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Sun, Apr 29, 2012

NASA Seeks 'Game Changing' Solar Array Systems Proposals

Wants Scalable Technology For Use On Future Manned Missions

NASA's Space Technology Program is seeking proposals to develop solar array systems to enable space electric propulsion systems of the future. "NASA's Game Changing Development Program focuses on maturing advanced space technologies that may lead to entirely new approaches for the agency's future space missions," said Michael Gazarik, director of NASA's Space Technology Program at the agency's Headquarters in Washington. "This call for proposals will result in the development of revolutionary space solar array systems that can be scaled for future human exploration missions to destinations well beyond low Earth orbit."

NASA's Space Technology program is seeking proposals for solar array system structures from all potential U.S. organizations, including NASA centers and other government agencies, federally funded research and development centers, educational institutions, industry and nonprofit organizations. "This call for proposals is a great opportunity to mature advanced and innovative solar array systems in preparation for a space demonstration and eventual use on all future space spacecraft requiring high power," said Stephen Gaddis, Game Changing Development program manager at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA.

The NASA solicitation will cover two acquisition phases and involve a competitive selection process. During Phase I, proposers will design, analyze and test a scalable solar array system capable of generating more than 30kW of power. The Phase I teams also will identify the most critical technological risks of extending their concept to 250 kW or greater power levels. The intent of Phase II is to prove flight readiness through an in-space demonstration of an advanced, modular and extendable solar array system. After Phase II, follow-on applications will range from high power communications satellites to solar electric propulsion systems.

NASA expects to make up to three awards for Phase I proposals, with total combined costs of approximately $15 to $20 million, based on availability of funds.



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