The Miniature X-ray Solar Spectrometer (MinXSS) CubeSat is a loaf-of-bread sized spacecraft that, early next year, will begin taking measurements of the highly-variable solar soft X-ray (SXR) spectrum. The energy distribution of SXRs is an important input into Earth’s ionosphere and is where the greatest emission enhancement from solar flares is expected. The MinXSS project began as a University of Colorado Boulder Aerospace Engineering Sciences graduate project in Fall 2011, where it has involved over 40 students. The project was fully funded by NASA in 2014 and two flight models were built. The first was delivered in September 2015 to be launched in December 2015. Collaborative work between students and LASP professionals continues in order to prepare for mission operations and public science data distribution, as well as to ready the second flight model for delivery in mid-2016.
The MinXSS science objectives, hardware overview, student-professional project structure, mission operations, and some lessons learned will be presented.