Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




MICROSAT BLITZ
NASA Seeks New Launching Methods for Micro-Satellites
by Staff Writers
Moscow (Sputnik) May 17, 2015


File image.

The exploration of interstellar space could rely on tiny probes known as "cubesats." Measuring, at most, 12 inches, the nanosatellites could be an economic new tool. But such small devices don't need massive rockets, and NASA is looking for cutting-edge ideas for launching the cubesats beyond our atmosphere.

Your typical satellite doesn't come cheap. To build a weather satellite capable of tracking a hurricane, you'd better set aside $290 million. Want that satellite to include a missile-warning system? That could bump you up closer to $400 million.

That's why cubesats are so promising. The satellites are comparably tiny, comprised of either one, two, or three 4-inch cubes. Thanks to advances in electronics spearheaded by cellphone companies, cubesats contain a surprising amount of processing power, and cost a mere $3,500 each.

We already have a few in Earth orbit as part of a test-run.

But launching satellites into space costs money, too, and nobody wants to spend the $100 million typical of most launches to hurl a robot the size of a Chihuahua into orbit.

To solve that quandary, NASA is looking for alternative methods of liftoff, and it's taking that request to major commercial developers.

"We want to be that first customer, help mentor these companies and help get these small satellites [into] orbit," Mark Wiese, head of the Flight Projects Branch of the Launch Services Program Business Office, said during a teleconference on Monday. "We're trying to find a way to get to orbit at a lower cost."

The agency plans to award at least one "Venture Class Launch Services" (VCLS) to the best idea. The VCLS needs to be capable of lifting either 132 pounds of cubesats or two separate 66 pounds batches. The contracts will be granted by September 30, with an expected launch no later than April 15, 2018.

So what are we talking about here? Mini rockets? Cannons attached to high-altitude aircraft? Giant, high-powered slingshots? Probably not, but whatever NASA decides on could also help propel cubesats deeper into space.

"Right now, we want to get this demonstration [mission] out of the way, and work from that point on to see how we can use this in the future," Garrett Skrobot, mission manager with the LSP's Educational Launch of Nanosatellites program, said during the teleconference.

In the meantime, the mission carries on. Two cubesats will hitch a ride with the Mars Insight lander when it launches in 2016. The satellites will help coordinate the lander's descent to the red planet.

Other cubesats will also be used to study a near-Earth asteroid and the moon after stowing aboard the Space Launch System in 2018.

NASA's using big ideas to explore a big universe, but that doesn't mean the tools can't be small.

Source: Sputnik News


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
NASA
Microsat News and Nanosat News at SpaceMart.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





MICROSAT BLITZ
Clyde Space wins Outernet contract
Glasgow UK (SPX) Mar 17, 2015
Clyde Space has signed a 1 million pound deal to build three CubeSats for American global broadcast company Outernet Inc in an international partnership deal funded by the UK Space Agency. Outernet's aim is to make web access free and unrestricted all over the world through space-based telecommunications. As the project develops, Clyde Space hopes to secure business from the New York based ... read more


MICROSAT BLITZ
NASA's LRO Moves Closer to the Lunar Surface

European Space Agency Director Wants to Set Up a Moon Base

Russia Invites China to Join in Creating Lunar Station

Japan to land first unmanned spacecraft on moon in 2018

MICROSAT BLITZ
Technique for finding signs of life on the Red Planet

Mystery Methane on Mars: The Saga Continues

Auroras on Mars

Quick Detour by NASA Mars Rover Checks Ancient Valley

MICROSAT BLITZ
Russia races to replace Sarah Brightman as space tourist

Photonic Laser Thruster Propels Simulated Spacecraft

Potentially Revolutionary Mission Heading for 2016 Launch

High-tech Analysis of Orion Heat Shield Underway

MICROSAT BLITZ
3D printer making Chinese space suit parts

Xinhua Insight: How China joins space club?

Chinese scientists mull power station in space

China completes second test on new carrier rocket's power system

MICROSAT BLITZ
ISS Partners Adjust Spacecraft Schedule

Samantha's longer stay on ISS

Italian astronaut shows how to use restroom on ISS online

Russia delays return of ISS crew members after supply ship failure

MICROSAT BLITZ
Report: SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket certified to fly NASA missions

DirecTV-15 and SKY Mexico-1 integrated for Ariane 5 heavy-lift mission

Russia to Launch US Comms Satellite Into Space

Fifth Vega takes shape for its flight with Sentinel-2A

MICROSAT BLITZ
Weather forecasts for planets beyond our solar system

Astrophysicists offer proof that famous image shows forming planets

Astronomers detect drastic atmospheric change in super Earth

New exoplanet too big for its star

MICROSAT BLITZ
Researchers develop artificial membranes with programmable surfaces

Tiny silicone spheres come out of the mist

OPALS Boosts Space-to-Ground Optical Communications Research

Patria Space unit now part of RUAG




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.