of this innovation that provides previously unattainable high altitude flight operations. The airplane is delivered to a specified altitude folded in a container or rocket. Once released, the plane unfolds and executes a pull-up maneuver to stabilize altitude. In addition, the current suite of onboard scientific instrumentation includes magnetometers, a mass spectrometer, and variable use cameras. NASA is seeking market insights on commercialization of the new airplane design, and welcomes interest from potential producers, users, and licensees. The airplane can be folded in a confined volume, transported by a carrier vehicle, and deployed after delivery to terrestrial or extra-terrestrial venues. The innovation includes the stowaway capsule, and the aerodynamic design of the airplane enables flight in low-density atmospheres such as on Mars. The airplane configuration includes the airfoil sections, folding method, and the outer mold line. The plane has the capability to maneuver in the Martian atmosphere at an atmospheric pressure comparable to 100,000 feet above sea level on Earth. During flight operations, the airplane employs a host of scientific instrumentation for study of atmospheric properties such as composition, chemistry, and dynamic behavior. It can also map crustal magnetism for improved understanding of crustal evolution and tectonic history and detect near-surface hydrogen abundance to locate underground water and hydrated minerals. NASA developed the Mars airplane to improve measurement resolution capabilities beyond that of ground rovers and satellite surveyors. The use of an extended-flight, maneuverable airplane in low-density atmospheric conditions provides previously unavailable planetary research capabilities. U.S. patent 8,196,858.


To express interest in this opportunity, please respond to with the title of this Technology Transfer Opportunity as listed in this FBO notice and your preferred contact information. Please also provide the nature of your interest in the technology along with a brief background of your company. For more information about licensing other NASA-developed technologies, please visit the NASA Technology Transfer Portal at .


These responses are provided to members of NASA Langley’s Office of Strategic Analysis and Business Development “OSACB” for the purpose of promoting public awareness of NASA-developed technology products, and conducting preliminary market research to determine public interest in and potential for future licensing opportunities. If direct licensing interest results from this posting, OSACB will follow the required formal licensing process of posting in the Federal Register. No follow-on procurement is expected to result from responses to this Notice.


Point of Contact


    Name: Jesse C Midgett

    Title: Program Specialist

    Phone: 757-864-3936

    Fax: 757-864-8314



SpaceRef staff editor.