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NASA Awards First CubeSat-Class Launch Services Contract

NASA has selected Generation Orbit Launch Services Inc., of Atlanta, Ga., to provide a CubeSat-class launch via the NASA Launch Services Enabling eXploration and Technology (NEXT) contract.  NEXT is an element of a strategic initiative led by NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP), focused on assuring long-term launch services while also promoting the continued evolution of the U.S. commercial space launch market.

The NEXT launch service will deliver three 3U-configuration CubeSats to a 264-mile orbit via a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-licensed launch aboard Generation Orbit’s GOLauncher 2 rocket in August 2016 from Cecil Field Spaceport in Jacksonville, Fla.

NEXT is a pathfinder contract for future acquisitions of launch services for low-cost and/or high-risk tolerant payloads.  It sets the groundwork for LSP to utilize different contracting strategies that tailor the spectrum of government insight and approval based on the risk tolerance of the spacecraft.  The total cost value for the NEXT launch service is approximately $2.1 million.  This new contract resulted from a competitive award set-aside for small businesses only.

GOLauncher 2 will launch CubeSats as the primary payload via the NEXT contract due to their ability to tolerate the higher risk of a new nano-class rocket while also helping to provide additional opportunities for the many CubeSats awaiting launch opportunities under NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI).

For more information about NASA’s Launch Services Program, visit:

For more information about NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative, visit:


George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center