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Logan – Two small satellites designed at Utah State University are among 16 satellites that have been selected by NASA to fly as auxiliary payloads aboard rockets planned to launch in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
The satellites are CubeSats, which are a class of research spacecraft called nanosatellites. They are cube-shaped, measure about 4 inches on each side, have a volume of about 1 quart and weigh less than 3 pounds.
The selected satellites are from the fifth round of the agency's CubeSat Launch Initiative. After launch, the satellites will conduct technology demonstration, educational research or science missions. The selected spacecraft are eligible for launch after final negotiations, depending on the availability of a flight opportunity. The other organizations sponsoring satellites are:
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
Lincoln Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
NASA's Ames Research Center
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
St. Thomas More Cathedral School
The Aerospace Corporation
University of California
University of Florida
University of Michigan
In the previous four rounds of the CubeSat Launch Initiative, 99 CubeSats from 28 states were selected. To date, 27 CubeSats have launched through the initiative as part of the agency's Launch Services Program's Educational Launch of Nanosatellite Program. This year, four separate launches will carry 17 CubeSats.