The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle lifted off on schedule with its payload of 104 satellites, all but three of which were cubesats.
United Launch Alliance has pledged to carry as many as 24 cubesats on each launch of its Atlas 5 rocket beginning in mid-2017.
A California company announced plans Nov. 19 to develop a constellation of small remote sensing satellites, entering a field that has become increasingly crowded in the last year.
The first flight of an experimental launch system for small satellites ended in failure Nov. 3. The U.S. Air Force’s rail-launched Super Strypi rocket, packed with more than a dozen small satellites, roared toward the sky but failed less than a minute into the long-awaited flight.
Within NASA, the Heliophysics Division is leading the way when it comes to cubesats that yield useful scientific data. That is partly because the latest Heliophysics decadal, a 10-year science roadmap published in 2012, is much newer than those for the other three NASA science divisions.
NASA announced Oct. 14 that is awarding more than $17 million in contracts for dedicated launches of cubesats to three companies, none of whom have yet to place a single satellite into orbit.
In 2015, Spire plans to launch 20 triple cubesats. By the end of 2017, the company will have more than 100 satellites helping commercial customers forecast weather and track ships.
Measuring approximately 10 centimeters on a side and weighing around 1 kilogram, cubesats have gained popularity among small companies, universities and emerging countries. As cubesats’ use continues to grow, debris mitigation and avoidance regulations are also becoming progressively restrictive in order to avoid a degradation of space use among space industry operators.
As NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory prepares its first two interplanetary cubesat spacecraft for launch next year, engineers are examining what other solar system missions such spacecraft could perform and the key technologies needed to enable them.
In this episode of the SpaceGeeks podcast, Dan Leone talks to Farah Alibay, an early career engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory working on NASA's first-ever interplanetary cubesat — a space-worthy communications relay about the size of a jumbo cereal box.
One of every five cubesats launched between 2003 and 2014 is in violation of international guidelines calling for satellites to deorbit – by force of nature or their on-board systems – within 25 years of retirement, NASA sai
The projected increase in the launch of small satellites, particularly cubesats, has raised new concerns about the growth of orbital debris, despite statements by ventures developing such satellites that they will be responsible citizens in low Earth orbit.