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Spacecraft systems have undergone tremendous system-level transformations following advances in subsubsystems, subsystems, and systems designs and technologies. Furthermore, the ever expanding space applications and entrants necessitate a holistic review of current spacecraft system engineering (SE) margins. This paper seeks to examine contemporary space systems engineering procedures and develop a corresponding SE analysis tool for next-generation small satellites. Mass and power budgets are the considered SE margins. Case studies of highly adaptive small satellites (HASS) for a meteorology mission in low earth orbit are presented. HASS have demonstrated mass-, power-, and cost-savings with advanced capabilities than the conventional ones. The presented SE procedure can be extended to any spacecraft category and mission. As a capability-based SE analysis tool, it will enable the design and development of lightweight, reliable, adaptive, optimal, multifunctional, and economical satellites. This will enhance the provision of space systems that have postmission reapplications capability.