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NASA to send nanosatellites on research missions

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WASHINGTON (PTI): NASA has selected more than dozen small research satellites - each of which could fit in the palm of your hand - to fly in space on future rocket launches.

These cube-shaped nanosatellites, called CubeSats, which measure about four inches on each side and weigh less than three pounds, are small but pack an out-sized research punch.

The satellites will enable unique technology demonstrations, education research and science missions.

They will also help in studying topics ranging from how the solar system formed and demonstrating a new radiation-tolerant computer system, NASA said.

The 14 CubeSats selected are from 12 US states and will fly as auxiliary payloads aboard rockets planned to launch in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

They come from universities across the US, non-profit organisations and NASA field centres, NASA said.

The US space agency plans to launch 50 small satellites from all 50 states in the next five years.

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