Launching Open Hardware Satellites – Hackster’s Blog

Created almost twenty years ago the CubeSat standard has lowered the barrier to entry to the point where you can put your own satellite into orbit for not much more than the price of a high end car. The 10 cm × 10 cm × 10 cm cubes have become so common that you can buy most of the structural and flight components of your satellite straight off the shelf.

But what if you don’t want to build something with off the shelf parts?

The UPSat cubesat was constructed by the Libre Space Foundation, and aspired to the first completely open source satellite ever launched. 


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    New Antennas Will Take CubeSats to Mars and Beyond

    and we welcomed the chance to push CubeSat technology to its limits. These tiny spacecraft have become the go-to vessel for researchers and startups doing Earth imaging and monitoring. Compared with traditional satellites, they are relatively inexpensive and small, weighing just a few kilograms, and they can be ready to launch in a matter of months, rather than the years it typically takes to prepare a standard spacecraft. Over time, the onboard sensors and processing that CubeSats can carry have been the beneficiaries of Moore’s Law advancements in electronics, growing more powerful and sophisticated, lighter in weight, and energy efficient.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Communcation Satellite Construction

    Tutorial video shows the construction of a modern communication satellite.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    FossaSat-1, an Open Source Satellite for the Internet of Things

    The very first satellite built entirely with open hardware was only put into orbit in May last year. It was the UPSat cubesat, and was constructed by the Libre Space Foundation, who tried to keep the amount of off the shelf parts to the absolute minimum, with all of the critical subsystems of the satellite being designed from scratch using open software and open hardware

    However, despite significantly lowering the barrier to entry to putting your own satellite into space, even if you build your satellite using the 10 × 10 × 10 cm CubeSat standard you’re probably looking at a cost of several hundred thousand dollars to launch once construction and launcher costs are taken fully into account.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    This Startup Wants to Launch Giant Glowing Ads Into the Night Sky

    An array of cubesats will create brand-sponsored new constellations.


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