Jeff Foust, for SpaceNews, from SmallSat 2018:
Zurbuchen added that NASA will provide more rideshare opportunities. Going forward, when NASA purchases a launch for a science mission, it will also acquire an EELV Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA) ring that can accommodate secondary payloads, including both NASA smallsats as well as those from outside the agency.
That approach is different from current approaches, where an ESPA ring may be added later in the mission development process. “We’re not going to ask whether we need it,” he said. “You have to convince us that we don’t need it.”