NASA to Announce Science, Technology Missions for First Flight of Space Launch System

January 28, 2016

NASA Television will air the announcement of the selection of a fleet of small satellites to launch on the inaugural flight of the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS). The event, which is at 11 a.m. EST (10 a.m. CSTTuesday, Feb. 2, from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, will announce the CubeSats that will fly as secondary payloads and deploy to conduct science and technology demonstrations in deep space.

Following the event, which media are invited to participate in, NASA TV will air a demonstration of the Near-Earth Asteroid Scout (NEA Scout), a CubeSat that uses solar sail propulsion for low-cost exploration and reconnaissance of an asteroid.

The participants for both the announcement and demonstration are:

  • NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman
  • Todd May, Marshall Space Flight Center director (acting)
  • Bill Hill, deputy associate administrator of Exploration Systems Development at NASA Headquarters in Washington
  • Michael Seablom, chief technologist for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters
  • Jim Cockrell, Cube Quest program administrator in NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California
  • Jitendra Joshi, technology integration lead for the Advanced Exploration Systems Division at NASA Headquarters
  • Chris Crumbly, manager of the Space Launch System Spacecraft and Payload Integration/Evolution Office at Marshall
  • Leslie McNutt, NEA Scout project manager at Marshall
  • Les Johnson, NEA Scout solar sail principal investigator at Marshall

The event will include a brief question-and-answer session with media attending in person or by phone. To participate by phone, media must contact Kim Newton at 256-544-0371256-653-5173 or kimberly.d.newton@nasa.govby 1 p.m. (noon CST) on Monday, Feb. 1. During the broadcast, viewers can ask questions on social media using #AskNASA.

The primary goal of the first integrated launch of NASA’s SLS and Orion spacecraft is to demonstrate the agency’s new capability to launch future crewed, deep space missions, which include missions to an asteroid and Mars. As a bonus, SLS will carry 13 CubeSats on its first flight as secondary payloads. These small satellites will perform various in-space experiments and demonstrations to advance the technological capabilities needed to take humans farther into space than ever before. The secondary payloads were selected through a series of announcements of flight opportunities, a public contest, and negotiations with NASA’s international partners.

For NASA TV downlink information and schedules, and to view the news briefing, visit:


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