Whitepaper #268 in the Decadal Survey for Solar and Space Physics (Heliophysics) 2024-2033. Main topics: infrastructure/workforce/other programmatic. Additional topics: state of the profession; research tools and infrastructure.
Small satellites presently fill an appropriate niche in the cost versus mission-class ecosystem; are highly productive as measured by papers/year/$M; present the rare opportunity to develop a career in spaceflight leadership. Equity goals can be met sooner by increasing the number of opportunities to lead smallsats. But current funding levels are a bottleneck that prioritized budgets could amend