In the context of a 2010 Small Satellite Systems and Services (4S) conference, the Space Fellowship reports on the "growing potential for small satellites."
'Underlying technological developments such as miniaturisation and micro-electrical-mechanical systems (MEMs) have enhanced small satellite capabilities and broadened their range of uses,' said 4S Symposium organiser Luca Maresi. 'Small satellites have moved on from being simply university engineering projects or technology testbeds, growing in maturity to a point where they are employed in operational commercial applications as well as scientific missions.'
While not free orbiting, now would be a good time to point out that Kentucky Space will delivers the first Nanorack to Cape Canaveral next Wednesday for a March delivery via STS 131 to the International Space Station! Low cost research may be accomplished by experimenters in the repurposed Cubesats, called CubelabsTM, which will be powered by the Nanorack, the first of three.