CubeSats are miniature satellites intended for low Earth orbit – as small, lightweight objects with relatively simple, open-sourced design instructions, they are versatile, and ideal for cost-effective research. They are classed as nanosatellites and a standard 1U CubeSat is 10cm X 10cm X 10cm in size, and usually weighs under 1.5kgs. These features are why we chose CubeSats for the APSS – they give our students a chance to build a spaceship, provide plenty of possibilities for interdisciplinary research, exploration and learning, and are small enough to have the benefit of being able to hitch rides as secondary payloads on launch vehicles, making our programme cycle an efficient one.


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Learn more with videos from Science in 60, NASA’s JPL, Will Marshall from Planet Labs, and Dr Andrew Klesh, JPL’s Chief Engineer of the MarCO (Mars Cube One) CubeSat mission to Mars