Blue Canyon secures $4.9M NASA grant

BOULDER — Blue Canyon Technologies Inc., a Boulder-based small-satellite developer, has secured a $4.9 million contract from NASA.

The contract from NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate is to develop technology that allows Blue Canyon’s spacecraft to perform autonomous navigation onboard without additional hardware.

The award came as part of more than $40 million in contracts that NASA awarded to 14 companies as part of its “Tipping Point” solicitation that support the agency’s Moon to Marks exploration. Blue Canyon received the second-highest contract award.

“By providing a turnkey spacecraft bus with integrated autonomous navigation capability, we are opening the door for both the government and commercial industries to deploy CubeSat and SmallSat technologies for cislunar and interplanetary missions,” George Stafford, founder and CEO of Blue Canyon Technologies, said in a prepared statement. “This contract allows us to develop a technology and associated price point that would not be available otherwise.”

Blue Canyon’s system will supplement NASA’s Deep Space Network, a network of large radio antennas, which are the primary ground infrastructure for communicating with deep space missions.

Blue Canyon’s small spacecraft take less time to build and are less expensive than conventional satellites, which could increase the number, scale and types of space missions.

Blue Canyon is building more than 60 spacecraft for government, commercial and academic missions, and plans to open its new 80,000-square-foot headquarters and production facility in 2020.