Meet the Top 10 Finalists in NASA’s iTech Cycle 1 Challenge

For the first time in history, SpaceX launched its used Dragon spacecraft on the Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying 5,000 pounds of NASA science investigations and cargo. The rocket successfully reached the International Space Station and returned to Earth.

With the space race in full force, NASA has been on the hunt for the top startups, inventors and organizations that will help them achieve their goals for space exploration and landing on Mars. With so many unique challenges to be met, a new approach was needed, which is how NASA iTech was born. This unique program was specifically designed to identify cutting edge technologies that are solving problems here on earth (with a commercial market) but also have the potential to solve challenges for NASA in space.

This competition allows innovators from all around the country to present their ideas and products for a chance to work with some of the greatest minds at NASA. Last month, NASA announced the top 25 finalists from the iTech Cycle 1 and they’ve now narrowed them down to the top 10 finalists. These companies will present at the NASA iTech Forum  July 12-13 while meeting with investors and NASA contractors, and the top three solutions will be chosen to work with the team at NASA and experts in the space industry.

Aesop Technologies (Newport News, VA)

Innovation: Aesop Nucleus

Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovations

Audacy (Mountain View, CA)

Innovation: Seamless and On-Demand Satellite Communications Architecture

Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovations

Bitome (Boston, MA)

Innovation: In Vivo Metabolism Monitoring by Miniaturized NMR Spectroscopy

Challenge Area: Medical Systems and Operations

Context Medical (Santa Clara, CA)

Diagnostic Digital Biomarkers

Challenge Area: Medical Systems and Operations

space tourism, NASA, space

Fiplate (Las Vegas, NV)

Tissue Regeneration After Radiological and Acute Trauma in Space

Challenge Area: Radiation Protection and Mitigation

Naval Postgraduate School (Monterey, CA)

Autonomous Operations of Large-Scale Satellite Constellations and Ground Station Networks

Challenge Area: Autonomy

PacSci EMC (Chandler, AZ)

Modular Architecture Propulsion System (MAPSTM)

Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovations

QuantumStack (Suffolk, VA)

Decentralized Global Computer Network

Challenge Area: Big Data

Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Health System (Omniboros Team), Washington, DC

Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot (STAR) for Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial Unmet Needs

Challenge Area: Autonomy

University of Houston (Houston, TX)

Biologically Inspired Adaptive Anti-Icing Surfaces

Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovations


Read more about how space and Hollywood are collaborating at Tech.Co

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Written by:
Tishin is a technology journalist and correspondent. She has written for TechCrunch, Demand Studios and Fitness, and has regular network segments on local Phoenix affiliate stations. She holds a Master's degree in Clinical and Sport psychology, and has covered many areas of technology ranging from 3D printing and game development to neurotech and funding for over 15 years.
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