Status Report

NASA: SpaceTech-REDDI-2019 Appendix S1: Smallsat Technology Partnerships Now Open

By SpaceRef Editor
September 11, 2019
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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Headquarters has released a solicitation, entitled “Smallsat Technology Partnerships,” as an appendix to the Space Technology Mission Directorate umbrella NASA Research Announcement (NRA) titled “Space Technology Research, Development, Demonstration, and Infusion 2019 (SpaceTech-REDDI-2019).” The solicitation is available by opening the NSPIRES homepage at by selecting “Solicitations,” then selecting “Open Solicitations,” and, finally, selecting “Smallsat Technology Partnerships.” To go directly to the solicitation page, visit


The Small Spacecraft Technology program within the NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) is chartered to enable mission capabilities that are more rapid, more transformative, and more affordable than previously achievable. 


The Small Spacecraft Technology program seeks development projects and demonstration missions that are small, affordable, rapid, and transformative. All efforts will focus on small spacecraft capabilities that are relevant to NASA’s missions in science and exploration, including those with crosscutting applications to the needs of the broader small spacecraft community in industry, academia, and other government agencies.


The goals of this appendix include collaboration with university teams that have experience in small spacecraft development and also extension of support to colleges and universities that have little or no previous involvement in this field. Colleges and universities with experience in small spacecraft development are encouraged to team with other college and universities to address these dual goals. 


Only accredited U.S. universities are eligible to submit proposals. Teaming with a NASA Center is required. See the solicitation for complete eligibility and teaming requirements.


An individual may be the Principal Investigator on only one proposal in response to this solicitation but may participate as a Co-Investigator or other role on multiple proposals (see solicitation for restrictions).


The solicitation exclusively seeks proposals that are responsive to one of three topics:


               Lunar Communications and Navigation Network

               Smallsat Propulsion for Lunar Missions

               Advanced Electrical Power Subsystem and Thermal Management Technology


NASA anticipates addressing other topics in future solicitation releases.


The financial and programmatic support for Smallsat Technology Partnerships comes from the Small Spacecraft Technology program within the Space Technology Mission Directorate. Awards are planned to start in late March 2020. NASA plans to make approximately 5 awards as a result of this solicitation, subject to the receipt of meritorious proposals. The actual number of awards will depend on the quality of the proposals received; NASA reserves the right to make no awards under this solicitation. 


Mandatory Notices of Intent are due by Friday, October 4, 2019, and must be submitted electronically via NSPIRES. All proposals must be submitted electronically through NSPIRES or through ( by an authorized organizational representative and are due on or before Wednesday, November 6, 2019.  Detailed submission instructions and due dates are provided in the solicitation. Potential proposers and their proposing organizations are urged to familiarize themselves with the submission system(s), ensure they are registered in NSPIRES, and submit the required proposal materials well in advance of the deadline.


Technical and programmatic comments and questions may be addressed by email to the Small Spacecraft Technology Program Executive, Christopher Baker, at Acquisition questions may be addressed by email to the acquisition point of contact on this solicitation,  Responses to inquiries may be included in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document located on the NSPIRES page associated with the solicitation; anonymity of persons/institutions who submit questions will be preserved.

SpaceRef staff editor.