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CubeSat in the News

Congressional legislation to remove satellites from ITAR

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Congressional Legislation to Remove Satellites from ITAR

The House of Representatives in the U.S. Senate recently passed a bill, H.R. 3288, with a clause to remove ITAR restrictions on commercial satellites. The specific wording for the purpose of the bill:

To authorize the President to remove commercial satellites and related components
from the United States Munitions List subject to certain restrictions,
and for other purposes.

Full test of the Bill can be found in PDF here:

Status of the bill:

This bill only pertains to commercial satellites, and does not include scientific or educational in its current form. Make your voices heard and please write to your Representatives for the inclusion of these terms. Removing educational, scientific, and commercial satellites from ITAR control will help foster the international small satellite community.

Representatives Howard Berman, Don Manzullo, Adam Smith, Mike Coffman, Dutch Ruppersberger, Rob Bishop, Gerry Connolly, Jason Chaffetz, and Martin Heinrich introduced the bill, and are the best people to contact regarding updates and changes.

Last Updated on Friday, 23 December 2011 21:34

2011 ELaNa RFP

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NASA Launch Services Program (LSP) has announced a Request for Quotation (RFQ) for a high altitude launch service for demonstration of Nano-Satellites. The response date is August 10, 2011 (12:00 PM EST). This solicitation is the next step in the Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) initiative and will provide more flight opportunities for university CubeSats.

Click here to see the official solicitation on


NASA Space Operations Mission Directorate announced today its third CubeSat Launch Initiative in anticipation of launch opportunities planned for 2012, 2013, and 2014. Responses are due November 14, 2011.

Click here to see the official announcement.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 October 2011 19:16

NASA Announces Candidates For CubeSat Space Missions

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NASA Announces Candidates for CubeSat Space Missions

WASHINGTON -- NASA has selected 20 small satellites to fly as auxiliary cargo aboard rockets planned to launch in 2011 and 2012. The proposed CubeSats come from a high school in Virginia, universities across the country, NASA field centers and Department of Defense organizations.

CubeSats are a class of research spacecraft called nanosatellites. The cube-shaped satellites are approximately four inches long, have a volume of about one quart and weigh 2.2 pounds or less.

The selections are from the second round of the CubeSat Launch Initiative. The satellites are expected to conduct technology demonstrations, educational research or science missions. The selected spacecraft are eligible for flight after final negotiations when an opportunity arises. The satellites come from the following organizations, which include the first high school proposal selected for a CubeSat flight:

-- Air Force Research Lab, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
-- Drexel University, Philadelphia
-- NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. (two CubeSats)
-- NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. (two CubeSats)
-- Naval Research Lab, Washington (two CubeSats)
-- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
-- Morehead State University, Morehead, Ky.
-- The Planetary Society, Pasadena, in partnership with NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
-- Space and Missile Defense Command, Huntsville, Ala.
-- St. Louis University, St. Louis, Miss.
-- Thomas Jefferson High School, Alexandria, Va.
-- University of Colorado
-- University of Hawaii
-- University of Louisiana, Lafayette
-- University of New Mexico
-- U.S. Military Academy
-- U.S. Naval Academy

The first CubeSats to be carried on an expendable vehicle for the agency's Launch Services Program will comprise NASA's Educational Launch of Nanosatellite, or ELaNa, mission. ELaNa will fly on the Glory mission scheduled to lift off on Feb. 23. The 12 CubeSat payloads selected from the first round of the CubeSat Launch Initiative will have launch opportunities beginning later this year.

For information about NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative program, visit:

For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:

(article by NASA)

Last Updated on Saturday, 19 February 2011 02:38

NASA Cues Up University CubeSats for Glory Launch

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Launch time: Feb. 23, 1010 GMT (5:10 a.m. EST; 2:10 a.m. PST)
Launch site: SLC-576E, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California

Explorer-1 [PRIME] - Montana State University
KySat-1 - Kentucky Space
Hermes - University of Colorado, Boulder

NASA Cues Up University CubeSats for Glory Launch This Fall

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA will launch small research satellites for several universities as part of the agency's Educational Launch of Nanosatellite, or ELaNA, mission. The satellites are manifested as an
auxiliary payload on the Taurus XL launch vehicle for NASA's Glory mission, planned for liftoff in late November.

The satellites, called CubeSats because of their shape, come from Montana State University, the University of Colorado and Kentucky Space, a consortium of state universities. The University of Florida was selected as an alternate in case one of the three primary spacecraft cannot fly.

CubeSats are in a class of small research spacecraft called picosatellites. They have a size of approximately four inches, a volume of about one quart and weigh no more than 2.2 pounds.

To place these satellites into orbit by an agency expendable launch vehicle, NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida is adapting the Poly-Picosatellite Orbital Deployer, or PPOD. This deployment system, designed and manufactured by the California Polytechnic State University in partnership with Stanford
University, has flown previously on Department of Defense and commercial launch vehicles.

Montana State designated its satellite as Explorer 1 Prime, or E1P. The name honors the launch and scientific discoveries of the Explorer-1 mission, which detected the Van Allen radiation belts more than 50 years ago. E1P will carry a miniature Geiger tube to measure the intensity and variability
of the electrons in the Van Allen belts.

Colorado's satellite is named Hermes. Its mission is to improve CubeSat communications through the on-orbit testing of a high data-rate communication system that will allow the downlink of large quantities of data.

The Kentucky vehicle is called KySat-1. It includes a camera to support a scientific outreach program intended for, but not limited to, Kentucky students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The satellite also has a 2.4-gigahertz industrial, scientific and medical band radio, which will be used to test high-bandwidth communications in the license-free portion of the S-band.

The satellites will hitch a ride to space with the Taurus rocket's primary payload, NASA's Glory spacecraft. The Glory climate mission, developed by NASA's Science Mission Directorate, will extend the nearly 30-year record of precise measurements of the sun's energy output. It also will obtain
first-ever, global measurements of the distribution of tiny airborne aerosol particles. Aerosols represent one of the greatest areas of uncertainty in understanding Earth's climate system.

The ELaNA project is managed by NASA's Launch Services Program at Kennedy. For more information about the program, visit:

(article by NASA KSC)

Last Updated on Saturday, 19 February 2011 01:11

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