The International Satellite Program in Research and Education (INSPIRE) grew out of courses at the University of Colorado to teach aspiring students about the design and development of small spacecraft and the outstanding science that can be accomplished with such missions. The INSPIRE consortium has grown to 12 spacefaring universities spread across the globe, with five small satellite missions currently in development.
The mission objectives range from studying Ionospheric dynamics, Earth atmosphere monitoring, and Solar observations. INSPIRE is also developing a versatile university small satellite platform capable of carrying a variety of payloads ranging from plasma instruments to UV and IR imagers. An S-band ground station network for small satellites enables high data downlink from these platforms. Collaboration in the area of fundamental research, Earth sciences, climate monitoring, etc. has helped to advance these studies both for newcomers as well as established spacefaring nations and universities.