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NASA Eyes Earth Science Data from Small Satellite Constellations

CubeSatNASA plans to purchase Earth science data from small satellite constellations in 2017 to determine how the acquired data can help the space agency meet its needs, Space News reported Wednesday.

Jeff Foust writes Michael Freilich, director of NASA’s Earth science division, said the agency intends to set aside several tens of millions of dollars to procure and analyze the research utility of data products from private sector developed and launched smallsat constellations if Congress funds the mission.

Freilich said that NASA has issued a request for information in July that stated the space agency anticipates an award of up to $25 million on data purchase agreements by the end of fiscal year 2017.

He added that the space agency has expressed interest on global atmospheric profiling data and moderate resolution, multi-spectral land imaging formation data.

“Our objective is to leverage and, in a sense, glom on to what they are doing, not to direct them to do certain things for NASA research,” said Freilich.

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