How to launch a Cube Satellite.

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Step 1:

Ask yourself why you want to launch a satellite or a satellite constellation. What are you trying to achieve?

Step 2:
Now ask yourself is this something a University can benefit from? You’ll need to sell an engineering or physics department on your idea. You’ll also most likely need the resources the university has handy.

Step 3:
Get acquainted with the CubeSat literature at http://cubesat.atl.calpoly.edu/. Understand the amateur radio frequency bands as well as the design constraints on the satellites themselves. CubeSat is intended to open up space to the common man and woman. However, you’ll need a lot of help along the way before you can even design a sat, let alone build, test, and launch one.

Step 4:
Assemble a team of people you can rely on and will be dedicated to putting this thing into space. If you’re in college and in an Engineering program you might wanna check with a few of your classmates and professors.

Step 5:
Now that you have your mission plan roughly sketched out (you know basically what you want to achieve with this project) and assembled your team you will need a team name, project name, and website.

Step 6:
There are companies that sell CubeSat kits. I’m not affiliated with any but a quick google search yielded this site : http://www.cubesatkit.com/content/overview.html In all honesty this defeats the purpose of joining CubeSat. You want to design and build your own 10cm x 10cm x 10cm little hardware of joy. This truly is a labor of love and science. You’ll want to custom build your own from the ground up if possible. Read up on circuit building and design. Makezine always helps (I’m not affiliated with this magazine though I wish I were!)

Step 7:
Do your homework. Lots and lots of it! Start by understanding what research is going on. Magnetic and/or gravitational field mapping, optics, solar radiation pressure, sun spot monitoring and a myriad other possible research and data gathering possibilities.

Step 8:
Read up on Celestial and Orbital mechanics, rocket propulsion, spacecraft design, spacecraft systems engineering and space flight.

Step 9:
Contact your local Engineering Departments. Usually a Mechanical/Aerospace department may offer some guidance.

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