NASA’s Investment in Women-Owned Small Business

July 14, 2017 5:01 PM | Women's Network (Administrator)

Through our recent partnership with NASA’s Glenn Research Center for the Women of Achievement Awards luncheon, we learned about their Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP). This program was established to promote and integrate all small businesses into the competitive base of contractors. The OSBP even takes time to develop small businesses in high tech areas while providing maximum, practicable opportunities to participate in NASA contracts and subcontracts.

We were excited to discover that the OSBP has an initiative specifically for women-owned small businesses. They want to increase the number of annual contracts by women-owned small businesses in Northeast Ohio. Additionally, they are investing in our community by providing outreach to women-owned small businesses through participation in the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce events and attending conferences where they are building partnerships with small businesses in high tech areas.

Women’s Network is proud to call NASA’s Glenn Research Center a partner and we applaud their efforts to increase awareness of and promote stability among women-owned small businesses.

For more information on what NASA is currently working on, read below.


On Earth and in Space:  NASA's Glenn Research Center is Shaping the Nation's Future

By Frank Jennings, Jr. 

Named for native Ohioan and the first American astronaut to orbit Earth, NASA’s John H. Glenn Research Center in Cleveland is currently developing the technologies that will increase the efficiency of air travel on Earth and improve NASA's propulsion capability for future exploration missions in deep space.  Creating such diverse technologies is nothing new for the center.  The men and women of NASA Glenn have been leading the research needs of the nation and the aerospace industry for more than 75 years.

Begun as the Aircraft Engine Research Laboratory (AERL) in 1941, responsible for developing the aeronautical technologies that would give the United States a tactical advantage in battle, the AERL helped ensure allied victory in World War II.  Since then, NASA Glenn has built a portfolio of research and technologies that have allowed our nation to explore, discover and innovate, not only on Earth but in space.  The center's technologies helped launch the jet aircraft age, send American astronauts to the moon, send robotic probes to every planet in the solar system and unlock the secrets of the microgravity environment of space.

Today, the center is leading NASA's development of technologies that will advance the efficiency of future commercial passenger aircraft.  These include the use of biofuels to reduce emissions; using boundary layer ingestion to reduce an aircraft's fuel consumption; increasing use of electrified aircraft propulsion components and furthering development of composite materials to make aircraft engines and airframe components lighter and more fuel efficient.  And, while the center is developing technologies for the future of aviation, it continues to develop the aircraft safety technologies, such as icing sensors, which ensure the continued safety of aircraft currently in the fleet.

Although NASA Glenn does not launch rockets from either of its campuses in northeast Ohio, its testing facilities ensure the success of NASA rocket launches at the agency's launch sites around the country.  Equally important; NASA Glenn is a critical player in the Journey to Mars, providing testing services for the nation's newest human-rated spacecraft, Orion, and its crew service module.  The testing NASA Glenn conducts, both at its Lewis Field campus in Cleveland and its Plum Brook Station campus in Sandusky, Ohio, thus ensuring mission success from launch to in-space flight. 

As part of the Journey to Mars effort, the center is overseeing the manufacture of a Universal Stage Adaptor (USA), a crucial hardware component that will connect NASA's new space launch system rocket body to the Orion crew service module and capsule.  The USA will also have the capability of storing additional payload and in-space science experiments that can be activated prior to separation during a mission's flight.

Besides space hardware, NASA Glenn leads the agency's effort to develop solar electric propulsion (SEP).  The center has been the lead for electric propulsion since research on ion propulsion began at the center in the 1950s.  NASA's first ion engine was built by Glenn in the late 1950s.  Today, NASA Glenn's SEP technology developments are a critical piece of the Journey to Mars and, in particular, NASA's recently announced "Gateway" plan, which will send astronauts back to the moon before eventually journeying to Mars.

Whether on Earth or in space, NASA Glenn plays an important role in the nation's continued pursuit of exploration and discovery.  And, the technologies that the NASA Glenn men and women are developing, today, are shaping the nation's future for the benefit of all.

Women's Network

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