Setting the Standard: Launch Units for the SmallSat Era
Over the next ten years, more than 6,000 smallsats are estimated to launch. As the market grows, launch remains the main bottleneck to timely and affordable access to space. Currently, most smallsats rideshare as secondary payloads when there is available space in a launch vehicle and every deployment must be customized for the secondary payload. A SmallSat launch standard would standardize both the physical properties of the SmallSat (size, volume, vibrational modes) as well as the mechanical and electrical connections to the launch vehicle. This paper explores the benefits of defining a launch standard for medium-class smallsats and provides options for the standard's development.
U.S. Space Traffic Management: Best Practices, Guidelines, and Standards
The Department of Commerce has been charged with the complex mission of establishing a new U.S. space traffic management (STM) approach for commercial space activities. What existing practices and standards could help fulfill that mission and maintain U.S. leadership in space?
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