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NASA Picks 3 Firms for Small Satellite Launch System Contracts

CubeSatThree companies have won contracts to develop launch vehicles for NASA to send miniaturized satellites into low-Earth orbit for space exploration, scientific research and technology demonstration use.

NASA said Wednesday it awarded $5.5 million to Firefly Space Systems, $6.9 million to Rocket Lab USA and $4.7 million to Virgin Galactic under the agency’s Venture Class Launch Services program.

The NASA Science Mission Directorate’s earth science division will help fund the project to demonstrate a new launcher of nanosatellites, cubesats or microsatellites.

NASA uses smallsats on orbit to collect imagery and believes that future cubesats could aid in aircraft and ship tracking, weather prediction and Internet connectivity.

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