NASA’s Cubesat Launch Initiative

NASA is announcing a new initiative to launch small cube-shaped satellites. CubeSats are a class of research spacecraft called picosatellites, having a size of approximately four inches, a volume of about one quart, and weighing no more than 2.2 pounds. The CubeSats are planned as auxiliary payloads on launch vehicles already planned for 2011 and 2012.
NASA made our first open announcement to create an agency-prioritized list of available CubeSats in April this year.
From that first announcement a total of 12 CubeSat payloads were down-selected for launch opportunities. The down-selected proposals include contributions from the following educational institutions: Auburn University, California Polytechnic State University, Medgar Evers College – City University of New York, Montana State University, Regents of the University of Colorado, University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of California, University of New Hampshire, University of Michigan, Utah State, and Vermont Technical College.

Additional CubeSat launch capacity is still available in 2011 and 2012, so a second announcement of CubeSat integration and launch opportunities is being released. This second announcement will relieve the requirement that development efforts be conducted under existing NASA-supported activities. However, proposers must still be educational institutions and contribute to NASA strategic goals and outcomes.

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