The Next Big Thing in Space: Cubesats

The more comercial enterprises involved in space exploration the better as far as i am concerned. The low (relatively speaking) cost of these small satellites offer many new research possibilities.


It used to be that sending a satellite into space took years of planning and cost millions of dollars. Now, enterprising scientists can send their experiments into orbit at a fraction of the cost – and a fraction of the size – using something called a CubeSat.

CubeSats are sort of like the miniature version of containers shipped on modern cargo ships. They are built to be multiples of a standard unit of size – 10 cm x 10 cm x 11 cm (that is one Unit or “U”) – and any one can be 1U, 2U, 3U, or 6U in size. Each U can weigh up to 1.33 kg. The idea behind these little satellites is to treat extra space on existing rocket launches as sort of mini space container ships that can hold a bunch of these little guys. This allows ordinary people, educational institutions, and companies to get…

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