India's ISRO might want to sit up and take note - US space agency NASA has selected more than a dozen small research satellites that could fit in the palm of one's hand to carry out space research missions on future rocket launches.
Called CubeSats, these cube-shaped nano-satellites are small but pack a big punch. They will enable unique technology demonstrations, education research and science missions; and will study topics ranging from how the solar system formed to the demonstration of a new radiation-tolerant computer system, the US space agency said in a statement.
The 14 CubeSats selected are from 12 US states. They will fly as auxiliary payloads aboard rockets planned for launch over the next three years up to 2018.
The CubeSats come from universities across the country, non-profit organisations and NASA field centres.
As part of the White House Maker Initiative, NASA is seeking to leverage the growing community of space enthusiasts to create a nation that contributes to Nasa's space exploration goals.
The aim is to launch 50 small satellites from all 50 US states in the next five years.