More Science with Smaller Satellites: New Plan of NASA

Changing the way we see our planet, changing the way we communicate, changing the way we make smaller satellite, makers of the same have promised weather predictions and lot more things. These smaller satellites are much cheaper to manufacture, easier to handle and updated and faster to develop as compared to their more sophisticated and bigger counterparts. In spite of all the disruptions and revolutionary challenges, these tend to keep a close focus and casts their eyes down. 

Astrophysics Science SmallSat Studies, NASA’s new program focuses and looks forward to using these small satellites to gaze outwards, onto the cosmos. NASA has asked scientists earlier this year to find out how these smallsats could be turned into tiny yet powerful telescopes. Answers are awaited by 13th July.

According to Michael Garcia, Program Officer at NASA said that it is easier for smaller telescopes to see things quickly, but trying to see in dimming lights for objects beyond the Earth’s neighbourhood, needs bigger and powerful telescopes. While NASA has many other smallsat programs, they have been confined to the solar system. 

Beyond the blurring of atmosphere, in space, the telescopes need not be as significant to do the job as in an earthbound observatory. In spite the same, they are more significant than the smallsats. This is why, in its call for answers, NASA has been emphasizing that its new smallsat program is all about capitalizing on the creative skills within the astrophysics science community and it seems that the community does have specific ideas on how to do more science with lesser instruments. 

NASA last year has asked scientists if they have any ideas that need more funding than that of a suborbital project and require a lesser number of satellites than that of the smallest orbital mission. It was not because that the agency wanted to offer any money or any collaboration or anything of that sought, but they just wanted a written five-page report on what would astrophysicists, hypothetically do, say if they find a wallet with $10million and $35million and been given to build an Astro studies smallsat with the money. Garcia mentioned that on this NASA received almost 55 responses and realized that people are very interested in it. 

The smallsats could be used by scientists in many ways, for instance, do time-domain astronomy – looking for bursts and flashes and flares and many other kinds of light waves that appear and then disappears. Such sort of phenomenon works well for smallsats as mentioned earlier these are often bright. Astronomers can also do surveys using the instruments, to gaze at the entire sky in a single wavelength band, say, for example, to give nearby and brighter objects more attention than larger telescopes that are used more for distant and foreign objects.