ESA accelerates cubesat program to defend Europe’s smallsat sector in fast-growing global market

by Peter B. de Selding

CARBONDALE, Colorado – The European Space Agency is moving into higher gear in the development of smallsat/cubesats, with a special focus on developing technologies that industry can use for commercial constellations.

It is an example of how the 22-nation ESA is adapting its indispensable, if long-ridiculed, geographic-return rules to enable agency support for small satellites whose design and construction cannot be distributed among a dozen nations.

The agency’s General Support Technology Program (GSTP) is funded by optional contributions from individual member states, like most all ESA funding. But by allowing only one . . .

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