NASA recently launched the Small Spacecraft Systems Virtual Institute “to advance the field of small spacecraft systems.” This comes at a time when so many people are eager to get involved in space exploration again.
But what makes this so special? If you’ve been interested in space for any length of time and found yourself willing to leave the surface of Earth to explore space, then you’ll appreciate what NASA is up to.
The S3VI will provide the first one-stop shop for technical knowledge in the rapidly burgeoning small spacecraft technology fields.
Being interested in cubesats myself, I find their hosting of the Small Spacecraft Body of Knowledge (SSBK) is a welcome addition to the online spacecraft community. Up to now, it has been somewhat difficult to find any meaningful information regarding spacecraft, how to build them, what materials to use, etc. Most of that knowledge is “tribal” or falls into the black hole of American ITAR laws. Meanwhile, other countries are a bit more lax regarding the sharing of spacecraft technology.
Now, maybe we can stop re-inventing the spacecraft wheel and get on with openly developing and learning from our mistakes together and press onward with space exploration as single, collaborative species, the human race.
Thanks NASA, I’m happy to see that you can openly share what makes you so great!