NASA is seeking proposals for small satellite payloads to fly on
rockets planned to launch between 2012 and 2014. These miniature
spacecraft, known as CubeSats, could be included as auxiliary
payload on previously planned missions.
NASA CubeSat File Photo
CubeSats are a class of research spacecraft called
nanosatellites. The cube-shaped satellites are approximately four
inches long, have a volume of about one quart and weigh less than
three pounds. Proposed CubeSat investigations must be consistent
with NASA's Strategic Plan and the Education Strategic Coordination
Framework. The research should address aspects of science,
exploration, technology development, education or operations.
Applicants must submit proposals electronically by 1630 EDT on
November 14. NASA will select the payloads by January 30, 2012.
Selection does not guarantee a launch opportunity. The selected
spacecraft will be eligible for flight after final negotiations
when a launch opportunity arises. NASA will not provide funding for
the development of the small satellites.
NASA recently announced the results from the second round of the
CubeSat Launch Initiative. From the first two launch initiatives,
32 payloads made the short-list for launch opportunities in 2011
and 2012. They are eligible for launch pending an appropriate
opportunity and final negotiations. The satellites come from 18
states: Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Kentucky,
Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana,
New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah and