The tremendous increase in interest in small satellite development by university, industry, and government organizations has enabled a new industry that facilitates ride sharing on launch vehicles delivering heavier primary payloads to particular orbits. A challenge for those developing small satellites continues to be access to an efficient way to find these launch opportunities. To a similar degree, launch vehicle providers looking for secondary payloads to complement their currently manifested primaries, or those interested in understanding the extent of future interest in launch opportunities by the small satellite developer community, also need an effective tool to support current and future planning.
NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) recognizes the need for a tool that aggregates launch opportunities and small satellites in need of a launch opportunity. To that end, this website is intended to evolve into a one-stop-shop for launch providers to find payloads for their secondary slots, and for small satellite developers to find candidate launch opportunities in the coming months and years.
The scope of this web-based service is limited to payloads less than 200kg. With the latest push on SmallSat class satellites, this initial beta release website is limited to SmallSat-size payloads and opportunities for the near term. Over time, it will grow to include small micro and nano satellites up to the 200kg limit unless the industry drives the website another direction.