Tuesday, September 02, 2008

MicrospaceNews: NSF selects CubeSat for science mission

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has a winner in its Cubesat competition. Out of 29 proposals for using the 1kg microsats for research, the NSF picked the "CubeSat-based Ground-to-Space Bistatic Radar Experiment-Radio Aurora Explorer," proposed by Hasan Bahcivan of SRI International and the U. of Michigan's James Cutler. The NSF plans a 5- to 10-year Cube-sat-based research program with a competition each year for new proposals. The earliest possible launch date for the CGSBRERA (If I have that right) is the end of 2009.
COMMENT: This is another welcome sign that the scientific utility of microspacecraft is receiving growing attention. We cannot, and might never, be able to do all science with microspace approaches, but they promise to allow more science at lower cost and enable missions which otherwise couldn't be afforded at all.

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