Leading the SmallSat revolution
CubeSats are very small satellites—about the size of a loaf of bread. They come in the standardized units (“U”) of 10 x 10 x 10 cm. The spring-loaded deployers that launch them into space can fit several U’s inside, typically 3U, 6U, or 12U. A single satellite can then optionally occupy all of that space instead of a bunch of smaller ones. The original specifications for CubeSats were released in 1999 by Cal Poly and Stanford University. Since that time, thousands of CubeSats have been launched. They continue to be a popular platform for students to gain valuable experience with spacecraft design and manufacturing, as well as a vehicle for low-cost, space-based observations.