Jim Norman, director of launch services at NASA, said Oct. 14 the space agency“™s launch services program aims to help transport smaller payloads into orbit through commercial launch services.
The space agency also seeks to further development of commercial space transportation in the U.S. through the CubeSat and launch services initiatives.
The venture class launch services contracts are “intended to help open the door for future dedicated opportunities to launch CubeSats and other small satellites and science missions,“ Norman said.
More than 50 small satellites will have access to the orbit over the next three years under LSP, NASA says.
“Emerging small launch vehicles have great potential to expand the use of small satellites as integral components of NASA’s Earth science orbital portfolio,” said Michael Freilich, director of NASA’s Earth science division.
NASA uses CubeSats for missions that involve planetary space exploration, Earth observations, fundamental Earth and space science, and the development of science instruments for laser communications, satellite-to-satellite communications and autonomous movement.