Michael Johnson, chief technologist for the applied engineering and technology directorate of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, has said reliability issues associated with Cubesats would hamper NASA from advancing the use of such small satellites in some space missions, Space News reported Tuesday.
“Because we cannot quantify the mission confidence of cubesat subsystems, we can’t use them for certain types of missions,” Johnson said Sunday during a presentation at the 31st Annual Conference on Small Satellites in Utah.
He cited science investigations as some of the missions where it is unlikely to relaunch another spacecraft should the initial vehicle fail.
Johnson also discussed realibility concerns with the use of commercially available parts to develop a six-unit cubesat – Dellingr – designed to bring a set of heliophysics payloads to the International Space Station.
“We received components that, when they got to a certain temperature, they would cease working,” he added.