NASA is now accepting proposals for the CubeSat Launch Initiative. Proposals must be submitted electronically by 4:30 p.m. EST Nov. 26.
From the submissions, NASA will select the best proposals by Feb. 7. Developers whose proposals are selected may have the opportunity to see their creations launched as an auxiliary payload on a mission between 2014 and 2017. NASA will not provide funding for the development of the small satellites and selection does not guarantee a launch opportunity.
CubeSats are a class of cube-shaped research spacecraft called nanosatellites. They are approximately 4 inches long, have a volume of about 1 quart and weigh less than 3 pounds.
CubeSat investigations should be consistent with NASA’s strategic plan and educational vision and goals. The research should address specific aspects of science, exploration, technology development, education or operations.
From the first four rounds of the NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative, 89 payloads from 25 U.S. states made the short list for launch opportunities in 2011 through 2016. Of the selected CubeSats, 12 satellites have already launched. Twenty-one CubeSats are scheduled for launch later this year.