The Small Spacecraft and Missions Enterprise (SSME) will embody an open vision for next generation space systems and missions development, and will implement a strategy to facilitate increased efficiencies for agency, mission directorate, national, and commercial space utilization that leverages small spacecraft investments. SSME will focus on identifying the needs of the space community, defining technology emphasis areas, establishing and vetting appropriate standards, and providing critical infrastructure elements necessary to facilitate efficiencies and leveraging within the Small Spacecraft and Missions user and developer communities. Where appropriate, pilot and demonstration projects will be conducted, with an aim of accelerating the acceptance and utilization of small spacecraft systems, technologies, and mission architectures.
The overarching objective of the SSME is to determine the optimal architecture and component configurations for a given mission platform (or combinations of platforms), or small spacecraft mission architecture that will allow for the same capabilities as larger platforms in smaller form factors. Several small spacecraft platforms are envisioned, with an eye toward exploring and defining pathways to conduct 50-80% of target space missions at 20-50% of cost, size, mass, and development.
The SSME will address a broad spectrum of small spacecraft mission requirements and objectives with the pilot projects to mature and evaluate transformational technologies to a level suitable for flight demonstration on multiple platforms. A representative distribution of possible platforms to be considered include:
Examples of potential mission and pilot applications and capabilities that could be pursued include formation flying, long life power systems, precision pointing, deployable apertures, autonomous swarm operations, proximity operations, robotics, space-to-space power transmission, and other technology enablers.
An important element of the SSME strategy will be the conduct of topic specific study sections. A number of working group products are being considered, including:
Download the SSME Overview: here