NASA issues proposals to buy cubesat buses

NASA issues proposals to buy cubesat buses

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US: NASA has requested for proposals for its Pathfinder Technology Demonstrator project. The proposals have been issued to purchase as many as five cubesat buses, which will be used to demonstrate new technologies while also stimulating the emerging smallsat industry.

Issued on Friday last week, the proposal calls for buying one six-unit cubesat bus, with options for four more, that NASA will use for flight tests of advanced smallsat technologies under development at the agency.

“The team is excited to solicit proposals for a basic small satellite bus design that will be adaptable for use on a series of low-cost missions for NASA, and possibly for other customers,” said John Marmie, Pathfinder Technology Demonstrator project manager at NASA’s Ames Research Center, in a Feb. 12 statement.

NASA has developed a number of cubesats in the last several years for science and technology demonstration missions. Typically, though, NASA developed both the satellites and their payloads in-house, rather that purchase satellite buses from commercial vendors.

Proposals for providing the Pathfinder Technology Demonstrator cubesat buses are due to NASA March 30. The agency expects to award a fixed-price contract in June, with the first cubesat bus to be delivered at the end of 2017.

Source: Space News