iCubeSat 2012 K.1.1 Space Technology At NASA: Breadth, Depth, and a Small-Satellite Strategy – Mason Peck

NASA’s new Space Technology Program has funded more than 1,000 projects since its inception in 2011. These projects span the entire spectrum of technology readiness – from early-stage concepts to flight-demonstration hardware that will enable our future missions. Several new programs at NASA within Space Technology offer funding opportunities for innovators across the nation to develop small-satellite technologies: ELaNa, which provides launch opportunities for cubesats; Edison, which provides significant funding for in-orbit technology demonstrations; and a suite of early-stage innovation and game-changing development programs. In particular, the Edison SmallSat program helps to continue America’s leadership in space through the further development of this class of satellites–small, agile and relatively inexpensive spacecraft that could perform many tasks in science, exploration, operations, and commercial development of space in a way that has not been seen before.  These spacecraft represent a new opportunity for NASA to approach its diverse goals in science, exploration and education.  Encouraging the growth of small-spacecraft technology also benefits our economy.  Many of the technologies that enable small spacecraft come from the innovative world of small business, where commercial practices provide innovative and cost-effective solutions. Those technologies will continue to advance in performance as demand and competition drive companies to excel.

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