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NASA TechLeap Prize – Universal Payload Interface Challenge

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Round logo for NASA TechLeap Prize


Educators, Students

Education Opportunity

Contests and Challenges, Funding Opportunities

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Higher Education


Engineering Design, Human Space Exploration, Technology, Present and Future

As NASA explores the unknown in air and space, the agency is making increased use of commercial suborbital vehicles, spacecraft, and lunar landers to help advance new capabilities. However, the process to ensure payloads can properly interface with a host vehicle is currently complex, time-consuming, and can vary greatly from vehicle to vehicle, as well as between suborbital flights, orbital flights, and beyond.

The NASA TechLeap Prize’s Universal Payload Interface Challenge invites applicants to propose an optimized “system of systems” to enable easy integration of diverse technology payloads onto various commercial suborbital vehicles, orbital platforms, and planetary landers. The proposed universal payload interfaces should seamlessly adapt a wide range of small space payloads – be they technologies, laboratory instruments, or scientific experiments – for flight testing.

Applicants must register no later than 5 p.m. EST on Feb. 1, 2024, to be eligible to submit proposals. Questions can be directed to