NEW DELHI: Nasa has chosen 10 small research satellites from eight different states to be sent to the International Space Station, as part of the organization’s initiative to broaden educational and scientific outreach, foster technological progress, and promote workforce training.
These compact satellites, known as CubeSats, adhere to a universal design specification, quantified in units, with one unit (1U) defined as dimensions of 10x10x11 centimeters.This standardization facilitates the assembly of larger CubeSats up to 12U. Due to their modular nature and low production and launch costs, CubeSats facilitate increased cooperation among governmental bodies, commercial sectors, and educational institutions. They offer a swift, economical approach for conducting scientific research and technological experiments in space, a Nasa release said.
The selections for this year encompass the inaugural project from Delaware, contributions from three minority-serving institutions, and one from a primary/secondary (K-12) school, involving entities like the University of Delaware, Oakwood School in California, and the University of Chicago, among others.
Selected by Nasa’s CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI), these missions are slated for launches scheduled between 2025 and 2028, following a proposal request dated August 7, 2023.
The chosen organizations and their CubeSats in CSLI’s 15th selection round include:

  • University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s CAPE-Twiggs (Cajun Advanced Picosatellite Experiment), a pioneering 3U CubeSat to deploy and monitor SlimSat modules in lower Earth orbit, enhancing STEM education and collaborative space research.
  • Oakwood School’s NyanSat, a 2U CubeSat from a rural K-12 independent institution, aimed at serving as an educational model and advancing space technology, featuring unique payloads like acoustic spacecraft mapping and cryptographic ledgers for space-based digital transactions.
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa’s CREPES (CubeSat Relativistic Electron and Proton Energy Separator), focused on studying solar particle events to improve our solar understanding and assist in space weather prediction.
  • California State University, Long Beach’s SharkSat-1, created to assess LED-induced blue light pollution, aiding in environmental and health studies.
  • University of Delaware’s DAPPEr (Delaware Atmospheric Plasma Probe Experiment), tasked with ionospheric research, marking Delaware’s first CubeSat contribution to the CSLI.
  • Saint Louis University’s DARLA-02, aimed at autonomous space event response and mapping radio frequency noise, building on its predecessor’s mission.
  • California State Polytechnic University, Pomona’s Pleiades Five, a project to democratize CubeSat technology for educational purposes across multiple institutions.
  • University of Chicago’s PULSE-A, set to enhance space-ground communication speeds through laser technology, ensuring secure data transmission.
  • Utah State University’s GASRATS (Get Away Special Radio and Antenna Transparency Satellite), demonstrating innovative antenna integration to optimize space utilization.
  • Nasa’s Marshall Space Flight Center’s GPDM (Green Propulsion Dual Mode), testing new, less toxic propellants in space, in collaboration with MIT and Georgia Tech.

To date, Nasa has facilitated the launch of approximately 160 CubeSats across 45 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico under the ELaNa (Educational Launch of a Nanosatellite) program.





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