Reportedly, NASA believes that shrinking satellites grow planetary science. With a few CubeSat and space exploration operations already achieved, the space agency is signing up several innovative small satellites to explore the Moon. Frequently, rockets carrying huge payloads to space are not of maximum capacity. Until fairly lately, that additional capacity went wasted. But in the past two decades, scientists and engineers have been able to downsize satellite technology, plus the instrumentation that aids scientists in observing the solar system’s several objects. Carolyn Mercer—Program Executive for the SIMPLEx (Small Innovative Missions for Planetary Exploration) program at NASA—said to UPI, “The space agency is committed to using surplus launch capacity to carry small satellite science operations.”
At present, the SIMPLEx plan has two lunar science operations in the works: LunaH-Map (a CubeSat operation to calculate hydrogen concentrations on the Moon’s surface) and Lunar Trailblazer (a tiny orbiter that will screen water ice deposits by utilizing infrared instruments). Mercer said, “LunaH-Map is called as ‘Luna-Map’ as it searches for hydrogen, which is hidden.” But small satellites and CubeSats simply are not an opportunity for artistic names. They present space scientists a possibility to carry out research that they would not be able to do otherwise and that could help NASA’s bigger planetary exploration goals.
Recently, NASA was in news as its space data can reduce costs and disaster response times. As per the latest study, emergency responders can trim costs and save time by utilizing near-real-time satellite statistics with other decision-making devices after a flooding calamity. In the first NASA study to determine the value of utilizing satellite statistics in disaster situations, scientists at NASA’s GSFC (Goddard Space Flight Center), Maryland determined the time that can be save if ambulance drivers and other urgent situation responders have near-real-time information on flooded roads, using the 2011 Southeast Asian floods as a case study.
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