2023 NASA Summer Research Intern
Delaware State University
Bryanna Dawson isa rising junior at Delaware State University, majoring in International Studies, and is planning to double minor in French and Spanish. She intends to pursue a Master’s Degree in International Studies. She intends to have a career in International Public Service in order to cultivate international connections and policies. During her free time, she likes to cook different cuisines, jog, take walks, and study languages. She is excited to learn new skills and utilize her current ones to assist the NASA Office of International and Interagency Relations.
Bryanna’s Research Summary:
I was provided with the opportunity to perform research on SmallSats and CubeSats from different regions, in particular, Africa and the Middle East. I analyzed and recorded which countries had SmallSat and CubeSat Missions and which did not in order to analyze their spacefaring capabilities. SmallSats/CubeSats are fairly simple ways to be involved in space, therefore researching who was capable of manufacturing one showcased their technological abilities and interest in space. Furthermore, the research identified if any countries in Africa or the Middle East had the ability to create a SmallSat/CubeSat that can travel to the lunar or deep space orbits.
The results are as follows: Africa had 17/54 countries with SmallSat Missions. Most of the launches were in 2022 and launched by universities. The SmallSat Missions were predominately technology-themed than science-themed. South Africa has the largest number of missions (11) and the SmallSat at the farthest distance (620 km). Environmental Observations and Capacity Building are the most significant reasons for building SmallSats. The Middle East had 11/17 countries with SmallSat Missions. The majority of the missions were launched or will be launched in 2023. Universities were the most involved in the launch of SmallsSats/CubeSats. The SmallSat Missions were predominately technology-themed than science-themed. Israel has the largest number of Missions (38), however, Turkey had a SmallSat with the furthest distance (720 km).
Overall, Africa and the Middle East only had Missions within the LEO and many countries in these regions did not have SmallSat/CubeSat Missions.