NASA to Launch New Small Satellite Missions to do Real Science

  • Released Monday, November 7, 2016
  • Updated Thursday, December 13, 2018 at 1:32PM
  • ID: 12411

NASA is about to launch six new next-generation Earth-observing small satellites — some as small as a loaf of bread. These tiny spacecraft are helping to foster creative and cost-effective approaches to studying our planet. This page contains a short overview video as well as a series of conceptual animations of small sats being launched, deployed, in orbit over the Earth collecting data, and in comparison in size to both a person and a traditional large satellite. Note: While these animations are based on real satellite models, they are intended to be generic and not perfectly descriptive of any particular small sat mission. For more on NASA’s small satellite program:

Small sats often hitch a ride on a larger launch vehicle carrying a different payload. This is a view of that vehicle approaching orbit.

A wide view of a series of small satellites being deployed from a single rocket.

A close up view of a small satellite in orbit.

A moving illustration of the difference in scale between a small sat, a human, and a traditional large satellite.


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


This visualization can be found in the following series:

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