Small Spacecraft Technology


NASA Seeks Innovative Suborbital Flight Technology Proposals
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NASA Seeks Academic Partners for Smallsat Technology Collaboration
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NASA Seeks Big Ideas for Small In-Space Propulsion Systems
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Suborbital Flight Opportunities for Small Spacecraft Technologies
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Past Solicitations


Artist Concept of Euclid
Questions? Contact Program Manager Andres Martinez or Program Executive Andrew Petro.

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Small Spacecraft Technology Program

Smallsat Technology Partnership Selections NASA-University Collaborations

NASA has selected eight university teams to collaborate on development and demonstration of new technologies and capabilities for small spacecraft.  Each of the university teams will be working with engineers and scientists from NASA on two-year projects beginning this fall. All of these efforts are directed toward making small spacecraft into powerful but affordable tools for science, exploration, and space operations. 


Technology Development Project Selections

The Small Spacecraft Technology Program, in collaboration with the Flight Opportunities and Game Changing Development Programs, selected five teams to develop and demonstrate propulsion concepts for small spacecraft and one team to demonstrate the technology for a small Earth return vehicle.  The project teams include four private companies, two NASA Centers, and one university.
› See the complete list with project descriptions
› NASA press release

About the Small Spacecraft Technology Program

The Small Spacecraft Technology Program develops and demonstrates new capabilities employing the unique features of small spacecraft for science, exploration and space operations.


Four Flight Demonstration Projects
EDSN (Edison Demonstration of SmallSat Networks)
OCSD (Optical Communication and Sensor Demonstration)
ISARA (Integrated Solar Array and Reflectarray Antenna)
CPOD (Cubesat Proximity Operations Demonstration)
PhoneSat (Smartphone Nanosatellites) pdf
Nodes (Network & Operation Demonstration Satellite) pdf

SBIR Phase I Projects
Description Charts (pdf)

FY13 Solicitations

Smallsat Technology Partnerships (NNA13ZUA001C) – opportunity for collaboration between universities and NASA researchers for small spacecraft technology development and demonstration.

Small Spacecraft Technology Development (Appendix E of NNL12A3001N) – in partnership with the STMD Flight Opportunities Program, an opportunity for development of small spacecraft propulsion technology and small earth return vehicles.

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Small Spacecraft Technology in the News

PhoneSat 2.4: Ready for Launch
A Minotaur I rocket carrying the DOD's Operationally Resonsive Space-3 mission successfully launched at 8:15 p.m. EST, November 19. The PhoneSat 2.4 payload also successfully deployed and will start collecting data.

NASA Smallsat Technology Partnerships Projects Selected in 2013
NASA has selected 13 university teams for collaborative projects to develop and demonstrate new technologies and capabilities and spur innovation in communication, navigation, propulsion, science instruments, and advanced manufacturing for small spacecraft.

NASA's Tiny 'PhoneSats' From Smartphones Show Promise  →
PhoneSats have a future — perhaps as low-cost weather satellites or Earth-observation platforms.

Administrator Bolden and Rep. Honda Check Out PhoneSats at NASA Ames  →
During the PhoneSats brief stint in space, they communicated with ground stations and even managed to send back photos of the earth.

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Small Spacecraft

The Small Spacecraft Technology Program develops and demonstrates new capabilities employing the unique features of small spacecraft for science, exploration and space operations.
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State of the Art Report

State of the Art Report.
This document provides an assessment of the current state-of-the-art for small spacecraft technology across all subsystems. It is intended as a reference for the entire community and will be updated annually as new information becomes available.
› State of the Art Report

Page Last Updated: August 6th, 2015
Page Editor: Loura Hall