As one astronomy cubesat reaches the end of its mission, scientists and NASA officials argue that such spacecraft have demonstrated they can perform useful science often not feasible with larger missions.
Air Force and NRO cubesats were among many experimental projects encapsulated in the NG-12 Cygnus mission.
Large-scale rideshare missions are not without their challenges, both for the launch provider and satellite operators.
Three European space companies raised 10 million euros ($11.3 million) to start a constellation for Internet of Things connections they would operate on behalf of a still-to-be-determined service provider.
Polish space industry startup KP Labs has awarded an order to Scottish cubesat manufacturer Clyde Space which will act as a subcontractor for the company’s Intuition-1 project
With key space weather satellites expected to fail before U.S. and European agencies launch replacements, “small satellites may be the only way of averting a bleak future,” said Daniel Baker, director of the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics.
The success a pair of cubesats achieved in relaying telemetry from NASA’s InSight Mars lander demonstrates that such spacecraft can play increasing roles in future deep space missions, spacecraft designers believe.
In an exhibit hall filled with metal spacecraft components, it was hard to miss the pink unicorn perched on a cubesat at the Innovative Solutions in Space booth.
A startup developing small communications satellites will fund the launch of a student-built satellite selected through a competition.
Startups Kepler Communications and Phasor said Sept. 10 that they successfully demonstrated a link between Kepler’s cubesat and a Phasor flat panel antenna.
French maritime-tracking company CLS is starting a 120 million euro ($139 million) effort to build, launch and operate a constellation of 20 small satellites for connecting Internet of Things devices at sea and elsewhere.
A technology using a tiny laser tracker could help resolve one of the major challenges involved with the launching of cubesats: identifying individual satellites after their deployment.
As concerns grow about orbital debris and the need for space traffic management, cubesats without propulsion have no means to maneuver to avoid collisions or deorbit at the end of their operational lives.
Planet and Spire, operators of the two largest commercial cubesat constellations in orbit, say they manage their fleets to prevent retired spacecraft from lingering in space beyond internationally accepted guidelines.