The idea is to make space launches affordable to commercial and academic ventures that can’t afford the high costs associated with piggybacking on a NASA mission or launching a single-use rocket. With small satellites constructed by universities or other institutions expected to increase dramatically over the next decade, the need exists for a service that can get them into space for less than $10,000 (the average cost associated with building and launching a CubeSat has ranged from $50,000 to $150,000 in the past).
Getting to that point means NASA can focus on NASA priorities while academia and private enterprise can find a reasonable means for ferrying scientific instruments and the like into orbits for less. That means more and better science at a lower cost, which in turn is good for everyone involved, even the space carriers doing all that heavy – and sometimes light – lifting. NanoLauncher Blue hopes to be launching suborbital satellites by 2014, with NanoLauncher Black following suit the following year.