The new CubeSats series are now in space and undergo a variety of scientific research and technology demonstrations when the first launch of the NASA Operation by Venture Class Launch Services (VCLS) was launched by Rocket Lab.
The Electron rocket was lifted off at 1:33 EST (7:33 PM NZDT) from the company's startup complex on the Mahia peninsula in New Zealand, which for the first time meant that CubeSats has started with NASA with a design specifically designed for small payloads.
"With VCLS efforts, NASA has successfully promoted commercial launch services for smaller payloads by offering viable own small startup options as an alternative to the car's offer," said Jim Norman, Director of Launch Services, NASA headquarters. "This first task is to open the door to future boot options."
During the 2015 VCLS award, small satellites and scientists launched the opportunity for passers-by – flying only when space was available for other tasks. Managed by NASA Launch Services at Kennedy Space Center in Florida VCLS Awards are designed to promote a commercial marketplace for SmallSats and CubeSats to be placed in the orbit to get the best feedback.
This task includes 10 Nanosatellite (ELaNa) training -19 payloads selected by NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative. This initiative seeks to improve technology development and student participation. These payloads provide information and demonstrations in the following areas:
- CubeSat Compact Radiation Belt Explorer (CeRE) – Measuring Large Particulates in the Earth's Radiant Belt
- Simulation for Flight 1 (STF-1) – Software compilation to support CubeSat implementations
- Advanced Electrical Bus (ALBus) – Advances to solar panels and high-capacity batteries
- CubeSat Multisystem Precision Time Transfer (CHOMPTT) Handling – Navigation Plans for the Exo Planet
- CubeSail – Installing and managing a solar chopper
- NMTSat – Magnetic field with high plasma density
- Rsat – manipulation of robotized weapons
- Ionospheric Scintillation Explorer (ISX) – Plasma fluctuations in the upper atmosphere
- Shields-1 – Radiation protection
- DaVinci High School – Grade School STEM Training
NASA's Earth Venture Program and indeed the entire integrated Earth Observation Handbook greatly benefit the ability to launch small satellites into the optimum orbital ranges when and where we want them, "says NASA's Global Venture Program, head of country research Michael Freilich in Washington. "Our collaboration with the LSP with VCLS efforts will help both in NASA and in the commercial startup industry."
CubeSats are small satellites built into standard configurations of 10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm or in two, three or six units configurations. Small satellites play a valuable role in agency research, technology, education and science research, such as exploration of planets, Earth observation, and in-depth missions of Earth and space exploration. They are the cornerstone of developing sophisticated NASA technologies such as laser technology, satellite satellite communications, and autonomous movement.
NASA will continue to provide CubeSats with the opportunity to take the rides for priority tasks in order to provide opportunities to reach mission goals and wait for the forthcoming CubeSats round to be launched in February 2019.