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InSPA collaborates with multi-sector partners to fast-track space commercialization
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InSPA collaborates with multi-sector partners to fast-track space commercialization
by Brad Bartz
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Nov 01, 2023

Aiming to bring commercial manufacturing in space closer to reality, NASA's Inter-Agency Space Platform for Advanced (InSPA) portfolio is rallying support from diverse sectors. NASA is engaging with professionals from industry, academia, and other government agencies to help fine-tune its InSPA objectives, share expertise, and increase the chances of commercial success in space.

These collaborations are critical in driving the advancement of technologies from mere proof-of-concept demonstrations aboard the International Space Station to bona fide commercial operations in future low Earth orbit (LEO) destinations.

Defining the Roadmap
One of the key priorities for the InSPA initiative involves shaping NASA Technology Roadmaps. Additionally, the program is invested in evaluating proposals that address both national needs and U.S. competitiveness. This is carried out through focused working group discussions, which serve as valuable platforms for integrated decision-making and planning.

Collaboration with CHIPS and Science Act
Semiconductor manufacturing in microgravity conditions has emerged as an area of keen interest for NASA, particularly in alignment with the goals of the "CHIPS and Science Act." The agency is actively seeking funding through the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to bolster U.S. leadership in this niche field. NASA's InSPA program has a provision for awarding grants that include funding for various pillars such as facilities, workforce development, academic backing, and overall program advancement.

SHERPA: Aiding Research and Development
Another critical aspect of the InSPA initiative is the involvement of the Space Hardware Experts for Research, Production, and Applications (SHERPA). This group serves as an intellectual repository and consults directly with principal investigators or through NASA Technical Monitors to expedite the learning curve in space technology commercialization.

Specific SHERPA Activities Include:

+ Identifying potential InSPA candidates where gravity has been a hindrance to progress.

+ Assisting in the prioritization and decision-making processes for project selections.

+ Conducting peer reviews at significant project milestones, such as design reviews, science requirements, and both ground and in-flight testing phases.

+ Developing performance goals and metrics that set new industry standards.

+ Utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning to refine space databases, thereby improving models and maximizing value from each flight and across multiple programs.

+ Performing independent analysis and validation of in-flight data.

+ Reaching out to potential sponsors from industry and other government agencies for Phase 2 and 3 sponsorships.

The InSPA initiative represents a concerted effort by NASA to accelerate the U.S. space industry's progress towards a sustainable, scalable, and profitable commercial sector in low Earth orbit. By collaborating closely with a multi-sectoral network of professionals, the program aims to ensure the technological readiness of various products and services. This, in turn, helps move them from experimental stages to market-ready solutions, while addressing the broader objectives of national interests and global competitiveness.

ai.spacedaily.com analysis

Relevance Scores:

1. Space Industry Analyst: 10/10
2. Stock and Finance Market Analyst: 7/10
3. Government Policy Analyst: 9/10

Comprehensive Analyst Summary:

Main Points:

The article outlines NASA's Inter-Agency Space Platform for Advanced (InSPA) initiative, which aims to fast-track commercial manufacturing in space. By bringing together professionals from diverse sectors including industry, academia, and government, InSPA aims to transition technologies from proof-of-concept stages to commercial operations in low Earth orbit (LEO). Various aspects like technology roadmaps, funding, and project metrics are being addressed collaboratively.

Implications:

- Space Industry: The initiative is a game-changer for the space industry, especially for businesses in advanced technologies like semiconductor manufacturing in microgravity. It significantly increases the chances of commercialization and sets new industry standards.

- Stock and Finance: This initiative will likely drive investment in space tech companies and R and D. The involvement of multiple sectors and government backing will make these ventures more attractive for investors.

- Government Policy: InSPA has high policy relevance, as it aligns with national needs and global competitiveness. Government agencies, particularly those in science and technology, will find themselves directly involved or impacted by this initiative.

Historical Context:

Over the last 25 years, the space sector has seen a gradual shift from government-only missions to commercial involvement. The entry of private players like SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic has disrupted the market. However, collaborative, multi-sectoral efforts like InSPA are relatively new and hold the potential to dramatically accelerate technological advancements. This can be compared to the International Space Station's initiation, which was another multi-sectoral effort but was limited to R and D and lacked a commercial focus.

Correlations, Discrepancies, and Similarities:

- Correlation: InSPA correlates with previous multi-sector collaborations but is unique in its commercial focus.

- Discrepancy: Unlike past initiatives, which have often been nationally or internationally led, InSPA heavily involves sectors outside government and academia.

- Similarity: It follows the trend of increasing private sector participation in space ventures, similar to the rise of SpaceX and other private companies.

Investigative Questions:

1. What are the specific technology areas, besides semiconductor manufacturing, that InSPA aims to commercialize?

2. How does InSPA intend to measure the success of its partnerships and objectives?

3. What are the financial models that support InSPA's multi-sectoral collaborations?

4. How does InSPA align with or differ from other government strategies aimed at space commercialization?

5. What risk mitigation strategies are being considered in case of project failures or delays in technology development?

Related Links
InSPA Inter-Agency Collaboration Goals
The latest information about the Commercial Satellite Industry

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