Notable Upcoming CubeSat Missions

Mission Destination Launch Summary Image
CPOD LEO 2019 Docking with 3U nanosatellites. Will demonstrate precision flying around each other and then docking. Will enable to explore asteroids, moons and to inspect other spacecraft. CPOD 3U CubeSats
RSat (Repair CubeSat) LEO 2019 Two 7 DoF robotic arms fitted with manipulators to enable inspection and servicing. Operates with BRICSat that provides propulsion and attitude control. Magnetic docking system will include power and data pass-through. Part of AMODS (Autonomous Mobile On-orbit Diagnostic System). RSat Repair CubeSat
Mars Cube One (MarCO) Mars flyby 2018 Two 6U deep space CubeSats were planned to be launched in 2016, but delayed due to InSight Mars lander. They flew by Mars during the landing of InSight and relayed status in real time. First interplanetary CubeSats. NASA 6U CubeSat MarCO (Mars Cube One)
NEA Scout Asteroid flyby 2020 First CubeSat to reach an asteroid and map it using an ~80 m2 solar sail for propulsion. One of 13 6U CubeSats that will launch with a new NASA SLS rocket in 2020 which will send Orion capsule on a trip around the Moon. NASA NEA-Scout 6U CubeSat
Lunar Flashlight Moon orbit 2020 First CubeSat to reach the Moon and the first to use lasers to look for water ice. Near infrared lasers will shine light into the shaded polar regions, while the spectrometer measures surface reflection and composition. One of 13 6U SLS CubeSats. NASA 6U CubeSat Lunar Flashlight
OMOTENASHI Moon orbit, Moon surface 2020 Will release a 1 kg lunar lander with inflatable airbags to demonstrate technology for low-cost and very small spacecraft to explore the lunar surface and will measure the radiation environment. One of 13 6U SLS CubeSats. OMOTENASHI CubeSat and lunar lander
SWIMSat GEO 2021 6U CubeSat to monitor solar Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) and monitor Earth meteor impacts. Might be the first CubeSat to geostationary (GEO) orbit, but too early to know for sure. SWIMSat first GEO CubeSat
M-ARGO 50-m asteroid 2022 12U CubeSat from ESA to rendezvous with a small rapidly spinning asteroid and spend around six months surveying with multispectral imager and laser altimeter. ESA M-ARGO 12U CubeSat
DARCSIDE Europa, Jupiter moon 2025 3U CubeSat flying with Europa Clipper spacecraft to study Europa's atmosphere. Experiments are planned to be drag measurement and high energy particle detector. DARCSIDE Europa moon CubeSat concept

Last update: 2018-12-31 | Changelog

CubeSat Commercial Constellations and Investments

Website NewSpace Index ( includes microsatellites and smallsats as well!

Organization Launched /
Planned size
Form factor Field Funding Image
ExactEarth 67 / 67 2008 Nanosat, Hosted AIS Yes
Planet 355 / 150 2013 3U Earth observation $183 million Planet Dove 3U CubeSat
Spire 103 / 150 2013 3U Weather, AIS, ADS-B $149.5 million Spire Lemur 3U CubeSat
Astro Digital 6 / 25 2014 6U, 16U Earth observation $16.7+ million Astro Digital 6U CubeSat
Sky and Space Global 3 / 200 2017 8U IoT / M2M $11.5 million Sky and Space Global 3U CubeSat
GeoOptics 7 / ? 2017 6U Weather $5.15 million GeoOptics 6U CubeSat
Helios Wire / SIRION 2 / 30 2017 6U, 16U IoT / M2M $1 million Helios Wire 16U CubeSat
Dauria / SatByul 2 / 8 2017 6U Earth observation ?
Swarm Technologies 7 / 150 2018 0.25U, 1U IoT / M2M ? Swarm Technologies 1U CubeSat
Kepler Communications 2 / 140 2018 3U, 6U, ? IoT / M2M, Internet $21 million Kepler Communications 3U CubeSat
Analytical Space 1 / ? 2018 6U IoT / M2M, Orbital data relay, Optical comms $4 million Analytical Space 6U CubeSat
Hiber 2 / 48 2018 6U IoT / M2M $6.2 million Hiber 6U CubeSat
Fleet Space 4 / 100 2018 3U, 12U, 1.5U IoT / M2M $3.7 million Fleet Space Satellite
Astrocast 1 / 80 2018 3U IoT / M2M $7.1 million Astrocast 3U CubeSat
AISTech 1 / 150 2018 2U, 6U IoT / M2M, ADS-B, AIS, IR imaging $0.31 million AISTech CubeSat
Reaktor Space 1 / 36 2018 6U, 2U Earth observation, Hyperspectral ? Reaktor Space CubeSat Concept
Myriota 1 / ? 2018 CubeSat? IoT / M2M $15+ million
Karten Space 0 / 14 2019 6U Earth observation, AIS ? Karten Space 6U CubeSat
UnSeenLabs 0 / ? 2019 6U RF spectrum monitoring ? UnSeenLabs 6U CubeSat
NSLComm 0 / 60 2019 6U Internet, IoT / M2M $9.25+ million NSLComm 3U CubeSat
Orbital Micro Systems 0 / 40 2019 3U? Weather $0.65 million Orbital Micro Systems satellite
Lacuna Space 0 / 32 2019 6U IoT / M2M Yes
Blink Astro 0 / ? 2019 3U IoT / M2M ? Blink Astro 3U CubeSat
PlanetiQ 0 / 18 2019 6U Weather $5+ million PlanetiQ CubeSat
Hera Systems 0 / 50 2019 12U Earth observation $4.2+ million  Hera Systems 12U CubeSat
SRT Marine 0 / 6 2019 6U AIS ?
SatRevolution 0 / 66 2019 2U Earth observation $0.8 million SatRevolution 2U CubeSat
Aerial & Maritime 0 / ? 2019 3U? AIS, ADS-B $12.2 million Aerial & Maritime Starling CubeSat
Harris 0 / 12 2019 6U Weather Yes, ? Harris Corp 6U CubeSats
Transcelestial 0 / ? 2019 CubeSat? Orbital data relay, Optical comms $1.8 million
Kleos Space 0 / 20 2019 CubeSat AIS, Geolocation ?
Strata Space 0 / ? 2019 PocketQube Orbital data relay, Data storage ? Alba Orbital 3p PocketQube
Bluefield 0 / 22 2019 16U Emissions monitoring $0.25 million Bluefield 16U CubeSat
Kineis 0 / 20 2020 16U IoT / M2M Yes Kineis 16U CubeSat 0 / 100 2021 3U Weather, IR imaging Seed Orora Tech CubeSat
OQ Technology 0 / ? ? CubeSat IoT / M2M
Tekever 0 / 12 ? 16U Earth observation, AIS, ADS-B, IoT / M2M ? Tekever CubeSat
ArQit 0 / ? ? CubeSat? QKD, Optical comms ?
Alba Orbital 0 / ? ? PocketQube Earth observation ?
Ubiquitilink 0 / ? ? CubeSat IoT / M2M Yes
Hypercubes 0 / ? ? CubeSat? Earth observation, Hyperspectral ?
Koolock 0 / ? ? CubeSat Earth observation, IR imaging, Weather ?
Rupercorp 0 / ? Cancelled 6U Earth observation ?
Planetary Resources 3 / 10 Cancelled 12U Earth observation $50+ million Planetary Resources Arkyd 12U CubeSat
Outernet 0 / 200 Cancelled 1U, 3U Internet Yes Outernet 1U Spacecraft
Earthcube 0 / 10 Cancelled CubeSat Earth observation, IR imaging $4.5+ million
Terran Orbital (Tyvak) 0 / ? Cancelled CubeSat IoT / M2M Yes
ISIS / Innovative Data Services 0 / 16 Cancelled 3U AIS ?
Promethean Labs 0 / ? Cancelled CubeSat Emissions monitoring ?
BitSat (Dunvegan Space Systems) 0 / 24 Cancelled 3U IoT / M2M, Data storage ?

Last update: 2019-01-19 | Changelog

State-of-the-art CubeSat Technologies

Complimentary reading: NASA Small Spacecraft Technology State of the Art (online version) and Achieving Science with CubeSats reports.

Technology Organization Summary Image
Communications Planet 200+ Mbit/s to 5 m ground station in X band with patch antenna. Planet Labs 3U CubeSat
NASA Mars Cube One (MarCO) reflectarray capable of 8 Kbit/s from Mars in X-band. Three 33.3 cm x 19.9 cm panels achieve >28 dB gain at 8.4 GHz. MarCO CubeSat Reflectarray Antenna
NASA KaPDA parabolic deployable Ka-band antenna with 0.5 m diameter, 1.5U stowed size, 1.2 kg mass and 42.5 dB gain. KaPDA parabolic Ka-band antenna
NASA Iris V2 Transponder. Parameters include 0.5U, 1.2 kg and interoperability with Deep Space Network (DSN) at X-band. NASA Iris V2 Transponder
Astro Digital (Aquila) 40 Mbit/s in 26.8 GHz Ka-band with patch antenna on Perseus-M 6U CubeSats. Module is about 1U and 1 kg. Astro Digital first Ka-band transmitter
Aerospace Corp 1.5U AeroCube-7 (OCSD) will do optical communications with data rates up to 622 Mbps using 80 cm ground station. OCSD 1.5U CubeSat with Laser Communications
Syrlinks EWC27 X Band transmitter. Up to 100 Mbps. Up to 13.3 GB per pass can be downloaded on a 5 m station or 5.8 GB with a 3.4 m station. Syrlinks X-band transmitter
QuickSAT (Globalstar) Using GlobalStar satellite network for 24/7 communications. Module is only 44 × 88 mm, weighs 25 g and consumes 200 mW with 500 mW peak.
Tendeg 1 m apeture, scalable to 2-4 m. 50 dB gain at 36 GHz, 2.5 kg, 3U. Tendeg KaTENna CubeSat Antenna
Tethers Unlimited K-Band Transmitter for up to 500 Mbps. 0.3U and 0.5 kg. Tethers Unlimited K-Band Transmitter
Tesat CubeLCT laser transmitter for CubeSats. 0.3U, 0.35 kg, 8W and 100 Mbps with 1 deg pointing. Tesat CubeLCT Laser Transmitter
Kepler Communications Fastest CubeSat? Ku-band of 320 Mbps downlink & 100 Mbps uplink. Kepler 3U CubeSat
Power Planet 3+3 3U deployable solar panels Planet 3U CubeSat
MMA Design HaWK steerable 3 × 3U solar arrays capable of tracking Sun and 36W peak power. Might use Honeybee SADA drive actuator. MMA Design CubeSat Deployable Solar Panels
NASA ISARA has solar cells opposite the reflectarray. 3 × 3U panels achieve 33 dB of gain at 26 GHz and data rates about 100 Mbps. NASA ISARA 3U CubeSat Reflectarray Antenna
Pumpkin High‐Power Articulated Solar Array for Lunar 6U CubeSats. 126W BOL. Pumpkin DASA Solar Array
Compact Satellite Bus Planet Bus is a wrap-around design of about 0.25U - 0.5U total volume. Includes star camera, GPS, 4 reaction wheels. Planet Labs 3U CubeSat
Tyvak Intrepid platform avionics, power system, communication, and payload interface are all hosted in a 9 × 9 × 3 cm package. Tyvak Intrepid CubeSat Platform
Propulsion NASA Solar sail with an area of ~86 m2 that fits into 2U and has 2.5 kg mass. NASA CubeSat Solar Sail
Busek BIT-3 propulsion sized 2.5U includes 1.5 kg solid iodine propellant and will provide 6U CubeSat up to 3 km/s of delta-V. Busek CubeSat BIT-3 Propulsion
Phase Four CubeSat Ambipolar Thruster (CAT) sized 4U could provide 8 km/s of delta-V for 6 kg dry mass satellite consuming 2.56 kg of water. Phase Four CAT CubeSat Thruster
Deep Space Industries Comet-1 thrusters are simple, safe, and cost-effective electrothermal propulsion systems that use water as propellant. Deep Space Industries CubeSat Thruster
VACCO Variety of high-performance cold gas, warm gas and green monopropellant thrusters. More than 14 flight MiPS have been produced. VACCO MarCO CubeSat Thruster
Enpulsion IFM Nano Thruster uses liquid metal as the propellant, which is at solid state at room temperature. Enpulsion IFM Nano Thruster
Booms Oxford Space Systems AstroTube retractable boom with up to 3 m length and less than 0.5U size. Oxford Space Systems CubeSat Boom

Last update: 2018-10-28 | Changelog

CubeSat Instruments

Last update: 2018-08-12 | Changelog

Good overview of CubeSat instruments and technology progress by Anthony Freeman from 2016 CubeSat Instruments Status
Planetary Decadal Science Mapping and Nanosat-Compatible Instrument Availability by Caltech from 2016 CubeSat Instruments Status

Technology Some applications Organization or instrument Description Image
Visible and near-IR cameras Determine asteroid’s shape, rotational properties, spectral class, local dust and debris field, regional morphology and regolith properties. Planet Scope PS2 29 MP detector capable of taking images with 3.7 m ground resolution and swath of 24.6 km × 16.4 km from 475 km altitude. Planet Labs 3U CubeSat
Hera Systems 1-meter resolution imaging satellite is built on a 12U cubesat, 22-kilogram form factor. Hera Systems 12U CubeSat Imager
Astro Digital (Aquila) 6U has 22 m resolution in RGB and NIR. 16U has 2.5 m resolution in RGB, red edge, and NIR using 70 MP sensor and butcher block filter. Astro Digital 6U CubeSat Imager
Malin Space Systems ECAM C-50 imager uses the Aptina MT9P031 sensor certified for deep space. 5 MP (2592 x 1944) CMOS. Malin Space Imager
JPL IntelliCam 20 MP, 15 deg FOV. 10 cm/pix at ~800 m. Asteroid (~5-12 m) detection from ~50K km. Science and optical (autonomous) naviation. NEA Scout and JPL IntelliCam
SATLANTIS iSIM 90 Imager for 12U/16U with up to 1.1 m GSD @ 500 km altitude and 11 km swath width. Dimensions 210 x 250 x 155 mm. SATLANTIS iSIM 90 Imager for CubeSats
Simera Sense xScape100 2U imager for 3/6U with 94 mm aperture. Simera Sense xScape100 Imager
Microwave radars Precipitation profiling NASA KaPDA Ka-band antenna KaPDA parabolic deployable Ka-band antenna with 0.5 m diameter, 1.5U stowed size, 1.2 kg mass and 42.5 dB gain. NASA RainCube 6U CubeSat
Radiometers Greenhouse gases measurement. Atmosphere humidty and temperature profiling. Boulder (BEST) 150 and 183 GHz Radiometers 150 GHz radiometer has 2 channels between the 118 GHz oxygen absorption line and the 183 GHz water vapor absorption line. BEST Radiometers for nanosatellites
NASA Laser Heterodyne Radiometer (Mini-LHR) 4U occultation-viewing passive radiometer that measures methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor (H2O) in the limb.
Infrared imagers Characterize volatiles and minerals. Measure temp and water vapor in atmosphere. Night-imaging, temperature mapping. NASA BIRCHES 1.5U, 2.5 kg, 5 W. Spectral resolution (5 nm) to characterize volatiles (water etc) and minerals (oxides etc). Micro-crycooler to keep <140 K. NASA BIRCHES Spectrometer for CubeSats
Thoth Argus 1000 Infrared Range: 1000 nm - 1700 nm. Spectral resolution: 6 nm. 15 mm aperture, 0.15° FoV. Envelope: 45 × 50 × 80 mm. Mass < 230 g. Argus 1000 Infrared Spectrometer for nanosatellites
MWIR Grating Spectrometer (CIRAS) Spatial: 13.5 × 0.32 km. Spectral: 4.8-5.1 μm. 625 Channels. HOT-BIRD detectors comparable to HgCdTe at much reduced cost. CIRAS Spectrometer for CubeSats
Planetary Resources MWIR Midwave infrared imager (MWIR) in 3-5 μm with 15 m ground resolution. Planetary Resources MWIR Infrared Imager for microsatellites
Hyperspectral imagers / spectrometers Material detection, crop identification, soil moisture, oil spill concentrations, monitoring pollutatns, hazardous gases. Harris Fourier Spectrometer (CubeSat-FTS) 4 cm aperture, MWIR band only (5.7-8.3 um). Cooled to ~120K using an AVHRR-based passive cooler. Hundreds of hyperspectral bands. Harris Fourier Spectrometer (CubeSat-FTS)
Planetary Resources VNIR Visible-NIR 40 channel hyperspectral imager with 10 m resolution. Planetary Resources VNIR Imager
Planetary Resources CHAP Visible, NIR, IR and far-UV (90-140 nm) possible, 400 channels. Co-registration of spatial and spectral information.
VTT VISION Tunable spectral imager operating in the visible and near-infrared spectra (430 – 800 nm) for ozone vertical profile measurement. VISION Imager on 3U PICASSO
ESA Mini-TMA 90 m ground resolution, 565 km swath, 400-800 nm range, 300 channels, 15 nm spectral resolution, 150 g, 60 × 50 × 30 mm. ESA Mini-TMA Hyperspectral Imager
Snow and Water Imaging Spectrometer (SWIS) 4U, 1.9 kg, 350-1700 nm region with 5.7 nm sampling, 10 deg FoV, 160 m resolution from 500 km. Snow and Water Imaging Spectrometer (SWIS) Imager
cosine HyperScout 1U, 1.1 kg, 11W, 400-1000 nm in 45 bands, 40 m resolution and 164 km swatch from 300 km. cosine HyperScout Hyperspectral Imager
Neutron spectrometers Map hydrogen (and water) abundances NASA Mini-NS (Neutron Spectrometer) 2.5U detector using Cs2YLiCl6:Ce (CLYC) scintillator material to detect epithermal neutrons at spatial scales below 10 km. NASA Mini-NS Neutron Spectrometer
X-ray Chemical composition, pulsar navigation Amptek X-123SDD 7 × 10 × 2.5 cm, 180 g, 2.5 Watts, solar SXR spectral measurements in the 0.5-30 keV range (0.04-2.5 nm) with 0.15 keV energy resolution. Amptek X-ray Spectrometer
REDLEN M1770 Precise measurement of the cosmic (diffuse) X-ray background in the 20 – 50 KeV range. REDLEN CubeSat X-ray Payload
Lobster Eye X‐ray telescope Wide‐field optical system for X‐ray monitoring in range 3 ‐ 40 keV, based on Lobster Eye optics and Timepix detector VZLUSAT-1 X-ray Telescope
Mass spectrometer Elemental composition Quadrupole Ion Trap Mass Spectrometer (QIT-MS) 2.5 kg, 2U, isotopic accuracy <1%.
Gamma ray spectrometer Sub-surface composition Miniaturized SrI2 Gamma Ray Spectrometer 1U, 0.5 kg, 3 W. Europium-doped strontium iodide (SrI2) crystal is 15 × 15 × 10 mm. CubeSat Gamma-ray Spectrometer

Advanced CubeSat Concepts

Last update: 2016-11-13

Many future space science mission concepts in Keck Institute Final Report from 2014.

Field Technology or concept Summary Image
Communications Structureless antenna Under funding from DARPA, Tethers Unlimited is developing technology that will enable new capabilities for small, low-power nanosatellites such as transmission of real-time video from GEO. CubeSat structureless antennas
Inflatable antennas NASA JPL is leading the development of inflatable X-band antenna with 34 dBi gain, 0.5U stowage volume that uses sublimating powder and is highly scalable. Arizona State University is also involved. CubeSat inflatable antenna
Optics 6U Collapsible Telescope NASA Ames 6U Collapsible Telescope primary mirror diameter is 152.6 mm (6 inches). Fits into 13.8 cm × 20.3 cm × 7 cm. CubeSat collapsible telescope
3U Folded Telescope UK Astronomy Technology Centre solution estimated resolution from 300 km altitude is about 0.5 m per pixel with a 3U CubeSat. Volume of the folded system is 1.5U. CubeSat folded telescope
3U Deployable Telescope Utah State University solution ground sampling distance is 1.3 m. The rectangular full field of view is 0.7° by 0.5° giving a ground coverage of 6.1 km by 4.6 km from a 500 km altitude with a 3U CubeSat. Fits within a 2.5U volume, but length can be reduced to 175 mm. CubeSat deployable telescope
Carbon-nanotube mirrors with integrated actuators Made of carbon nanotubes embedded in an epoxy resin. Lightweight, highly stable, easily reproducible and do not require polishing. Just pour the mixture of epoxy and carbon nanotubes into a mandrel or mold and let it cure and harden. CubeSat carbon mirrors
SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) 12U Ka-Band CubesatSAR 6U spacecraft, 12U total volume. Capable of 10 m resolution from 400 km. 3 min on-time per orbit. Tx power is 120 W and DC power in burst mode is 80W. Antenna size 1.7 × 3 m. Data rate is 104 Mbps and downlink rate is 40 Mbps 12U CubeSat SAR
6U SRI CubeSat Imaging Radar SRI-CIRES is designed for 500 km altitude, 2.9 GHz S-band, 25 m spatial resolution, 3.2 × 1.6 m. Module volume less 1U and < 1 kg. Interferometric SAR (InSAR) for Earth science. SRI CubeSat radar
NanoSAR Antenna is 1.14 × 0.18 m, 5.8 GHz frequency. Swath width of 60 km and pixel size of 10 × 3 m from 350 km altitude. Study by Delft from 2012.
Multi-Purpose CubeSat at ISS ESA study lead by Tyvak will include refueling from ISS and autonomous inspection of ISS.
Power Thin film solar cells Enable much larger solar panels (blanket arrays) in the same volume and mass that can be folded or rolled. Alta Devices 2U concept can produce 29W with much room to grow using their record efficient and bendable cells. CubeSat thin-film solar cells
Radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) PocketRTG is a study by University of Bristol for a CubeSat-scale RTG using COTS fuel. Measures 0.5U and mass is 0.5 kg, but output is currently only 50 mW. Also studied by NASA Glenn for Lunar missions in permanently shadowed regions.
Missions Mars Micro Orbiter 6U Cubesat to measure the Martian atmosphere in visible and infrared wavelengths from Mars orbit. Can also act as orbital communication relay for surface-based missions. Mars CubeSat Orbiter Concept
DAVID 6U CubeSat will flyby an asteroid much smaller than any investigated by now. Instruments are wide-field camera, a narrow-field camera and a point VNIR spectrometer. DAVID asteroid flyby CubeSat
L5 Space Weather Sentinels (L5SWS) One Keck Institude study proposes fractionated space weather monitoring from the Sun-Earth L5 point with 5 × 6U CubeSats. One is telecom and others would carry specific instruments. 98 m2 solar sails are used to enter orbit and perform station keeping. L5 CubeSats
Propulsion Antimatter propulsion by Positron Dynamics Core innovation is the ability to generate intense beams of cold positrons using proprietary array moderators combined with compact radioisotope sources of positrons. First 6U CubeSat test planned for 2016, will have delta-V betweem 1 to 10 km/s.

CubeSat Launch Provides, Programs and Prices

Last update: 2018-12-31 | Changelog
Provider CubeSats launched First launch Launch cost
Terran Orbital / Tyvak 121+ 2003
ISIS (Innovative Solutions In Space) 300+ 2009 $210,000 - 270,000 for 3U LEO
NASA CSLI and ELaNa 46+ 2011 Free
ESA Fly your Satellite! 10 2012 Free
JAMSS / JAXA 10+ 2012
Nanoracks 180+ 2012 $85,000 for 1U
Spaceflight 100+ 2013 $295,000 for 3U LEO, $545,000 for 6U LEO, $995,000 for 12U LEO , GTO and Lunar also listed
G.A.U.S.S. 12+ 2013
ECM Space 30+ 2017 ?
Glavkosmos 50+ 2017 ?
Rocket Lab 20+ 2018 $70,000 - 80,000 for 1U LEO, $200,000 - 250,000 for 3U LEO
KiboCUBE (UNOOSA, JAXA) 3+ 2018 Free
Alba Orbital 0 2019 PocketQube 1p $30,000, PocketQube 2p $47,000, PocketQube 3p $70,000
TriSept 11+ 2018 ?
ULA (United Launch Alliance) 0 2019 Free
Virgin Orbit 0 2019 Assuming $10 million and 40 CubeSats gives $250,000 per 3U.
Vector Space 0 2019
D-Orbit / InOrbit NOW 0 2019 ?
bSpace 0 2019 $80,000 for 1U, $220,000 for 3U, $450,000 for 6U, $945,000 for 12U
PT Scientists 0 2019 $0.9M per kg to Lunar orbit
Goonhilly / SSTL 0 2019 $1.3 M per kg
Astrobotic 0 2019 $1.2M per kg to Lunar orbit or surface
Precious Payload 0 ?
Aevum 0 ?
Space BD 0 ?
Mitsui 0 ?
SSL 0 ?
NOAA 0 2022

New launchers will be added here when they are very close to commercial missions because there are too many small rockets in development as seen from NewSpace Index.
Best overview of (upcoming) small satellite launchers by Carlos Niederstrasser and Warren Frick of Orbital ATK at IAC 2016. (I will mostly wait for the first launch before adding.)
There are many more providers and special (free) launch opportunities and competitions. e.g. with SLS to Moon through Cube Quest and with ESA AIM to Didymos asteroid.
Most nanosatellites from Japan, India, China and Russia are launched by their space agencies.

Ground Station Networks for Small Satellites

Organization Sites active/planned Status Bands Cost Investments
Spaceflight Networks 8 / 12+ Internal? UHF, S, X $1.95/min for UHF. $19.95/min for S/X band.
KSAT Light 22 / 22 Operational VHF, UHF, S, X, Ka €250/pass ?
SSC Infinity ? / ? Operational
SatNOGS 85+ / ? Operational VHF, UHF Free
ATLAS Freedom 21 / 21 Operational VHF, UHF, S, X, Ka Series A
Leaf Space 4 / 20 Operational VHF, UHF, S, X 5€/MB to receive UHV/VHF. 0.4€/MB to receive S band. 0.1€/Mbyte to receive X band. Better custom plans. $2.7 million
RBC Signals 62 / 62+ Operational UHF, S, X, Ka, Optical (Laser) $1.5 million
Infostellar 3 / 22+ Operational UHF $2.70/min or $3000 per month for 40 min daily $8.3 million
Cingulan Space 1 / ? Operational UHF, S, X
Analytical Space 1 / ? Demo S, X $4 million
BridgeSat 0 / 10 2018 Optical (Laser) $16+ million
Heliaq 0 / 50 2019 $0.7 million
Audacy 0 / 3 2019 Ku $6.3 million
Capricorn Space 0 / 2+ 2019 UHF, S, X
InnoSpaceComm (EnduroSat) 0 / ? ? $2.2 million
GENSO ? / ? Dormant? UHF, VHF
COMRAY ? / ? Dormant?
ConsiNet ? / ? Cancelled
Cubehub ? / ? Cancelled UHF
AWS Ground Station 12 / 12 Operational
Lockheed Martin Verge ? / ? Operational
Orbit:Linx ? / ? In development

Last update: 2018-12-31 | Changelog

Mission Control Systems (MCS) for Nanosatellites

From commercial services and products to freeware mission control software

Mission Control System Type Status Description Flight heritage
Solenix / Elveti Product Ready / In development Complete, cost effective solution for operating and monitoring nano and small satellites. Multi-satellites and multiple ground station capability. Scripts for simplified operations. Leverage key aerospace standards. Based on SwissCube Satellite Control System.
Bright Ascension Product Ready / In development A functional simulator allows operator training and the validation of onboard scripts before uploading. Infrastructure software to connect the ground stations to the mission operations centre. Used on UKube-1 and more.
NASA Open MCT Freeware Ready / In development Mission control framework for visualization of data on desktop and mobile devices. NASA Ames and JPL
COSMOS (Ball Aerospace) Freeware Ready / In development The User Interface for Command and Control of Embedded Systems NASA, Blue Canyon Technologies
Spaceteq Product Ready / In development Complete management solution for small satellite missions. ZACube-1, ZA-AeroSat, nSight-1
SatNOGS Freeware Ready / In development Dashboard and Data Warehouse for decoded telemetry.
Kubos Product Ready / In development Full-Stack Flight Software for Satellites. Introducing a space-grade flight system with ongoing support. Cloud based mission operations and data analytics service. Integration with both cloud based ground network providers and on-site hardware.
Audacy Space / Quindar Freeware Ready / In development Aims to create a modern, browser based, real time data visualization platform to monitor and operate complex engineering systems in a spaceflight mission operations setting. Commercially backed by Audacy to maintain it for free.
Spaceit Product In development MCS as a service, cloud based solution. In ESA BIC Estonia. CTO background from ESTCube-1 MCS and CGI.
Saber Astronautics / PIGI Product In development Mission control software for the modern age. A video-game quality interface allows you to reach any point of the spacecraft or environment, while world class data mining gives operational intelligence to the meaning of the data. Selected by Fleet Space as operations provider.
AIKO Product In early stage? Enabling autonomous operations through state of the art Artificial Intelligence.
Cognitive Space Product In early stage? A software framework that can be maintained, improved, diagnosed and reconfigured easily to allow for autonomous satellite operations. Product In early stage? Based on the European Ground System - Common Core. Simplified deployment and configuration using Docker. Native Multi Mission functionality.
Interstel / iCOSMOS Product In early stage? Spin-off company of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Primary purpose is to market iCOSMOS™ and adapt it for specific and more proprietary applications. .

Last update: 2018-10-28 | Changelog

Nanosatellite Crowdfunding Campaigns

Last update: 2018-10-28 | Changelog
Project name Organization Raised Goal Year Platform
KickSat Cornell University $74,586 $30,000 2011 Kickstarter
Sampling Space - $880 $20,000 2011 Kickstarter
ArduSat Nanosatisfy (Spire) $106,330 $35,000 2012 Kickstarter
SkyCube Southern Stars $116,890 $82,500 2012 Kickstarter
LunarSail - $15,817 $11,000 2013 Kickstarter
CAT Thruster University of Michigan $67,865 $200,000 2013 Kickstarter
ARKYD Planetary Resources $1,505,366 $1,000,000 2013 Kickstarter
PocketQube PocketQube Shop $3,900 $3,700 2013 Kickstarter
Fox-1C AMSAT $26,661 $25,000 2014 Fundrazr
Ex-Alta 1 University of Alberta $36,681 $30,000 2014 Useed
UW Race to Moon University of Washington $16,541 $50,000 2015 Useed@UW
Caelus - $4 $3,800 2015 Kickstarter
OzQube-1 - $2,330 $50,000 2015 GoFundMe
BroncoSat 1 - $0 $100,000 2015 C3Funding
LightSail The Planetary Society $1,241,615 $200,000 2015 Kickstarter
Mayak Moscow State University $3,157 $45,000 2015 Kickstarter
CubeSat Spaceport Indiana $63 $60,000 2015 Kickstarter
CubeSat 4 Disclosure - $13,280 $12,000 2015 Indiegogo
CubeSat 4 Disclosure - $10,770 $10,000 2016 Kickstarter
CubeSat 4 Disclosure - $392 $5,000 2016 Kickstarter
KitCube Lunar Orbiter MIT $124,125 $100,000 2016 Crowdfund MIT
Irazú ACAE $81,369 $75,000 2016 Kickstarter
Cu-REO UPES $165 $40,000 2016 Indiegogo
HyperQube Weebill Space Systems $1,712 $230,000 2016 Kickstarter
Cislunar Explorers Cornell University $3,048 $50,000 2016 Kickstarter
SPOC Sat University of Georgia $5,377 $25,000 2016 GeorgiaFunder
Project DaVinci North Idaho STEM Charter Academy $9,725 $250,000 2016 Kickstarter
Modular CubeSat University of California $1,214 $13,000 2017 Indiegogo
Triteia SEDS UCSD $23,230 $110,000 2017 Indiegogo
MoonWatcher MoonWatcher $17,155 $150,000 2017 Kickstarter
Surya Satellite 1 (SS-1) Surya University $980 $220,000 2017 Kitabisa
ESTCube-2 ESTCube € 38,743 € 30,000 2017 Hooandja
D-SAT D-Orbit € 12,328 € 25,000 2017 Kickstarter
MOCI University of Georgia $29,243 $40,000 2017 GeorgiaFunder
Positron Dynamics Positron Dynamics $1,303,000 $1,500,000 2017 Propelx
OTCNS Otcns Team $28 $300,000 2017 Indiegogo
CU-E3 University of Colorado Boulder $3,095 $100,000 2018 Boulder
ASP1 Asteroid Mining Corporation $8,541 $300,000 2018 Crowdcube
CubeSat Structures Chronos Aerospace $128 $3,846 2018 Kickstarter
Brown CubeSat Brown CubeSat $7,230 $10,000 2018 Homepage

Smallsat and CubeSat Conferences

Conference Dates Location
Finnish Satellite Workshop 2019 January 23-25, 2019 Otaniemi, Finland
2019 SmallSat Symposium February 4 - 7, 2019 Mountain View, California, USA
Spanish Small Satellite International Forum 2019 March 7 - 8, 2019 Malaga, Spain
PocketQube Workshop 2019 March 21 - 22, 2019 Delft, Netherlands
2019 CubeSat Developers Workshop April 23 - 25, 2019 San Luis Obispo, California, USA
8th Annual Lunarcubes Workshop April 26, 2019 San Luis Obispo, California, USA
Interplanetary Small Satellite Conference 2019 April 29 - 30, 2019 San Luis Obispo, California, USA
8th Interplanetary CubeSat Workshop May 28 - 29, 2019 Milan, Italy
SmallSat 2019 August 3 - 8, 2019 Logan, Utah, USA
70th IAC 2019 October 21 - 25, 2019 Washington, D.C., USA

Last update: 2018-12-31 | Changelog

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Created by Erik Kulu


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