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More CubeSats Heading To Space, Says United Launch Alliance

ULA will dedicate slots on Atlas V rockets to launch CubeSats to space. Photo: ULA

United Launch Alliance is making it easier – and cheaper – for universities to send miniature experiments to space.

These micro-experiments, called CubeSats, are about the size of a box of tissue. And until now, they’ve had to find a bigger satellite to share a ride to space.

ULA says that within the next year and a half, it will have dedicated CubeSat slots on some of its Atlas V rockets.

The launch company’s CEO Tory Bruno says the initiative will help get more cubesats to space.

“We’re going to double the worldwide capacity of cubesats getting to space. It will completely transform that environment,” says Bruno. “We’re going to completely transform the availability of space for CubeSats, for their commercial applications, and most importantly for the research and STEM opportunities they provide.”

Universities will compete for free rides on the Atlas V. ULA launches about ten of those rockets a year.

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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Intersection' Producer

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts "Are We There Yet?", WMFE's space exploration podcast He also helps produce WMFE's twice-weekly public affairs show "Intersection," working with host Matthew Peddie to shape the ... Read Full Bio »