NASA official details big plans for small satellites

Thomas Zurbuchen
Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s associate administrator for the science mission directorate, gives a keynote address at the SmallSat Conference in Logan, Utah. (NASA Photo via Twitter)

LOGAN, Utah — NASA is already deep into small-satellite science, but today the space agency’s associate administrator for science signaled that NASA will be getting in even deeper.

“We think, in science, smallsats are big,” Associate Administrator Thomas Zurbuchen said in a keynote address to the SmallSat Conference here in Logan.

Zurbuchen turned the spotlight on several initiatives that will heighten NASA’s use of small satellites and commercial services, balancing a mission portfolio that has big-budget missions such as the $8.8 billion James Webb Space Telescope on other end of the cost spectrum.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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