Student and amateur CubeSat news roundup – Oct.13.2019

A sampling of recent articles, press releases, etc. related to student and amateur CubeSat / SmallSat projects and programs (find previous smallsat roundups here):

** High school students learn spacecraft engineering in the Irvine Cubesat program in Irvine, California: IPSF CubeSat Program | Beckman Foundation

The Irvine CubeSat Program is composed of six public high schools from the Tustin and Irvine School Districts. All schools are given specific roles and functions for each CubeSat Mission, to include Avionics, Communication, Propulsion, Power, BioTech, and Prime Contractor.

Mimicking a real-world engineering firm approach to large, complex projects, each team is responsible for communicating their plans and achievements to the rest of the group to ensure that the overall mission is successful.

Irvine01 and Irvine02 Cubesats
Cubesats Irvine01 (left), launched by Rocket Labin November 2018. and Irvine02 (right), launched by SpaceX in December of 2018, were both built by high school students. Credits: Irvine CubeSat

** Polish universities to build CubeSat for Mars mission launched by Virgin Orbit:  SatRevolution, Virgin Orbit and Polish Universities Establish Mars Consortium | Virgin Orbit

Scientists and engineers from nearly a dozen Polish universities have teamed up with Poland-based satellite company SatRevolution and Sir Richard Branson’s small satellite launch company Virgin Orbit to establish a new consortium to design and carry out the world’s first dedicated commercial small satellite mission to Mars. The parties established the consortium at a formal signing ceremony during the Impact Mobility’19 rEVolution conference in Katowice, Poland.

The consortium will jointly develop the first in a series of up to three Mars missions, with the initial launch expected as early as three years from now.

At the core of the consortium are many of the top technical universities in Poland. AGH University of Science and Technology, Wrocław University of Science and Technology, Poznań University of Technology, Gdańsk University of Technology Lódz University of Technology, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, and Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences have each signed on to take part in the collaborative program. Leadership from these universities see the consortium and the missions it will conduct as an unprecedented opportunity for growth and development across many technical disciplines, in addition to creating opportunities for commercialization.

** Rocket Lab Electron rocket to launch seven PocketQubes, including a university project, in 2019 in a cluster deployment system built by Alba Orbital.

** AMSAT news on student and amateur CubeSat/smallsat projects: ANS-286 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin

  • 2019 37th AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting
  • 2019 37th AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting Schedule
  • September/October 2019 Apogee View
  • W3ZM – 50 States in Our 50th Year
  • ITU Magazine Reports on IARU Agenda Items for WRC-19
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

General CubeSat/SmallSat info:


Introduction to CubeSat Technology and Subsystem:
Orbit Design, Debris Impact, and Orbital Decay Prediction