The Space Hitchhikers: The ESPA Ring webisode was developed by the National Defense Education Program LabTV.
Abstract: In this webisode, engineers at an Air Force research lab in Albuquerque, NM are helping to solve the problem of the enormous cost of launching satellites needed to collect information or aid in communication by developing ways to add them to existing, larger missions. They are creating amazing an adaptor called an ESPA ring. An ESPA is fitted between a launch vehicle, or the rocket, and the primary satellite and can hold up to six small satellites. Before ESPA existed, space engineers would put ballast weight into the payload attach to get the correct performance out of the rocket. ESPA gives the Air Force a much better use for that weight capacity because a rocket that used to only carry one satellite now can take many.
Keywords:ESPA ring, satellite, rocket, launch vehicle, ballast, payload, magnetic fields, payload adapter, Van Allen Belts, careers, scientists, STEM, engineers, technology, engineering, mathematics, Department of Defense, NDEP, National Defense Education Program LabTV, videos.