NASA Phase I Press Release

NASA Phase I Press Release

Contact:         Bill Cumbie (757) 344 – 8607                                                  May 1, 2015


Tech Startup Pancopia Wins Research Contract with NASA


HAMPTON, VA; May, 2015 – Pancopia, Inc. was awarded a $125,000 Phase I SBIR contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to determine the feasibility of rapidly starting a biological wastewater system for use in space.  Development of a biological wastewater treatment system to be used on the International Space Station, and possibly for other space exploration activities in the future, has the potential to significantly lower the cost of missions.


Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) at NASA Headquarters in Washington noted, “The selected proposals demonstrate the ingenuity and creativity of America’s small businesses…Enabling NASA’s future missions, including human exploration of Mars, requires broad participation, and the SBIR/STTR Programs ensure the agency is benefiting from the passionate and determined minds of the private sector.” The NASA press release can be accessed at:


Currently, it costs $83,000 to deliver a gallon of water to the space station. As water represents 92% of total life-support consumables for the space station, recycling water is of the utmost importance. Pancopia’s cutting edge research combining the freeze drying of organisms and use of the newly discovered bacteria Anammox, has the potential to significantly reduce life support costs.


Pancopia’s founder and Chief Technical Officer Bill Cumbie was very excited about the contract, saying that it was “a game changer” for the small startup. “We are excited that a premier technology organization like NASA is supporting our research. The prospects for this technology are enormous, and our research will significantly advance the body of knowledge regarding this technology.”


Pancopia will complete the Phase I testing in December, 2015, and hopes to continue on to Phase II and Phase III contracts in the future.


About Pancopia, Inc.

Pancopia is a private R&D and engineering company specializing in environmental and energy engineering.  Located in Hampton, VA, its personnel have several decades of experience providing sustainable environmental and energy solutions throughout the commonwealth. To learn more about the company, please visit us online at

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