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An animated short, produced by NASA, tells in detail how the agency plans to return to the moon by 2024 through its Artemis program.

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A new Space Coast company specializing in aerospace cryogenics was one of several selected under NASA’s new lunar contracts designed to push emerging technologies into the mainstream.

Eta Space, which has operations in Merritt Island and Rockledge, has joined the list of 13 other US companies selected for NASA’s Tipping Point contracts, all worth about $ 370 million. The program is designed to find technologies on the verge of maturity and help them push them through their critical points.

Wednesday’s contracts focus on cryogenic technology or the storage and distribution of super-cold fuels in space. NASA expects them to be crucial not only for missions originating from Earth, but also for turning the moon’s water ice into fuel for long-term lunar operations and possibly even trips to Mars.

Eta Space, which focuses on cryogenics, provided a total of $ 27 million, making it the fifth tallest in the group. Co-founder Bill Notardonato said the company was founded by three former NASA employees, including himself, and plans to expand to other parts of the Space Coast in the near future.

Notardonato said Eta Space plans a more detailed announcement after the contract and a description of its activities next week.

“Most of the funding will help mature cryogenic fluid management technologies through space demonstrations led by small businesses Eta Space, Lockheed Martin, SpaceX and ULA,” NASA said on Wednesday. “Each approach is unique, ranging from small to large-scale and short-term to long-term.”

In addition to kirogenic fluids, the contracts were awarded to companies involved in lunar surface operations and landing and landing demonstrations.

The 14 companies selected in the order of the value of the award were:

  • Lockheed Martin of Littleton, Colorado, $ 89.7 million
  • United Launch Alliance (ULA) of Centennial, Colorado, $ 86.2 million
  • SpaceX from Hawthorne, California, $ 53.2 million
  • Intuitive machines from Houston, $ 41.6 million
  • Eta Space on Merritt Island, Florida, $ 27 million
  • Alpha Space Test and Research Alliance of Houston, $ 22.1 million
  • Nokia of America Corporation of Sunnyvale, CA, $ 14.1 million
  • SSL Robotics from Pasadena, California, $ 8.7 million
  • Pittsburgh astrobotic technology, $ 5.8 million
  • pH The Columbus issue, Ohio, $ 3.4 million
  • Masten Space Systems of Mojave, California, $ 10 million, $ 2.8 million
  • Teledyne Energy Systems of Hunt Valley, Maryland, $ 2.8 million
  • Sierra Nevada Corporation in Madison, Wisconsin, $ 2.4 million
  • Precision Combustion Inc. from North Haven, Connecticut, $ 2.4 million

If the schedules are maintained, NASA plans to test the launch of its Artemis rocket, the space launch system, in mid-November at the Stenis Space Center in Mississippi. This will pave the way for its first unwrapped test flight in late 2021, followed by more tests until the planned landing of two astronauts on the moon in 2024.

Contact Emre Kelly at aekelly@floridatoday.com or 321-242-3715. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @EmreKelly. Support space journalism by subscribing to floridatoday.com/specialoffer/.

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