Space enthusiasts can contribute to NASA’s exploration goals through the next round of the agency’s CubeSat Launch Initiative. Applicants must submit their proposals electronically by Nov. 24, 2015.
The CubeSat Launch Initiative provides access to space for CubeSats developed by NASA centers, accredited educational institutions and nonprofit organizations, giving CubeSat developers access to a low-cost pathway to conduct research in the areas of science, exploration, technology development, education or operations consistent with NASA’s Strategic Plan. NASA does not provide funding for the development of the small satellites.
NASA plans to select the payloads by Feb. 19, 2016, but selection does not guarantee a launch opportunity. Selected experiments will fly as auxiliary payloads on agency rocket launches or be deployed from the International Space Station beginning in 2016 and running through 2019. To date, NASA has selected 105 CubeSats from 30 states. Thirty-seven CubeSats have been launched, and 16 more are scheduled to go into space in the next 12 months.