CubeSats integration

CubeSats are picosatellites of standardised dimensions (cubes of 10 cm per side, with a maximum mass of 1 kg) which can be operated from university or radio amateur ground stations. They offer hands-on experience to aerospace engineering students in designing, developing, testing and operating a real spacecraft system and its ground segment.

As part of the ESA Education programme, seven CubeSats built by European universities will be flown during the debut of Europe's new Vega launch vehicle at the beginning of 2012. Together they represent a diverse range of designs and a variety of miniaturised technologies and sensors.

The CubeSats will be accommodated in three P-POD deployment systems which are to be mounted on the LARES primary payload. Each 1 kg CubeSat will be deployed into a high inclination, low Earth orbit, and is expected to operate in orbit for up to four years using a small ground station based at its respective university.

Quick Facts

Project: CubeSats
Level: University
Status: 7 CubeSats integrated in three P-PODS, launched
Contact: Piero Galeone, education @
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