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NASA Launches VC for Mars Mission Prep

Here’s something interesting I found on VentureBeat: Red Planet Capital, a $75Million venture capital fund fased at NASA Ames here in Mountain View, will be funding businesses that develop technology for space exploration.

In his post, “NASA Ames Research Center has vital role in future space exploration”, Pete Worden (NASA Ames Director) writes about all of the new work that is happening local to the Bay Area including partnerships with Google, testing new heat shields for the shuttle replacement, Orion, and developing IT for health monitoring tools. He also notes that robotics and small satellite missions are something for the near future.

Red Planet Capital is a nonprofit organization originally based out of San Mateo. They have eight business areas of focus: “eight business sectors: information technology, communications, biomedical support, environmental systems, smart manufacturing, man-machine systems, energy, and advanced materials.” They invest $3-$5 Million in most of their portfolio companies over the course of multiple rounds of funding, starting with sums of $250k. See also: NASA’s press release from last month and of course redplanetcapital.com.