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7 November 2000 New ventures for small payloads access to space
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Small satellite programs offer opportunities for conducting technical demonstrations, engineering development and scientific missions. To accomplish these missions, launch systems are needed whose costs and capacity are commensurate with the use of small, low-cost satellites. Lower launch costs would open the door to more technology demonstrations and scientific missions that will drive the need for more launch vehicle. There are several new ventures that could increase the opportunity for small payloads to achieve economical access to space. These new ventures include low cost launch vehicles, standard adapters, orbit transfer vehicles, and space maneuver vehicles. The National Reconnaissance Office's (NRO) Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) includes competitive selection for proposals to study the need for a small payload broker, to define the broker's services, and innovative ideas to simplify the process of integrating payloads, spacecraft buses, and launch vehicles. The NRO and Goddard Spaceflight Center (GSFC) combined resources to develop the Access to Space (ATS) web site that contains both a mission database and launch vehicle information. It provides both the information and the tools necessary to assist mission planners in selecting and planning their ride to space. Users can search the site for available rides and also post information about their payloads. Launch providers can submit information about planned missions and launch vehicle configuration.
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James C. Liller "New ventures for small payloads access to space", Proc. SPIE 4136, Small Payloads in Space, (7 November 2000);


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