University of Colorado at Boulder University of Colorado CU Home Search A to Z Index Map
Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics

The SPRITE CubeSat is a NASA-funded mission led by the University of Colorado that is designed to study how gas and dust is processed in galaxies by star-formation and supernovae, and how energetic ionizing radiation is transported from hot stars into the intergalactic medium between galaxies. SPRITE is a small package, just 9 x 9 x 13.5 inches, but it packs quite a punch with an innovative optical design and some of the latest new advanced technologies. In addition to carrying out a science program that is beyond the capabilities of current satellites, SPRITE is also designed to test out some of these technologies in space as a flight test for future, larger missions such as the LUVOIR Surveyor. SPRITE is the fourth scientific CubeSat funded by NASA for Astrophysics and first to operate in the windowless vacuum ultraviolet from 100 – 175 nm.

SPRITE will undertake a one year spectroscopic survey to measure the fraction of ionizing radiation escaping from low-redshift (0.16 < z < 0.5) galaxies and AGN, and to map emission from the interface regions between supernova remnants and star-forming regions in the Milky Way and Magellanic Clouds. The data from SPRITE will consist of deep far-UV spectra of 100+ galaxies, data cube maps of 50+ supernova remnants and star-forming regions in the Magellanic Clouds, and data cube maps of roughly 2 square degrees of the Cygnus and Vela supernova remnants in the Milky Way. All data will be archived for the community on

We expect to launch SPRITE in the last half of 2022! Until then, stay tuned here or follow us on Twitter for new developments!

Latest News