Three Arizona small businesses are working on technologies for future NASA space missions. The projects are funded by the space agency’s Small Business Innovation Research program.
The companies were among 117 American small businesses receiving funding for 137 proposals.
Tucson-based Paragon Space Development Corporation is creating insulation that would protect spacecraft from micro-meteoroids and orbital debris as the craft heads to the Moon, Mars and beyond.
STARA Technologies of Gilbert is working on a guided parafoil system that would be used to steer a payload from a sounding rocket to a defined landing location. Sounding rockets are used to launch scientific instruments into space for short flights.
S.D. Miller and Associates of Flagstaff is developing lightweight heat and radiation insulation to protect spacecraft re-entering Earth’s or another planet’s atmosphere.
All three firms have worked on NASA projects previously.
The Arizona Science Desk is a collaboration of public broadcasting entities in the state, including Arizona Public Media.