New Launch Unit Standards Announced for SmallSats

LOGAN, Utah (Aerospace Corporation PR) – The Aerospace Corporation (Aerospace) announced details of a new small satellite (smallsat) standard called a Launch Unit (Launch-U) during a briefing at the Small Satellite Conference in Logan, Utah.

This standard provides major benefits to the smallsat industry—manufacturers, launch providers, and satellite users—by increasing access to space and decreasing launch costs. It also enables the space community to come together to work innovative solutions for sharing costs, adopting new business models, and adapting to regulatory or statutory changes.

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Links to Parabolic Arc’s Coverage of Small Satellite 2016 Conference

SkyFire’s new infrared technology will help NASA enhance its knowledge of the lunar surface. (Credit: Lockheed Martin)
SkyFire’s new infrared technology will help NASA enhance its knowledge of the lunar surface. (Credit: Lockheed Martin)

The Small Satellite 2016 Conference is now over. Below are links to Parabolic Arc’s coverage of the conference and the CubeSat Workshop that preceded it last weekend. There are also links to announcements made during the conference and in recent weeks.

Small Satellite Conference Coverage

Recent Smallsat News & Announcements

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Smallsat 2016: Japan Increases Participation in Conference

Ikaros solar sail CubeSat (Credit: JAXA)
Ikaros solar sail CubeSat (Credit: JAXA)

Japan increased its presence at the Small Satellite Conference in Utah this week, with 21 organizations displaying their capabilities and a presentation by the University of Tokyo about the nation’s smallsat programs.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan (METI) participated in the conference for the first time, setting up a booth where the Japanese space agency JAXA, 18 companies and two universities advertised their capabilities (see the list below).

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LightSail-A Named Smallsat Mission of the Year

LightSail spacecraft with solar sail deployed. (Credit: The Planetary Society)
LightSail spacecraft with solar sail deployed. (Credit: The Planetary Society)

LOGAN, UT (Planetary Society PR) — At the 29th annual American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)/Utah State University (USU) Conference on Small Satellites, The Planetary Society’s citizen-funded LightSail spacecraft test mission (LightSail-A) was named Mission of the Year by the AIAA Small Satellite Technical Committee. Eleven standout small satellite projects from around the world were nominated by a committee of experts. A voting period during the conference engaged the engineering and scientific community and the public.

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Hyten Sees Commercial Smallsat Transformation, Calls on Industry to Lead

Gen. John E. Hyten
Gen. John E. Hyten

By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

LOGAN, Ut. — U.S. Air Force Gen. John Hyten said the entrepreneurial space sector is leading the industry into its third great transformation, one that will fundamentally change the way the military acquires and uses its space assets to protect the nation.

Giving the opening keynote address at the 29th Small Satellite Conference in Logan, Utah, the commander of Air Force Space Command said the service will be going into smallsats “in a big way.” He added the Air Force would continue to fly the large satellite that have become its trademark.

Rather than leading the way on small satellites, Hyten said the military is looking to private industry to provide technology and solutions. After several false dawns, the industry is in a “magical time” when it is about to blossom.

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This Week on The Space Show

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This week on The Space Show with David Livingston:

1. SPECIAL TIME: Monday, July 7, 2014: 9:30-11 AM PDT; 11:30 AM – 1 PM CDT; 12:30-2PM EDT: We welcome Syracuse University Professor and author DR. HENRY LAMBRIGHT regarding his new book, “Why Mars: NASA and the Politics of Space Exploration.”

2. Tuesday, July 8, 2014:,7-8:30 PM PDT (10-11:30 PM EDT, 9-10:30 PM CDT): OPEN LINES tonight. All STEM & Space related calls welcome. First time callers welcome.

3. Friday, July 11, 2014, 9:30 -11 AM PDT (12;30-2 PM EDT; 11:30-1 PM CDT): We welcome back DR. PAT PATTERSON to discus this year’s SmallSat Conference.

4. Sunday, July 13, 2014, 12-1:30 PM PDT (3-4:30 PM EDT, 2-3:30 PM CDT). DR. JIM LOGAN AND JOHN JURIST are back to discuss EVAs (space walks), Mars life support & human factors issues, and spacesuit technology plus more.