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Turion Space Won NASA Ignite SBIR Award for Active Debris Removal

12-6-2022, NASA - Turion Space has been selected for the NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration Ignite SBIR Award for Active Debris Removal!

The number of space objects is expected to grow from ~29,000 (trackable) today by 100,000 to 500,000 in the next 5-10 years. Turion Space team is eager to work with NASA on mitigating this problem.

Turion Space Inc, based in California, will address active debris remediation by developing a system involving several CubeSats and a carrier spacecraft that could remove multiple debris objects from low-Earth orbit in a single mission. The system draws on Turion Space’s past experience developing commercial spacecraft for inspection and orbital transport services. Turion Space’s debris remediation system could have additional commercial applications by collecting data when not performing debris removal missions.

Starting in early 2023, Turion Space will begin offering satellite inspection services from a distance during flyby encounters. As part of HEO-Robotics network of satellites, gain valuable insights for your commercial or defense applications.

When not performing other mission objectives, Turion Space's DROID vehicles will be passively acquiring data and constantly updating their Space Situational Awareness (SSA) database. The SSA data service will be available in late 2023.

Turion Space also plans to launch satellite inspection and orbit relocation service in 2024. Up close inspection, orbit relocation, and deorbiting are services that will become commonplace this decade. Turion Space's DROIDs will be taskable from their home orbits to inspect, relocate, or deorbit your space asset.

In 2022, the NASA Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) program piloted this new opportunity for U.S. small businesses to receive funding for technology concepts with strong commercial relevance, called SBIR Ignite. The 2022 round of awards will distribute nearly $2 million among 12 selected companies. For nine of these companies, this is their first time working with the NASA SBIR program.

In Phase I of the Ignite program, the companies will develop a proof of concept for their technology and have the chance to propose for an SBIR Ignite Phase II award, which has a potential value of $850,000 per award. The awarded technologies support NASA interests in the areas of climate, hybrid-electric aircraft, in-space recycling, low-Earth orbit (LEO) commercialization, active debris remediation, and solar power. Like the main NASA SBIR/STTR program, SBIR Ignite targets the agency’s goals in aeronautics and space technology, but with a greater emphasis on products with strong commercial potential. As the space economy grows, NASA provides these funds to help small businesses validate their technologies, making them more appealing for potential investors.

“By investing in these early-stage ideas, we want to help these companies reduce risk for their technologies, which we hope will help them on their journey in the NASA-relevant commercial market,” said Maxwell Briggs, entrepreneurial engagement lead for NASA’s SBIR/STTR program at the agency’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.

The NASA SBIR/STTR program is part of NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate and is managed by NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley.


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