Launch Industry Chasing Smallsat Business

By Frank Morring, Jr. .
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology .

If all goes as planned, a United Launch Alliance Atlas V will lift off from Vandenberg AFB, Calif., later this week with a classified National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) payload on board. Already tucked into a special carrier suspended from a helium tank in the rocket's upper stage, right next to the RL-10 engine, are 11 tiny satellites riding to orbit as secondary payloads. Some of the cubesats are flying NRO missions, but four were built at U.S. universities by engineering students and all of them were integrated into their spring-loaded deployers at California Polytechnic State University ...

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