By Jill Lafferty
Think NASA only works with the major aerospace firms? Think again. NASA awarded $4.3 billion to small businesses in the 2011 fiscal year, representing nearly 18 percent of NASA contracting.
The NASA Office of Small Business Programs hosts an annual small business symposium that offers the opportunity for one-on-one meetings with NASA Small Business Specialists and agency program offices. In addition, programs such as the NASA Mentor-Protégé Program and programs for women-owned, veteran-owned, minority-owned and other small businesses can assist in entry to the aerospace market.
“There will be new opportunities to work with small business partners as NASA takes its next big leap into deep space exploration,” says NASA administrator Charles Bolden. “As a result of our focus on developing a new space launch system that will be capable of taking our astronauts into deep space, we are turning over transport of astronauts and cargo to the International Space Station and other low-earth destinations to commercial crew partners. We also have an ambitious slate of upcoming science missions, and we are continuing our aeronautics work to build the next generation air transportation system. All of this means jobs for the American people and new opportunities for small business.”