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Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics

What is a CubeSat?

CubeSats are small satellites that are usually designed to perform scientific measurements and observations. The size can be either 1-, 2- or 3-U, where a U is 10cm x 10cm x 10cm.  MinXSS is a 3U design, which turns out to be roughly the size of a loaf of bread. The original specifications for CubeSats were released in 1999 by Cal Poly and Stanford University. Since that time, dozens of CubeSats have been launched. They continue to be a popular platform for students to gain invaluable experience with spacecraft design and manufacturing in the unfiltered reality of the aerospace industry.


This image is from another University of Colorado, Boulder & LASP CubeSat, the Colorado Student Space Weather Experiment (CSSWE). Learn more here.