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Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD)

POC: Joseph Grant
Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) expands the boundaries of the aerospace enterprise by rapidly developing, demonstrating, and infusing revolutionary, high-payoff technologies through collaborative partnerships. STMD employs a merit-based competition model with a portfolio approach, spanning a wide range of space technology discipline areas and technology readiness levels. Research and technology development takes place at NASA Centers, academia, and industry, and leverages partnerships with other government agencies and international partners.

STMD executes its mission according to the following tenets:

  • Advancing transformative and crosscutting technologies that can be directly infused into future missions;
  • Investing in a comprehensive portfolio covering low to high technology readiness levels;
  • Competitively selecting research by academia, industry, and NASA Centers based on technical merit;
  • Executing with lean structured projects with clear start and end dates, defined budgets and schedules, established milestones, and project level authority and accountability;
  • Operating with a sense of urgency and informed risk tolerance to infuse quickly or terminate judiciously;
  • Partnering with other NASA Mission Directorates, other government agencies, and the private sector to leverage resources, establish customer advocacy, and support US commercial aerospace interests;
  • Delivering new inventions, enabling new capabilities and creating a pipeline of NASA and national innovators

Current space technology topics of particular interest include:

  • Advanced manufacturing methods for space and in space
  • Autonomous in-space assembly of structures and spacecraft
  • Ultra-lightweight materials for space applications
  • Extreme environment electronics for planetary exploration
  • Advanced robotics for extreme environment mobility and manipulation
  • High data rate (particularly optical) communication
  • Advanced power generation, storage, and transfer for deep space missions
  • Advanced entry, decent, and landing systems for planetary exploration
  • Efficient in situ resource utilization
  • Radiation mitigation for deep space crewed missions
  • Biological approaches to environmental control and life support systems
  • Autonomous systems for deep space missions
  • Advanced telescope technologies for exoplanet imaging
  • Low size, weight, and power components and instruments for small spacecraft
  • Enabling technologies for low-cost small spacecraft launch vehicles
  • Advancements in engineering tools and models supporting Space Technology focus areas

Applicants are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the roadmap document most closely aligned with their space technology interests. The individual roadmap documents may be downloaded at the following link:

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) current year version of the NASA Research Announcement (NRA) entitled, "Space Technology Research, Development, Demonstration, and Infusion” has been posted on the NSPIRES web site at (select “Solicitations” and then “Open Solicitations”). The NRA provides detailed information on specific proposals being sought across STMD programs.