[meteorite-list] Six CubeSats with JPL Contributions Chosen for SLS Flight
From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 2016 12:53:11 -0800 (PST)
Six CubeSats with JPL Contributions Chosen for SLS Flight
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
February 2, 2016
The first flight of NASA's new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS),
will carry 13 low-cost CubeSats to test innovative ideas along with an
uncrewed Orion spacecraft in 2018. Six of these CubeSat missions have
contributions from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.
These small satellite secondary payloads will carry science and technology
investigations to help pave the way for future human exploration in deep
space, including the Journey to Mars. SLS' first flight, referred to as
Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), provides the rare opportunity for these
small experiments to reach deep space destinations, as most launch opportunities
for CubeSats are limited to low-Earth orbit.
"The 13 CubeSats that will fly to deep space as secondary payloads aboard
SLS on EM-1showcase the intersection of science and technology, and advance
our journey to Mars," said NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman.
The secondary payloads were selected through a series of announcements
of flight opportunities, a NASA challenge and negotiations with NASA's
"The SLS is providing an incredible opportunity to conduct science missions
and test key technologies beyond low-Earth orbit," said Bill Hill, deputy
associate administrator for Exploration Systems Development at NASA Headquarters
in Washington. "This rocket has the unprecedented power to send Orion
to deep space plus room to carry a fleet of 13 small satellites -- payloads
that will advance our knowledge about deep space with minimal cost."
NASA selected two payloads through the Next Space Technologies for Exploration
Partnerships (NextSTEP) Broad Agency Announcement:
* Skyfire --Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Denver,will develop
a CubeSat to perform a flyby of the moon, taking infrared sensor data
during the flyby to enhance our knowledge of the lunar surface.
* Lunar IceCube--Morehead State University, Kentucky,will build a CubeSat
to search for water ice and other resources at a low orbit of only 62
miles above the surface of the moon. JPL is providing telecommunications
support and Deep Space Network support. The measurement principal investigator
is also based at JPL.
Three payloads were selected by NASA's Human Exploration and Operations
* Near-Earth Asteroid Scout, or NEA Scout will perform reconnaissance
of an asteroid, take pictures and observe its position in space. JPL is
responsible for building and delivering the spacecraft, and the principal
investigator is based at JPL.
* BioSentinel will use yeast to detect, measure and compare the impact
of deepspace radiation on living organisms over long durations in deep
space. JPL is providing telecommunications support and Deep Space Network
* Lunar Flashlight will look for ice deposits and identify locations
where resources may be extracted from the lunar surface. JPL is managing
the mission, and the project manager is based at JPL.
Two payloads were selected by NASA's Science Mission Directorate:
* CuSP -- a "space weather station" to measure particles and magnetic
fields in space, testing practicality for a network of stations to monitor
space weather. JPL is providing telecommunications support and Deep Space
* LunaH-Map will map hydrogen within craters and other permanently shadowed
regions throughout the moon's south pole. JPL is providing telecommunications
support and Deep Space Network support.
Three additional payloads will be determined through NASA's Cube Quest
Challenge -- sponsored by NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate
and designed to foster innovations in small spacecraft propulsion and
communications techniques. CubeSat builders will vie for a launch opportunity
on SLS' first flight through a competition that has four rounds, referred
to as ground tournaments, leading to the selection in 2017 of the payloads
to fly on the mission.
NASA has also reserved three slots for payloads from international partners.
Advanced discussions to fly those three additional payloads are ongoing,
and they will be announced at a later time.
On this first flight, SLS will launch the Orion spacecraft to a stable
orbit beyond the moon to demonstrate the integrated system performance
of Orion and the SLS rocket prior to the first crewed flight. The first
configuration of SLS that will fly on EM-1 is referred to as Block I and
will have a minimum 70-metric-ton (77-ton) lift capability and be powered
by twin boosters and four RS-25 engines. The CubeSats will be deployed
following Orion separation from the upper stage and once Orion is a safe
distance away. Each payload will be ejected with a spring mechanism from
dispensers on the Orion stage adapter. Following deployment, the transmitters
on the CubeSats will turn on, and ground stations will listen for their
beacons to determine the functionality of these small satellites.
For more information about NASA's Journey to Mars, visit:
For more information about CubeSats at JPL, visit:
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Elizabeth.Landau at jpl.nasa.gov
NASA Headquarters, Washington
kathryn.hambleton at nasa.gov
Kim Newton / Shannon Ridinger
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
256-544-0371 / 256-544-3774
kimberly.d.newton at nasa.gov / shannon.j.ridinger at nasa.gov
Received on Wed 03 Feb 2016 03:53:11 PM PST