NASA Aborts NanoSat Launch Challenge

NASA has canceled its NanoSat Launch Challenge, a $3 million competition designed to foster the development of small satellite launch vehicle technology.

Ben Brockert, who broke the news, forwarded me the following email from Percy Luney of Space Florida, the organization that NASA selected to run the competition:

We are very sorry to announce that Space Florida has received the official notification that NASA is exercising its right to terminate our Space Act Agreement implementing the NanoSat Launch Challenge. The existence of the SWORDS and ALASA projects may have contributed to this NASA decision to end the Challenge. Our Space Act Agreement with NASA gives NASA the right to terminate the Challenge at any time.

Space Florida is extremely disappointed at NASA’s decision and has made a significant investment of staff and resources in implementing this Challenge. Without the prize funds provided by NASA, Space Florida is unable go forward with the NanoSat Launch Challenge at this time. We are considering other options.

The competition was part of NASA’s Centennial Challenges Program.

  • Joe

    It seems that this one was destined to go. Not a lot of publicity about the challenge and without publicity you don’t have a program. Hate to see it go but then again, I barely knew anything about it.

  • Mzungu

    More likely the realization of no small satellite market out there to actually warrant a vehicle than just publicity.

  • Sometimes you try something new and it doesn’t work out. It’s sad, but it happens. Prize was a good idea overtaken by other developments that probably have a better chance of succeeded. Happens a lot in product development as well.

  • Anonymous

    The NanoSat Launch Challenge died by the SWORD.