NASA has selected 16 small satellites from nine states to fly as auxiliary payloads aboard rockets planned to launch in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The proposed CubeSats come from universities across the country, a primary school, non-profit organizations and NASA field centers.
CubeSats are a class of research spacecraft called nanosatellites. The cube-shaped satellites measure about 4 inches on each side, have a volume of about 1 quart and weigh less than 3 pounds.
The selections are from the fifth round of the agency's CubeSat Launch Initiative. After launch, the satellites will conduct technology demonstration, educational research or science missions. The selected spacecraft are eligible for launch after final negotiations, depending on the availability of a flight opportunity. The organizations sponsoring satellites are:
-- Boston University, Boston
-- Brown University, Providence, R.I.
-- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Fla.
-- Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md.
-- Lincoln Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lexington, Mass.
-- Marquette University, Milwaukee
-- NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
-- NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
-- New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, N.M.
-- St. Thomas More Cathedral School, Arlington, Va.
-- The Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, Calif.
-- University of California, Los Angeles
-- University of Florida, Gainesville
-- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
-- Utah State University, Logan (2 CubeSats)
In the previous four rounds of the CubeSat Launch Initiative, 99 CubeSats from 28 states were selected. To date, 27 CubeSats have launched through the initiative as part of the agency's Launch Services Program's Educational Launch of Nanosatellite Program. This year, four separate launches will carry 17 CubeSats.
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