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Prize to USA Individuals, IHEs, Businesses, and Nonprofits to Honor Efforts to Support Underrepresented Groups in the Space Industry

The NASA Space Tech Catalyst Prize


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Array ( )

Geographic Focus

Important Dates
Conference Date: 01/25/24
LOI Date: 02/08/24
Deadline: 02/22/24 5:00 PM EST Save

Grant Description
Prize to USA individuals, teams, IHEs, businesses, and nonprofit and other organizations to honor efforts to support underrepresented groups in the space technology industry. Applicants are required to pre-register prior to applying. The goal of the award program is to foster a more inclusive and vibrant space technology community, driving innovation and advancing the capabilities of the industry as a whole.

In the context of this Competition, the funding source defines underserved and underrepresented communities as those that have historically faced persistent inequity or encountered barriers that have limited their access to opportunities including Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other persons of color; those who identify as women, members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.

The NASA Space Tech Catalyst Prize, recognizes, and supports individuals and organizations that contribute to the growth and development of underrepresented and diverse innovators, researchers, technologists, and entrepreneurs in the field of space technology.

This Competition aims to highlight best practices and solutions for engaging and empowering these groups, ultimately improving their chances of competing for space technology research and development awards and successfully transitioning their technology for commercial or NASA Mission infusion.

The primary goals of the Competition are threefold:

  1. To identify and recognize the efforts of those who support and nurture underrepresented and diverse individuals and organizations in the space technology sector;
  2. To showcase effective strategies and approaches for developing the capacity and skill sets of these groups, thereby enhancing their ability to succeed in the competitive space technology landscape; and
  3. To expand the outreach and engagement efforts of the ESIP portfolio, ensuring a diverse and inclusive pool of applicants for future funding opportunities.

The awardees will form a diverse, impact-oriented cohort that embodies the spirit and integrity of the Competition's serious vision. The cohort will be invited on a paid trip to participate in an in-person convening event in Washington DC at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to share best practices in reaching, engaging, and developing the capabilities and skill sets of diverse groups to be better prepared to apply successfully for funding opportunities within ESIP and subsequent commercialization/ infusion success.

Applicants to the Prize Competition must be able to demonstrate successes in supporting underserved communities in the advancement of new technologies and concepts in any of the following technology categories:

  • GO! Rapid, Safe, and Efficient Space Transportation: The technology area focuses on developing advanced technologies for space transportation, including space nuclear propulsion, advanced propulsion, and cryogenic fluid management. 
  • LAND! Expanded Access to Diverse Surface Destinations: Through precision landing and hazard avoidance technologies, the community strives to achieve lighting-independent precise landing on any terrain. 
  • LIVE! Sustainable Living and Working Farther from Earth: The technology area is dedicated to developing advanced habitation systems that ensure astronauts' health and productivity while residing in space and planetary vehicles. 
  • EXPLORE! Transformative Missions and Discoveries: The technology area focuses on several key areas including advanced avionics and the advancement of radiation-hardened spaceflight computing technologies. 

For more information about each of these categories, see


Additional Eligibility Criteria
Applicants may include teachers, mentors, and other individuals. Universities, non-profits, businesses, and other organizations are also encouraged to apply.

NASA welcomes applications from individuals, teams, and organization or entities that have a recognized legal existence and structure under applicable U.S. law and that are in good standing in the jurisdiction under which they are organized with the following restrictions:
1. Individuals must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States and be 18 years of age or older.
2. Organizations must be an entity incorporated in and maintaining a primary place of business in the United States.
3. Teams must be comprised of otherwise eligible individuals or organizations and led by a U.S Citizen or permanent resident of the United States who is 18 years of age or older.

- U.S. government employees may participate so long as they are not acting within the scope of their position, rely on no facilities, access, personnel, knowledge, or other resources that are available to them as a result of their employment except for those resources made available to all other participants on an equal basis.
- U.S. government employees participating as individuals, or who submit applications on behalf of an otherwise eligible organization, will be responsible for ensuring that their participation in the Competition is permitted by the rules and regulations relevant to their position and that they have obtained any authorization that may be required by virtue of their government position. Failure to do so may result in the disqualification of them individually or of the entity which they represent or in which they are involved.
- Foreign citizens may only participate as (i) employees of an otherwise eligible U.S. entity who reside in the U.S., (ii) full-time students at an otherwise eligible U.S. university or college who reside in the U.S., or (iii) owners of less than 50% of the interests in an otherwise eligible U.S. entity who reside in the U.S.
- Registered competitors shall be responsible for the actions of and compliance with the rules by their employees, subcontractors, officers, owners, and other affiliated persons

Ineligible persons or entities: Federal entities or Federal employees acting within the scope of their employment. Employees of NASA, Ensemble Government Services LLC, and any of their subsidiaries and affiliates, as well as immediate family members or persons living in the same households of such employees.

No use of government funds: If you or your employer is receiving Government funding for similar projects you or your employer are not eligible for an award under this Competition.

Pre-Proposal Conference
Informational Webinar: Oct 25, 2023 2:00-3:00 PM ET
Register for webinar:

Informational Webinar: November 28, 2023 2:00-3:00 PM ET
Register for webinar:

Webinar Details: Jan 25, 2024 02:00 PM Eastern Time
Register for webinar:

Pre-Application Information
Competition Timeline:
- Competition Launch, Thursday, September 28, 2023: Competition launches to public and ongoing promotional and communication activities begin
- Open Submission Period, September 2023–February 2024: Informational Webinars to support registered Teams; Ongoing Promotional activities and/or other support for registered Teams
- Registration Closes, Thursday, February 8, 2024 at 5 PM EST: Final day for organizations and individuals to register
- Competition Close, Thursday, February 22, 2024 at 5 PM EST: Deadline for submissions
- Winners Announced, Wednesday, March 13, 2024: Winners announced
- In-person Convening Event at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Thursday, April 17, 2024: Competition winners will be invited to participate in a collaborative in-person event including networking, facility walkthroughs, and other engaging activities.

All interested individuals, teams, or organizations must register for the Competition by the registration deadline (February 8, 2024 at 5 PM EST) and meet the eligibility requirements in order to participate in the Competition.

How to Enter:

Rules and Eligibility:



Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant
$25,000 each

Travel Stipend Provided For Travel To The In-Person Convening Event: Each awardee will receive a travel stipend to cover the cost associated with lodging, food, and transportation.

Contact Information
Register for the Competition:

If you need assistance with the registration form or understanding how to submit reach out via the contact form:

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