To focus on Deep Space Mission, NASA picked proposal to build two multi-disciplinary, university- led research institutes.

With the aim of extending human presence deeper into our solar system The New space technology Research Institutes (STRIs), which is created under these proposals, will mainly focus on bringing together researchers from different organizations and disciples. They work jointly to develop new cutting-edge technologies in bio-manufacturing and space infrastructure.

Both the institute will receive upto $15 million fund from NASA over a five- year period of performance.

Talking about the initiative Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington, said

“NASA is establishing STRIs to research and exploit cutting-edge advances in technology with the potential for revolutionary impact on future aerospace capabilities. These university-led, multi-disciplinary research programs promote the synthesis of science, engineering and other disciplines to achieve specific research objectives with credible expected outcomes within five years. At the same time, these institutes will expand the U.S. talent base in areas of research and development with broader applications beyond aerospace.”

Just have a look at the selected institutes

Center for the Utilization of Biological Engineering in Space (CUBES):

CUBES will focus on advancement of integrated, multi-function, multi-organism bio-manufacturing system to produce fuel, food, materials and pharmaceuticals. With the primary goal of benefiting deep-space planetary exploration, institute lend itself to practical Earth-based applications.

The CUBES team is led by Adam Arkin, principal investigator at the University of California, Berkeley, in partnership with Utah State University, the University of California, Davis, Stanford University, and industrial partners Autodesk and Physical Sciences, Inc.

Institute for Ultra-Strong Composites by Computational Design (US-COMP)

US-COMP aims to develop and deploy a carbon nanotube-based, ultra-high strength, lightweight aerospace structural material within five years. Success will mean a critical change to the design paradigm for space structures. Through collaboration with industry partners, it is anticipated that advances in laboratories could quickly translate to advances in manufacturing facilities that will yield sufficient amounts of advanced materials for use in NASA missions.

Results of this research will have broad societal impacts, as well. Rapid development and deployment of the advanced materials created by the institute could support an array of Earthly applications and benefit the U.S. manufacturing sector.

US-COMP is a multidisciplinary team of 22 faculty members led by Gregory Odegard, principal investigator at the Michigan Technological University, in partnership with Florida State University, University of Utah, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Florida A&M University, Johns Hopkins University, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Minnesota, Pennsylvania State University, University of Colorado and Virginia Commonwealth University. Industrial partners include Nanocomp Technologies and Solvay, with the U.S. Air Force Research Lab as a collaborator.