Creating Startups with NASA Technology

Nakao Nakahodo, Sidney; Gonzalez, Steven

In contrast to the “fail fast, fail often” Silicon Valley paradigm, “failure is not an option” is an adage often observed in traditional space activities. New Space aims to reconcile both perspectives. For that to happen, innovation and risk mitigation should take place in tandem; a role that public–private partnerships can play in establishing a successful entrepreneurial space ecosystem. This is the context for the program “Creating startup with NASA technology,” launched by the New York Space Alliance (NYSA), in collaboration with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) through a Space Act Agreement signed in October 2018. The initiative seeks to bridge the gap between NASA and startups. It also aims to lower risks for all stakeholders involved, including the public sector, investors, entrepreneurs, and customers while fostering connections between space and nonspace businesses. The first phase focuses on transferring NASA technology to participants in a pilot program in New York. Through a series of initiatives, NYSA has been assisting startups with licensing NASA technologies for both space and nonspace commercial applications. The second phase will tap on the New York startup and innovation ecosystem to support NASA's space missions. Benefits for stakeholders involved are multiple. Impact in the city and state of New York is expected by nurturing a nascent space-based startup ecosystem, contributing to a dynamic startup community, creating both high-quality and vocational jobs, attracting and retaining talent, and stimulating economic activity, among others. In parallel, NASA engages a new innovation ecosystem and shows concrete examples of economic benefits for its research activities. The agency is also reaching a new community of entrepreneurs that will support space exploration. Entrepreneurs have access to patent-protected technologies and algorithms vetted for technical and commercial viability, as well as NASA technical personnel and facilities for additional support.


  • thumnail for NewSpaceJournal_2020.0002-compressed.pdf NewSpaceJournal_2020.0002-compressed.pdf application/pdf 210 KB Download File

Also Published In

More About This Work

Academic Units
School of International and Public Affairs
Published Here
August 26, 2022