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NASA Selects 34 CubeSats for Space Tech Demonstration Missions

NASA has picked 34 miniature satellites that will take off as auxiliary payloads aboard space exploration missions that are scheduled for launch between 2018 and 2020.

NASA selected the proposed CubeSats from the agency’s centers, universities and nonprofit organizations in 19 states and Washington as part of the eighth class of the CubeSat Launch Initiative that aims to help small satellite developers perform scientific investigations and technology demonstrations in space, the agency said Saturday.

Ames Research Center proposed four satellites and one of those is the Pathfinder Technology Demonstrator, which aims to characterize and qualify a Busek Space Propulsion and Systems-built micro-electrospray thruster that uses a Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems CubeSat bus.

Arizona State University’s Phoenix CubeSat seeks to perform a thermal imaging study to demonstrate the role of nanosatellite systems in the analysis of temporal and spatial changes in urban environments’ heat properties.

Boston University’s CuPID cusp plasma imaging detector platform will work to collect soft X-ray measurements to help shed light on space weather and plasma physics.

NASA has picked 152 CubeSats through the initiative and launched 46 small satellites under the Educational Launch of Nanosatellite missions of the agency’s Launch Services Program.

Click here to see the full list of CubeSat sponsors and their proposed satellites.

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