Credit: ULA

Credit: ULA

The United Launch Alliance (ULA) announced today a new CubeSat rideshare program that offers universities the chance to compete for free CubeSat rides on future launches.

In a ULA announcement today: “ULA will offer universities the chance to compete for at least six CubeSat launch slots on two Atlas V missions, with a goal to eventually add university CubeSat slots to nearly every Atlas and Vulcan launch,” said Tory Bruno, ULA president and CEO.

Atlas V liftoff. Credit: ULA

Atlas V liftoff.
Credit: ULA

CubeSats are miniaturized satellites originally designed for use in conjunction with university educational projects and are typically 10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm (4 inches x 4 inches x 4 inches) and approximately 1.3 kg (3 lbs).

Formed in December 2006, ULA is a 50-50 joint venture owned by Lockheed Martin and The Boeing Company. ULA now provides the Atlas and Delta launch services for the Department of Defense, NASA, the National Reconnaissance Office and other organizations.

Fly for free

The first free CubeSat launch slot in 2017 is being offered to the University of Colorado Boulder.

CU-Boulder students have been building and operating small satellites for 20 years, including the Colorado Student Space Weather CubeSat launched on a ULA Atlas rocket in 2012.

ULA's Vulcan booster. Credit: ULA

ULA’s Vulcan booster.
Credit: ULA








For those universities interested in taking advantage of this new ULA initiative, send an email to:

Deadline for your email is Dec. 18, 2015 – notifying ULA that you are interested in participating.

In early 2016, ULA will release a request for proposal (RFP) for the first competitive CubeSat launch slots. The selected universities will be announced in August 2016.

Name the new program

In addition, ULA is offering the nation’s universities the chance to help name the new CubeSat program.

Universities, educators and students can submit names for consideration to using a campus-issued email address.

Submissions are due by Dec.18, 2015. The winning name will be announced early next year, and the institution will receive a free CubeSat launch slot on a future mission.

For detailed information on this new program, go to:

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