LOGAN, Utah — NASA is soliciting proposals to fly cubesats on the second flight of its Space Launch System, even as those cubesats chosen for the first SLS launch patiently await their ride.
At an agency town hall meeting during the Conference on Small Satellites Aug. 5, Renee Cox, deputy manager for SLS payload integration at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, said the agency was planning to fly cubesats on Artemis 2, the second flight of the SLS, tentatively scheduled for 2022.
NASA announced in 2016 it would fly 13 cubesats on the first SLS mission, originally called Exploration Mission (EM) 1 and renamed Artemis 1 earlier this year.
Unlike Artemis 1, which will fly six-unit cubesats only, Cox said NASA will accept proposals for both six-unit and larger 12-unit cubesats.
The opportunity to fly cubesats on Artemis 2 is part of the latest call for the CubeSat Launch Initiative, which provides launches for cubesats developed by universities or NASA centers, either through rideshare launch opportunities or International Space Station deployments.
As NASA seeks proposals for cubesats to fly on Artemis 2, the 13 selected for Artemis 1 remain are making final preparations for launch.
Among them is LunaH-Map, a cubesat being built at Arizona State University that NASA selected in 2015 for development and launch on the SLS.