3.4 Scientific cubesats at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Monday, 23 January 2017: 4:45 PM
4C-2 (Washington State Convention Center )
Larry Kepko, GSFC, Greenblet, MD

It is now clear that Cubesats and SmallSats (< ~50 kg) are ‘disruptive’ to ‘big-bird’ mission concepts, traditional science implementation approaches, and legacy instrument systems. As SmallSats move from “toysats” to highly capable science platforms, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) has been working to incorporate this emergent capability into GSFC’s suite of platforms, which currently range from sounding rockets and balloons to larger missions such as MMS and JWST. Key to our approach is to focus on areas where GSFC can make a positive impact, principally in the areas of instrumentation and reliability, while leveraging the vast CubeSat commercial market and the “New Space” spirit. In this talk I will review GSFC’s forays into CubeSats and SmallSats, and describe how GSFC’s capabilities can be utilized to enhance the reliability and capability of CubeSats and SmallSats with an eye towards the near-future where these platforms form the basis for Decadal Survey science missions.
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