Nasa has selected 139 proposals under its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programme Phase II.

As part of this, the company will provide follow-on funding of $104m to 124 small businesses in 31 US states.

Nasa’s SBIR programme has three phases and awards funding to companies involved in developing improved batteries, virtual assistants, lightweight materials and more.

According to the agency, the technologies could prove beneficial in space missions such as the Artemis programme, human exploration and operations, space technology, and aeronautics initiatives.

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The companies selected in Phase II are previous recipients of Nasa’s SBIR Phase I contract.

Some of them include X-wave Innovations, MillenniTEK and Soar Technology. These firms have established their proposed technologies’ feasibility.

Under the Phase II award, the selected companies will develop, demonstrate and deliver their innovations. The contract has a period of two years and a top ceiling of $750,000.

The awards will help Nasa advanced in its projects including the Artemis programme, as well as other initiatives in aeronautics, human exploration and operations, science, and space technology.

Nasa Washington space technology mission directorate associate administrator Jim Reuter said: “Small businesses offer innovative solutions that benefit every area of Nasa and often find applications outside of the agency.

“This announcement is another step forward in Nasa’s Moon to Mars exploration approach. The agency continues to invest in and support small businesses, as they continue to mature important technologies for future missions that can also benefit us on Earth.”

The SBIR programme is managed by the agency’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California, and part of its Space Technology Mission Directorate.