The Fundamental Aeronautics (FA) Program relies upon intellectual
relationships with a variety of partners. These partnerships are
formalized through Space Act Agreements and memoranda that allow NASA
to partner with other federal agencies, industry, foundations,
universities and non-government organizations. In Space Act
Agreements, NASA provides data, facilities, services, coordination,
and personnel to the partner, and in return, the partner shares
research results and may provide funding to pay for part or all of
Because NASA typically does not design and build air vehicles for
operational use, the partnerships and collaborations with the
aeronautics industry are valuable in gaining insights into challenges
associated with design, manufacturing, and flight and in transitioning
technology to industry. FA collaborates with industry to provide
insight into issues associated with flight, manufacturing, and
In addition to SAA-based partnerships, the program uses Memoranda
of Understanding (MoU), Memoranda of Agreement (MoA), Interagency
Agreements (IA), NASA Research Announcements (NRAs), and the Small
Business Innovative Research Program.
The FA Program adheres to the following guidance to establish external agreements:
- Collaborations are set up only when there is significant benefit
to NASA and its constituencies (aerospace community, aerospace
industry, academe, and ultimately the taxpayer).
- Once the collaboration is set up, the results can be appropriately
disseminated and validated through a peer-review process.
- Collaborations are only initiated when there is full program
commitment to see them through to completing objectives.
Fundamental Aeronautics conducts research that benefits both military
and civil aviation, working with the Department of Defense, Federal
Aviation Administration, Joint Planning & Development Office, and
others through Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) and Memoranda of
The Private Sector
NASA seeks to develop long-term, intellectual, collaborative,
consortia-type partnerships through non-reimbursible Space Act
Agreements, or through NASA Research Announcements (NRAs).
NASA seeks to integrate America's universities into the critical path
of aeronautics research through full and open competitions for funds
via NASA Research Announcements (NRAs). Our goal is to directly link
students and faculty with NASA researchers on work that becomes a
vital part of the overall NASA aeronautics plan. In this way, NASA and
industry will see a natural replenishment of the workforce through
strong partnerships in research, along with revolutionary innovations
in aeronautics for the nation.
Informally, NASA participates in various technical interchange or
working groups with industry and academia and in support of other
government agencies. The FA Program also encourages and supports
researcher participation in professional technical society conferences
and workshops, professional society technical committees, and
standards development committees.
+ Learn More About NRAs
+ NASA's Small Business Innovative Research Program