NASA has selected 24 small satellites, including three from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., to fly as auxiliary payloads aboard rockets planned to launch in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
The proposed CubeSats come from universities across the country, a Florida high school, several non-profit organizations and NASA field centers.
CubeSats belong to a class of research spacecraft called nanosatellites. The cube-shaped satellites measure about 4 inches (10 centimeters) on each side, have a volume of about 1 quart (1 liter), and weigh less than 3 pounds (1.1 kilograms). The selections are from the fourth round of the CubeSat Launch Initiative. After launch, the satellites will conduct technology demonstrations, educational research or science missions.
The selected CubeSats will be eligible for flight after final negotiations and an opportunity for flight becomes available. The following organizations submitted winning satellite proposals:
- The Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, Calif.
- The Discovery Museum and Planetarium, Bridgeport, Conn.
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, Ariz.
- Morehead State University, Morehead, Ky., in partnership with the University of California at Berkeley Montana State University, Bozeman (two CubeSats) in partnership with The University of New Hampshire, Durham
- Merritt Island High School, Fla., in partnership with California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
- NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. (three CubeSats) NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. (three CubeSats)
- NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Pennsylvania State University, in partnership with the Naval Research Laboratory, Monterey, Calif.; and The Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, Calif. Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Mo.
- Tyvak Nano-Satellites Systems, Irvine, Calif., in partnership with the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
- University at Buffalo, The State University of New York University of Colorado, Boulder University of Florida, Gainesville, in partnership with Stanford University University of Maryland, Baltimore County University of Texas, Austin Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn., in partnership with the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation, Silver Spring, Md.
The three CubeSats from JPL, which is managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, are:
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