NASA to launch Earth-observation satellites

NASA has reported it plans to launch six new next-generation Earth-observing small satellites to foster creative and cost-effective approaches to studying the planet, the administration said.

The space administration said the spacecraft will begin launching in November 2016. Satellite size keeps development and launch costs down as they often are carried into space as a secondary payload on another mission´s rocket, providing an economical avenue for testing new technologies and conducting science.

NASA´s early investment in these new Earth-observing technologies has matured to produce two robust science missions, the first of which is set to launch in December.

NASA said small spacecraft and satellites are helping advance scientific and human exploration, reduce the cost of new space missions, and expand access to space. Through technological innovation, small satellites enable entirely new architectures for a wide range of activities in space with the potential for exponential jumps in transformative science.