World's largest database of nanosatellites,
almost 2400
nanosats and CubeSats

CubeSat constellations, companies,
technologies, missions and more
Sister websites www.factoriesinspace.com and www.newspace.im

"I believe the big future of nanosatellites is still to come!"

Facts as of 2019 June 10

  • Nanosats launched: 1186
  • CubeSats launched: 1088
  • Interplanetary CubeSats: 2
  • Nanosats destroyed on launch: 87
  • Most nanosats on a rocket: 103
  • Countries with nanosats: 64
  • Companies in database: 407
  • Forecast: over 3000 nanosats to launch in 6 years
Last update: 2019-06-10

NOTES

Database includes and term nanosatellite implies them all:

Database does not include (generally):

  • Femtosatellites (10 g to 100 g), chipsats and suborbital launches.
  • CubeSats bolted to upper stages & not meant to be separate objects.
  • Satellites only in idea or concept phase (often difficult to determine). There is a long non-public waitlist for such missions & constellations.
  • Data is since 1998. There were at least 21 nanosatellites launched in the 1960s (Vanguard, OSCAR, ERS) and 1 in 1997.

Approach:

  • Each database entry should meant to be an independently flying spacecraft even when initially deployed together. There are some exceptions e.g. tethered CubeSats. This is also why the first 60 ThinSats are listed as 12 objects at the moment.
  • It is relatively easy to gather most of the launched nanosats, but including planned future and cancelled missions gives a much deeper insight into trends and improves forecasting.
  • There are a handful of US and Chinese nanosats about which (almost) nothing is publicly known. Will continue to try to find personal contacts to get to the truth for historical purposes.
  • There is a large number of CubeSats with very little public information, especially after launch. Furthermore, missions are often changed or cancelled, but not announced publicly.

Comments:

  • Apologies for possible mistakes, please write about them.
  • There is plethora of non-public data (emails, COM parameters etc).
  • "Mission type" and "Mission type description" are part of Space Taxonomy shared by Hector Guerrero Padron from European Commission Space Policy and Research Unit in 2014.

MOTIVATION

I believe the era of nanosatellites is still to come. We are only in the beginning of the big future. Greatly more launches, novel technologies, big constellations and thrilling exploration missions all over the Solar System. Thanks to miniaturized subsystems and payloads we will be able to visit many times more moons and asteroids.

Being bound to fit into a (CubeSat) box empowers creativity and innovation. It is easy to switch to a larger (custom) platform and even cheaper in some cases, but advanced R&D will benefit in the long-term. Many missions that were tought to be impossible with CubeSats even five years ago are now being demonstrated or planned.

"Just because a spacecraft is small, it doesn’t make it easy. A highly constrained spacecraft can push the engineering, push the ingenuity of the team in a way that, in every way, is comparable to some of these big missions that we’re doing." - Thomas Zuburchen, NASA associate administrator

SOURCES

Updates every 2-3 months. Doing the best to keep track when information is accessible. Always attempting to find and link the original sources.


TERMS OF USE

You are welcome to use the figures. Please credit the author and source, e.g. "Erik Kulu, Nanosats Database, www.nanosats.eu". You are also welcome to change the graphic design to match style.

CONTACT

Feel free to connect at any time. Always glad to receive your questions, feedback and updates.

Created by Erik Kulu

Email: erik.kulu@nanosats.eu
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/erikkulu

Social Platforms

LinkedIn: Nanosats Database
Twitter: @nanosatellites

Sister Websites

NewSpace Index: www.newspace.im
Factories in Space: www.factoriesinspace.com

Copyright © 2014 - 2019 Erik Kulu