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From left to right: Frank Soboczenski, Lead Machine Learning Scientist; Philippe Ludivig, Lead Payload Engineer; Sara Jennings, CEO and Principal Investigator; and Kolbron Schoenberger, Payload Science Intern.

Space Technology Mission Directorate

Technology drives exploration and the space economy. NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) aims to transform future missions while ensuring American leadership in aerospace. STMD develops, demonstrates, and transfers new space technologies that benefit NASA, commercial, and other government missions.

Learn More About STMD about Space Technology Mission Directorate

Programs

Center Innovation Fund

The purpose of the Center Innovation Fund is to stimulate and encourage creativity and innovation within the NASA Centers in addressing the technology needs of NASA and the nation.

Three researchers peer through the white bands that create a cell-like space containing a floating cube with QR codes on each side. A camera mounted to the top corner of the cell records the experiment.

Flight Opportunities

Flight Opportunities rapidly demonstrates promising technologies for space exploration, discovery, and the expansion of space commerce through suborbital testing with industry flight providers. The program matures capabilities needed for NASA missions and commercial applications while strategically investing in the growth of the U.S. commercial spaceflight industry.

Game Changing Development

GCD seeks to identify and rapidly mature high-impact capabilities and technologies, and investigate innovative ideas that have the potential to revolutionize future space missions.

Artist rendition of astronaut inspecting dust on the lunar surface.

Lunar Surface Innovation Initiative

NASA’s Lunar Surface Innovation Initiative (LSII) works across industry, academia, non-profits, and with other government agencies to catalyze the development of technology that will enable robotic and human exploration of the Moon and future operations on Mars.

NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts

NIAC nurtures visionary ideas that could transform future NASA missions with the creation of breakthroughs—radically better or entirely new aerospace architectures, systems, or missions.

Members of AI. SpaceFactory receive a large check as an award for winning the final round of NASA's 3D Printed Habitat Challenge. Five people stand in the back and four people sit in the front on a stage, with the check being held by a man in a blue NASA jacket on the far left and a member of AI. SpaceFactory holding the check next to the man in the blue jacket. All nine people smile brightly.

Prizes, Challenges, and Crowdsourcing

NASA connects the public to the agency’s missions and explores creative possibilities for addressing the agency’s needs through prizes, challenges, and crowdsourcing opportunities.

SBIR/STTR

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs provide an opportunity for small, high tech companies and research institutions.

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Small Spacecraft Technology

The Small Spacecraft Technology program expands the ability to execute unique missions through rapid development and demonstration of capabilities for small spacecraft applicable to exploration, science and the commercial space sector.

Space Tech Research Grants

Space Technology Research Grants will accelerate the development of high risk/high payoff technologies to support the future space science and exploration needs of NASA.

Technology Demonstration Missions (TDM)

The mission of NASA’s Technology Demonstration Missions is to bridge the gap between need and means, between scientific and engineering challenges and the technological innovations.

Technology Transfer and Spinoff

The NASA Technology Transfer program ensures that innovations developed for exploration and discovery are broadly available to the public, maximizing the benefit to the nation.

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Angela Herblet

Manager for NASA’s Prize Competitions

Kellin Slater

Project Manager at Colorado State University

Amber Soja

Program Manager at NASA's Langley Research Center

Emily Gargulinkski

NASA Research Engineer at the National Institute of Aerospace

Ali Guarneros Luna

Aerospace Engineer at NASA's Ames Research Center

Anjie Emmett

Mechanical Engineer at NASA's Langley Research Center

Prital Johnson

Mechanical Engineer at NASA's Kennedy Space Center

Kevin Grossman looks at a piece of equipment

Materials Scientist at NASA's Kennedy Space Center

Bob Carter

Materials Engineer at NASA's Glenn Research Center

First Woman

Discover the First Woman digital universe. Read the graphic novels in English and Spanish, access educational tools and experiences, and learn about real space technologies for our missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond!

Go to First Woman about First Woman
Callie and RT are looking up at a glowing moon with a dark sky behind them.