History of CubeSat
Beginning in 1999, California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly) and Stanford University developed a very small spacecraft concept to help universities worldwide to enable students and researchers perform space science and exploration. The aim was to come up with a concept that would not only allow university groups to rapidly implement a small space mission but also to ensure that the chances of being embarked on a space launch as a secondary passenger were maximized, by standardizing interfaces and prohibit or limit design aspects that could be potentially hazardous and would reduce the chances of being allowed to be launch next to larger, more expensive spacecraft.
The CubeSat reference design was proposed in 1999 by professors Jordi Puig-Suari of California Polytechnic State University and Bob Twiggs of Stanford University. The CubeSat as initially proposed did not set out to become a standard; rather, it became standard over time by a process of emergence and culminated in a very popular and standardized satellite concept. The first CubeSats were launched in June 2003 on a Rockot launch vehicle.
What is a CubeSat, technically speaking ?
A CubeSat is a type of very small satellite which is based on a standardized unit of mass and volume.The initial basic CubeSat unit measured 10x10x10 centimeter, conforming to specific interfaces for allowing a standardized containerized launch and had a maximum mass of 1 kilogram (the mass was later on increased to 1,33 kilogram). It was quickly realized that such basic CubeSat units could be combined to form slightly larger spacecraft while mostly adhering to the same requirements and constraints. Multiples of the basic CubeSat unit were combined together to establish larger CubeSats. For example, a 1-Unit CubeSat measures one single basic CubeSat unit as described above, while a 3-Unit CubeSat consists of 3 standard CubeSat units stacked together.
The CubeSat concept has become very popular, both in university groups, as well as for researchers, space agencies, governments, and companies.CubeSats offer a fast and affordable way for a wide array of stakeholders to be active in space and allow for a fast innovation cycle.
(source : ISIS Innovative)
Visit the CubeSatShop website now on https://www.cubesatshop.com/
William Mahe (WM), books and news author, passionate about the Universe, Science and technologies, university graduate from the Paris - Meudon Observatory in Astronomy and Celestial Mechanic. President of the SPETspace STEAM Society and Publishing Director of the SPETspace News. He is also a Harley Davidson and Honda motorcycles lover.