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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 'Are We There Yet?' Host

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