New Space and Tech

NASA And DOD Seek Universities To Develop CubeSats

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
January 15, 2023
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NASA And DOD Seek Universities To Develop CubeSats
The Advanced Electrical Bus (ALBus) mission is a technology demonstration of resettable Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) mechanisms for deployable solar arrays and a pathfinder for high power density CubeSats. The mission has two primary objectives. The first is to demonstrate the functionality of the novel SMA activated solar array mechanisms in the on-orbit environment. The second objective is to assess the system level ability to charge a high capacity battery, distribute 100 W of electrical power and thermally control the 3-U CubeSat system. Performance from the mission will be used to mature the SMA mechanism designs for CubeSat applications and plan for future high power density CubeSat missions. Credits: NASA/Cory Huston

NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) is collaborating with the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force to solicit applicants for a set of hands-on learning engagements that will help higher education institutions, faculty, and students elevate efforts to build small satellites and enhance the potential to be selected for flight opportunities.

Teams selected for the University Nanosatellite Program (UNP) Mission Concept-1: 2023 Summer Series, will receive systems engineering training that prepares students for the industrial workforce while developing small satellite expertise at U.S. universities. The program, which runs from May through August 2023, also enhances students’ potential to be selected for flights to space as part of NASA’s CSLI in November 2023 and the full U.S. Air Force UNP in 2024.

The program allows faculty and students to form teams without draining university resources, and includes travel funding for kickoff, final event, and any in-person reviews, among other benefits.

All U.S colleges and universities are eligible, teams at minority-serving institutions and historically Black colleges and universities are strongly encouraged to apply for the Mission Concepts-1: 2023 Summer Series in accordance with the criteria in the Request for Proposal. The deadline to apply is Feb. 3, 2023.

NASA’s collaboration with the U.S Air Force and U.S. Space Force helps broaden access to space and strengthen the capabilities and knowledge of higher education institutions, faculty, and students.

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.