Above Space Development Corporation, formerly known as Orbital Assembly, a player in the space sector aiming to provide the first gravity capable, habitable space stations, has recently entered into an Umbrella Space Act Agreement (SAA) with NASA, a move that holds significant implications for both parties involved.
This five-year agreement outlines the scope for collaborative work on various technologies aimed at serving commercial, civil, and government clients, marking a crucial milestone in the advancement of the space industry.
Under this agreement, Above Space Development will have access to NASA’s facilities and services, which will assist the organization in testing and enhancing its systems, tools, and technology.
Rhonda Stevenson, CEO and President of Above, expressed her excitement about the potential of this agreement, stating that it will enable Above to test and validate its software, technology, and components that could be utilized in future cislunar space stations and near-term launch projects.
Stevenson also emphasized the positive impact this agreement will have on Above’s competitive position in the industry. The support from this collaboration complements Above’s two prominent Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contracts, which focus on developing a ground-to-orbit energy receiver platform and in-space manufacturing of lightweight, thin-film solar photovoltaics (PV).
The collaboration between Above and NASA not only benefits Above but also provides value to NASA by offering insight into Above’s technological advancements and innovations. Specifically, Above will contribute to NASA’s understanding of hybrid and microgravity initiatives.
One specific location highlighted for collaboration under this agreement is NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Alabama. Above will conduct tests at the MSFC’s flat floor facility, known for its near-perfectly flat surface that allows objects to move almost frictionlessly on a cushion of air. The MSFC’s flat floor facility has a long history of validating various space technologies, including space shuttles, making it a crucial asset within the space industry. Above will join the ranks of companies that have benefited from this facility, utilizing the unique environment to test their own space engineering technologies.
This collaboration between Above and NASA showcases the increasing interconnectivity and cooperation between government agencies and private industry within the rapidly growing space sector. As the space industry continues to evolve, partnerships like the one between Above and NASA will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in advancing technology and space exploration.