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NASA Announces Contracts For CubeSat Rockets

CubeSat experiments will soon have a dedicated ride to space. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A new class of rockets is joining NASA’s commercial fleet. NASA will announce funding for rockets dedicated to launching tiny satellites called CubeSats.

If university students or commercial companies want to launch these tiny satellites, about the size of a Chinese takeout box, the folks at NASA have to find a place on a rocket already scheduled for a much larger payload.

Officials from the Launch Services Program of NASA are announcing an award of around $17 million to private companies to develop CubeSat-only rockets.

The new class of rockets will open the door to more opportunities for experiments in low earth orbit.

The small satellites are cheaper than their larger counterparts and are proving an increasingly larger role in space and technology exploration.

Right now, there are about 50 CubeSats waiting for a ride to space.

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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. Brendan is a native Floridian, born and raised in Broward County. He moved to ... Read Full Bio »