Star Sphere Satellite

Star Sphere
Star Sphere
Star Sphere
Star Sphere
Star Sphere
Star Sphere
Star Sphere
Star Sphere
Star Sphere
Star Sphere
Star Sphere
Star Sphere
Star Sphere
Satellite SPHERE-1 EYE (EYE, Star Sphere, Star Sphere-1, Sony)
Form factor CubeSat
Units or mass 6U
Status Operational (Photo from space released in 2023-02-26 but attitude control issues stopping the public access activities as of 2023-04-15)
Launched 2023-01-03
NORAD ID 55072
Deployer QuadPack (XL) [ISISpace]
Launcher Falcon 9 (Transporter-6)
Organisation Sony
Institution Company
Entity type Commercial
Nation Japan
Manufacturer AIVT by University of Tokyo
Operator ?
Launch brokerer Space BD, ISILaunch
Partners University of Tokyo, JAXA

Star Sphere project that seeks collaboration with artists, entertainers and educators.


Sony plans to launch a six-unit cubesat with a full-frame camera later this year as part of its Star Sphere project that seeks collaboration with artists, entertainers and educators.

The Japanese tech giant built the satellite — whose mockup was exhibited during CES 2022 in Las Vegas earlier this month — in cooperation with the University of Tokyo and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). While Sony developed the spacecraft’s key components, operating system and built-in camera, the university and JAXA provided a satellite bus and technical advice, respectively.

Once in orbit 500-600 kilometers above Earth, the spacecraft and its built-in camera with a 28-135mm f/4 lens will be linked with an online controller via a ground station in Japan, enabling selected users to capture and record the Earth and stars using a broad range of camerawork options. Those interested in the project can experience how it works through an online simulator.

This will be the STAR SPHERE project’s first satellite launched to unleash space perspectives and make them available to everyone. By using the shooting simulator and operating the satellite with simple controls while viewing live images in real time, users will be able to capture the Earth’s expressive landscapes and stunning scenery, sunrises as seen from space, and diverse vistas of the Earth, Moon, and stars, with free control over the composition, camerawork, and camera settings.


After the launch of the satellite "EYE" on January 3, 2023, we have monitored the operation of “EYE”. We have confirmed that the switch was correctly turned on and the communication between “EYE” and the Earth was established. A command from mission control center was sent to “EYE” via the ground station and “EYE” successfully delivered the first picture to us. To that point, all system checks were going well.

When we checked the attitude control module, we found restrictions on the degree of freedom of angle specification of “EYE” during shooting and communication between “EYE” and the ground station. Due to this, unfortunately, we concluded that it would be difficult to provide the "Space Photography Tour" and "Space Photography Premium" as expected.

Given this situation, "EYE" is flying by itself in orbit around the Earth and keeps sending us photos of space and the Earth when the communication is good. All members are making efforts to find a way to share new and moving experiences in space with “crew” members under the restrictions we are currently experiencing. We will keep you informed of the progress.

The water resistojet propulsion system consists of a tank, a vaporizer, nozzles, a control board, and a power processing unit. The form factor of the propulsion system is 1.25 U, the wet mass is 1.4 kg, and the achievable total impulse of the system is 170 Ns or higher. A unique design of the water propulsion system is a vaporization chamber generating steam at room temperature and low pressure, under 10 kPa. The performance measured on the ground shows a thrust of 2.7 mN, and a specific impulse of 60 s. A qualification test campaign including vibration, shock, thermal, throughput, and system performance tests was conducted, followed by acceptance tests. On-orbit demonstration was conducted on March 3rd and 16th for all four nozzles and the thrust generation was confirmed. The estimated thrust on orbit was 6.1 – 7.2 mN.

Sources [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]
Photo sources [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
Keywords Propulsion
Space photos Star Sphere


On the same launch

Last modified: 2024-05-29

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