[meteorite-list] NASA Selects CubeSat, SmallSat Mission Concept Studies
From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2017 16:42:42 -0700 (PDT)
NASA Selects CubeSat, SmallSat Mission Concept Studies
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
March 23, 2017
NASA has selected 10 studies under the Planetary Science Deep Space SmallSat
Studies (PSDS3) program to develop mission concepts using small satellites
to investigate Venus, Earth's moon, asteroids, Mars and the outer planets.
For these studies, small satellites are defined as less than 180 kilograms
in mass (about 400 pounds). CubeSats are built to standard specifications
of 1 unit (U), which is equal to about 4x4x4 inches (10x10x10 centimeters).
They often are launched into orbit as auxiliary payloads, significantly
"These small but mighty satellites have the potential to enable transformational
science," said Jim Green, director of the Planetary Science Division at
NASA Headquarters in Washington. "They will provide valuable information
to assist in planning future Announcements of Opportunity, and to guide
NASA's development of small spacecraft technologies for deep space science
NASA's Science Mission Directorate is developing a small satellite strategy,
with the goal of identifying high-priority science objectives in each
discipline that can be addressed with CubeSats and SmallSats, managed
for appropriate cost and risk. This multi-disciplinary approach will leverage
and partner with the growing commercial sector to collaboratively drive
instrument and sensor innovation.
The PSDS3 awardees were recognized this week at the 48th Lunar and Planetary
Society Conference in The Woodlands, Texas. The total value of the awards
is $3.6 million.
The recipients are:
Christophe Sotin, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California:
Cupid's Arrow, a 66-pound (30-kilogram) probe to measure noble gases and
their isotopes to investigate the geological evolution of Venus and why
Venus and Earth have evolved so differently.
Valeria Cottini, University of Maryland, College Park: CubeSat UV Experiment
(CUVE), a 12-unit CubeSat orbiter to measure ultraviolet absorption and
nightglow emissions to understand Venus' atmospheric dynamics.
Suzanne Romaine, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, Massachusetts:
CubeSat X-ray Telescope (CubeX), a 12-unit CubeSat to map the elemental
composition mapping of airless bodies such as the moon, to understand
their formation and evolutionary history using X-ray pulsar timing for
deep space navigation.
Timothy Stubbs, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland:
Bi-sat Observations of the Lunar Atmosphere above Swirls (BOLAS), tethered
12-unit CubeSats to investigate the lunar hydrogen cycle by simultaneously
measuring electromagnetic fields near the surface of the moon, and incoming
solar winds high above.
Jeffrey Plescia, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory,
Laurel, Maryland: Asteroid Probe Experiment (APEX), a SmallSat with a
deployable seismometer to rendezvous with the asteroid Apophis and directly
explore its interior structure, surface properties, and rotational state.
Benton Clark, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Littleton, Colorado:
CubeSat Asteroid Encounters for Science and Reconnaissance (CAESAR), a
constellation of 6-unit CubeSats to evaluate the bulk properties of asteroids
to assess their physical structure, and to provide constraints on their
formation and evolution.
David Minton, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana: Chariot to the
Moons of Mars, a 12-unit CubeSat with a deployable drag skirt to produce
high-resolution imagery and surface material composition of Phobos and
Deimos, to help understand how they were formed.
Anthony Colaprete, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California:
Aeolus, a 24-unit CubeSat to directly measure vertically-resolved global
winds to help determine the global energy balance at Mars and understand
daily climate variability.
Icy Bodies and Outer Planets
Kunio Sayanagi, Hampton University, Virginia: Small Next-generation Atmospheric
Probe (SNAP), an atmospheric entry probe to measure vertical cloud structure,
stratification, and winds to help understand the chemical and physical
processes that shape the atmosphere of Uranus.
Robert Ebert, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio: JUpiter MagnetosPheric
boundary ExploreR (JUMPER), a SmallSat to explore Jupiter's magnetosphere,
including characterizing the solar wind upstream of the magnetosphere
to provide science context for future missions such as the Europa Clipper.
For more information about NASA's CubeSat activities, visit:
News Media Contact
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
andrew.c.good at jpl.nasa.gov
Received on Tue 04 Apr 2017 07:42:42 PM PDT