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NASA Ames Media Day for Small Spacecraft Technology and Announcement of Cube Quest Challenge Winners

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Date: Thursday, June 8, 2017

Location: , Moffett Field, CA US,

Media are invited to learn about NASA’s small spacecraft technology development and upcoming launches, and to talk to finalists in the agency’s $5 million Cube Quest Challenge on Thursday, June 8, at 9 a.m. PDT at the NASA Ames Conference Center at Moffett Field, California. 

NASA leadership, scientists and engineers involved in small spacecraft technology will speak about the growing importance of small spacecraft in scientific discovery and in space exploration, share milestone accomplishments and discuss the series of NASA-funded technology demonstration missions set to launch this year. These small satellite missions are designed to push the boundaries of space-to-Earth communications for small spacecraft, perform satellite-to-satellite proximity operations, and demonstrate autonomous movement capabilities such as rendezvous and docking that will further enable deep space exploration by small spacecraft.
 
As part of the event, NASA will announce the winners of the first phase of the Cube Quest Challenge. Three teams will be awarded space to launch their CubeSats on the first flight of the agency's newest rocket, the Space Launch System, scheduled for 2019, and a chance to advance to the final, in-space competition for a shot at a share of the $5 million prize purse.
 
The first phase of the Cube Quest competition challenged the nation's citizen solvers to design and build small satellites -- known as CubeSats -- that will race around the moon and beyond.
A total of 15 teams participated in the challenge. The five teams competing for space on the SLS are:

CisLunar Explorers, Cornell University
CU-E3, University of Colorado, Boulder
Heimdallr, Ragnorak Industries
SEDS Triteria, University of California, San Diego
Team Miles, Fluid & Reason, LLC
 
Once deployed, spacecraft will compete in the Deep Space Derby, where they must reach an orbit of at least 2.5 million miles from Earth – more than 10 times the distance to the moon – or the Lunar Derby, which requires teams to achieve a lunar orbit to compete for communications and longevity achievements and additional prize money.
 
Teams will be available to talk with interested media immediately following the awards ceremony. In addition, media will tour labs and assembly facilities at NASA’s Ames Research Center, where engineers build and test the operation of small spacecraft and payloads.
 
Interested members of the news media who wish to attend should contact Kimberly Minafra at kimberly.minafra@nasa.gov before 5 p.m. on June 7 for credentials.
 
Cube Quest is part of NASA’s Centennial Challenges program, which engages the public to compete to solve challenges that will benefit the agency and the nation. The program is managed at the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, while the competition is administered by NASA's Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley.
 
For more information about the Cube Quest Challenge, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/cubequest
 
For more information about other challenges and prize opportunities with NASA, visit:
 
http://www.nasa.gov/solve
 
For more information about the Small Spacecraft Technology Program, visit:
 
https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/small_spacecraft
 

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