Small Satellites Come Into Their Own

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

Small satellites, once the realm of one-off low-budget science missions and undergraduate engineering classes, have come full circle with the growing realization among hard-pressed, high-end users that the little birds can do the big jobs, too. The smallest of them—cubesats—are rapidly evolving into an operational commercial, scientific and military technology. Higher up the payload-weight scale, the high cost per pound of launching payloads and the growing skill of spacecraft miniaturizers are making satellites that are small enough to ride as secondary payloads attractive to a variety of customers, particularly if they can be mass-produced or produced rapidly in single units ...

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