World's largest database of nanosatellites,
more than 1400 nanosats and CubeSats

Facts as of 19 September 2016

  • Nanosatellites launched in total: 544
  • CubeSats launched in total: 479
  • Nanosatellites in orbit: 288
  • Operational nanosatellites: 210
  • Nanosatellites destroyed during launch: 70


View database in fullscreen

Last major update: 2016-09-19
Last update: 2016-09-24


CubeSat companies and startups offering hardware, software and services for or with nanosatellites.

View table in fullscreen

Notable Upcoming CubeSat Missions

Mission Destination Launch Summary Image
CPOD LEO 2016 Docking with 3U nanosatellites. Will demonstrate precision flying around each other and then docking. Will enable to explore asteroids, moons and to inspect other spacecraft.
INSPIRE Earth escape 2017 Goal of two 3U INSPIRE spacecraft is to open deep space to CubeSats and demonstrate necessary functions like telecommunication and navigation. Will be the first interplanetary and deep space CubeSat.
Mars Cube One (MarCO) Mars flyby 2018 MarCO two 6U deep space CubeSats were planned to be launched in 2016, but delayed due to InSight Mars lander. They will flyby Mars during the landing of InSight and relay status in real time, which is not possible today.
NEA Scout Asteroid flyby 2018 13 6U CubeSats will launch with a new NASA SLS rocket in 2018 sending Orion capsule on a trip around the Moon. Will be the first CubeSat to reach an asteroid and map it using an ~80 m2 solar sail for propulsion.
Lunar Flashlight Moon 2018 The first CubeSat to reach the Moon and the first mission to use lasers to look for water ice. Near infrared lasers will shine light into the shaded polar regions, while the on-board spectrometer measures surface reflection and composition.
AIM/AIDA CubeSats Didymos, asteroid 2020 European Space Agency (ESA) Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) spacecraft to Didymos will include two 3U CubeSats that will be selected from ASPECT, AGEX, PALS, CUBATA or DUSTCUBE CubeSat studies.
SWIMSat GEO 2021 6U CubeSat to monitor solar Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) and monitor Earth meteor impacts. Might be the first CubeSat to geostationary (GEO) orbit, but too early to know for sure.
DARCSIDE Europa, Jupiter moon 2025 3U CubeSat flying with Europa Clipper spacecraft to study Europa's atmosphere. Experiments are planned to be drag measurement and high energy particle detector.

Last update: 2016-09-23

State-of-the-art CubeSat Technologies

Complimentary reading is the NASA Small Spacecraft Technology State of the Art report.

Technology Organization Summary Image
Communications Planet 120+ Mbit/s to 5 m ground station in X band with patch antenna.
NASA Mars Cube One (MarCO) reflectarray capable of 8 Kbit/s from Mars in X-band. Three 33.3 cm x 19.9 cm panels achieve >28 dB gain at 8.4 GHz.
NASA KaPDA parabolic deployable Ka-band antenna with 0.5 m diameter, 1.5U stowed size, 1.2 kg mass and 42.5 dB gain.
NASA Iris V2 Transponder. Parameters include 0.5U, 1.2 kg and interoperability with Deep Space Network (DSN) at X-band.
Astro Digital
40 Mbit/s in 26.8 GHz Ka-band with patch antenna on Perseus-M 6U CubeSats. Module is about 1U and 1 kg.
Aerospace 1.5U AeroCube-7 (OCSD) will do optical communications with data rates up to 622 Mbps using 80 cm ground station.
Power Planet 3+3 3U deployable solar panels
MMA Design HaWK steerable 3 × 3U solar arrays capable of tracking Sun and 36W peak power. Might use Honeybee SADA drive actuator.
NASA ISARA has solar cells opposite the reflectarray. 3 × 3U panels achieve 33 dB of gain at 26 GHz and data rates about 100 Mbps.
Compact Satellite Bus Planet Bus is a wrap-around design of about 0.25U - 0.5U total volume. Includes star camera, GPS, 4 reaction wheels.
Tyvak Intrepid platform avionics, power system, communication, and payload interface are all hosted in a 9 cm × 9 cm × 3 cm package.
Propulsion NASA Solar sail with an area of ~86 m2 that fits into 2U and has 2.5 kg mass.
Busek BIT-3 propulsion sized 2.5U includes 1.5 kg solid iodine propellant and will provide 6U CubeSat up to 3 km/s of delta-V.
Phase Four CubeSat Ambipolar Thruster (CAT) sized 4U could provide 8 km/s of delta-V for 6 kg dry mass satellite consuming 2.56 kg of water.

Last update: 2016-09-23

CubeSat Instruments

Good overview of CubeSat instruments and technology progress by Anthony Freeman from 2016.

Technology and applications Instrument Summary Image
Optical (visible) payloads (Cameras)

Planet Planet Scope (PS2) instrument is a 5 element optical system with 29 MP detector capable of taking images with 3.7 m ground resolution and swath of 24.6 km × 16.4 km from 475 km altitude.
Hera Systems 1-meter resolution imaging satellite is built on a 12U cubesat, 22-kilogram form factor.
Astro Digital (Aquila) 6U has 22 m resolution in RGB and NIR. 16U has 2.5 m resolution in RGB, red edge, and NIR using one 70 MP sensor and butcher block filter.
Malin Space Systems ECAM C-50 imager uses the Aptina MT9P031 sensor certified for deep space. 5 Megapixel (2592 x 1944) CMOS.
Microwave radars KaPDA Ka-band antenna KaPDA parabolic deployable Ka-band antenna with 0.5 m diameter, 1.5U stowed size, 1.2 kg mass and 42.5 dB gain. Will enable precipitation profiling Earth science missions on small satellite platforms.
Infrared spectrometers BIRCHES (Broadband InfraRed Compact High-Resolution Exploration Spectrometer) 1.5U in volume, 2.5 kg, 5 W. Sufficient spectral resolution (5 nm) to characterize and distinguish volatiles (water, H2S, NH3, CO2, CH4, OH) and mineral (silicate, oxides, carbonates, hydrates) bands. Compact microcrycooler to maintain spectrometer below 140 K and within 1 K during science operations.

Work in progress. Have much to add.

Last update: 2016-10-15

CubeSat Commercial Constellations and Investments

Organization Satellites launched /
Planned network
Form factor Field Funding Image
Planet 179 / 150+ 2013 3U Earth observation $183 million
Spire 17 / 50+ 2013 3U AIS / Weather $69.5 million
Planetary Resources 2 / 10 2014 12U Earth observation $21.1+ million
Astro Digital (Aquila Space) 2 / 10+20 2014 6U & 16U Earth observation ?
Hera Systems 0 / 9-48 2016 12U Earth observation $4.2+ million
Sky and Space Global 0 / 200 2017 3U IoT / M2M / Voice $4.5 million
Kepler Communications 0 / 50 2017 3U IoT / M2M $5 million
Fleet Space 0 / 100 2017 12U IoT / M2M ?
Astrocast 0 / 100+ 2017 3U IoT / M2M ?
Helios Wire 0 / 30 2018 16U IoT / M2M $1 million
Blink Astro 0 / ? ? 3U IoT / M2M ?
4skies 0 / ? ? 12U IoT / M2M ?
Magnitude Space 0 / ? ? ? IoT / M2M ?
Terran Orbital 0 / ? ? ? IoT / M2M ?
SkyFi 0 / 60 ? 3U Internet /
$3 million

Last update: 2016-10-21

Nanosatellite Crowdfunding Campaigns

Project name Organization Raised Goal Year Platform
KickSat Cornell University $74,586 $30,000 2011 Kickstarter
Sampling Space - $880 $20,000 2011 Kickstarter
ArduSat Nanosatisfy (Spire) $106,330 $35,000 2012 Kickstarter
SkyCube Southern Stars $116,890 $82,500 2012 Kickstarter
LunarSail - $15,817 $11,000 2013 Kickstarter
CAT Thruster University of Michigan $67,865 $200,000 2013 Kickstarter
ARKYD Planetary Resources $1,505,366 $1,000,000 2013 Kickstarter
PocketQube PocketQube Shop $3,900 $3,700 2013 Kickstarter
Fox-1C AMSAT $26,661 $25,000 2014 Fundrazr
Ex-Alta 1 University of Alberta $36,681 $30,000 2014 Useed
UW Race to Moon University of Washington $16,541 $50,000 2015 Useed@UW
Caelus - $4 $3,800 2015 Kickstarter
OzQube-1 - $2,330 $50,000 2015 GoFundMe
BroncoSat 1 - $0 $100,000 2015 C3Funding
LightSail The Planetary Society $1,241,615 $200,000 2015 Kickstarter
Mayak Moscow State University $3,157 $45,000 2015 Kickstarter
CubeSat Spaceport Indiana $63 $60,000 2015 Kickstarter
CubeSat 4 Disclosure - $13,280
$62 (running)
KitCube Lunar Orbiter MIT $124,125 $100,000 2016 Crowdfund MIT
Irazú ACAE $81,369 $75,000 2016 Kickstarter
Cu-REO UPES $165 $40,000 2016 Indiegogo
HyperQube Weebill Space Systems $1,712 $230,000 2016 Kickstarter
Cislunar Explorers Cornell University $2,497 (running) $50,000 2016 Kickstarter
SPOC Sat University of Georgia $5,377 $25,000 2016 GeorgiaFunder

Last update: 2016-10-15

CubeSat Launch Provides, Programs and Prices

Provider Number launched First launch Cost
Terran Orbital / Tyvak 121+ (40+ planned) 2003 ?
ISIS (Innovative Solutions In Space) 75+ 2009 $210,000 - 270,000 for 3U LEO
NASA CSLI and ELaNa 46+ (120 selected) 2011 Free
ESA Fly your Satellite! 10 2012 Free
JAMSS / JAXA 10+ 2012 ?
Nanoracks 80+ 2012 $85,000 for 1U
Spaceflight 77+ 2013 $295,000 for 3U LEO
$545,000 for 6U LEO
$995,000 for 12U LEO
GTO and Lunar also listed.
G.A.U.S.S. 12+ 2013 ?
ULA (United Launch Alliance) 0 2017 Free
Rocket Lab 0 (722 booked until middle 2019) 2017 $70,000 - 80,000 for 1U LEO
$200,000 - 250,000 for 3U LEO
Virgin Galactic LauncherOne 0 2017 ?
KiboCUBE (UNOOSA, JAXA) 0 2018 Free
Vector Space 0 2018 ?

Best overview of small satellite launchers by Carlos Niederstrasser and Warren Frick of Orbital ATK at IAC 2016 posted on Parabolic Arc.
There are many more commercial providers and special limited (free) launch opportunities and competitions.
For example with SLS towards Moon through Cube Quest and with ESA AIM to Didymos asteroid.
Most nanosatellites from Japan, India, China and Russia are launched by their space agencies.
PW-Sat2 Preliminary Requirements Review includes a table about 2U launch offers from 2014.

Last update: 2016-10-15

Ground Station Networks for Small Satellites

Organization Locations
active / planned
Status Bands Cost Investments
Leaf Space 0 / 20 Coming in 2017 VHF, UHF, S, X 5€/Mbyte for receiving UHV/VHF. 0.4€/Mbyte to receive S band.
0.1€/Mbyte to receive X band.
$1.1 million
Audacy 0 / ? Planned for 2019 ? ? $2 million
RBC Signals ? / 16 In private Beta UHF, S, X, Ka ? Yes, amount unknown
Spaceflight Networks 18-26 / ? Operational UHF, S, X $1.95/min for UHF.
$19.95/min for S/X band.
Kongsberg KSAT Light 22 / 22 Operational VHF, UHF, S, X, Ka 250€/pass ? ?
SSC Infinity ? / ? Operational ? ? ?
SatNOGS 6 / ? Operational VHF, UHF Free ?

Last update: 2016-09-23


Database includes and term nanosatellite implies them all:

Database does not include (usually):

  • Femtosatellites (10 g to 100 g) and chipsats.
  • Suborbitally launched satellites.
  • Satellites still in the idea or concept phase. This might be subjective and often difficult to determine.
  • Data is since 1998. There were at least 21 additional nanosatellites launched in the 1960s (Vanguard, OSCAR, ERS).


  • "-" and TBD (To Be Determined) are used for empty or unknown cells.
  • It is possible to Edit without an account. A menu with "Edit" button should appear to the left of satellite name.
  • Information has been collected from various sources and in some cases an educational guess has been made. Apologies for possible mistakes, please use Edit or let me know.
  • "Mission type" and "Mission type description" are part of Space Taxonomy shared by Hector Guerrero-Padron from European Commission Space Policy and Research Unit in 2014.


Major update is reviewing at least the following sources:

  • Launch schedules such as Gunter's Space Page.
  • Frequency coordinations statuses from IARU.
  • News articles and social media posts collected between updates.
  • Presentations and proceedings from CubeSat related conferences.
  • Reentered nanosatellites from
  • Radio amateur blogs such as DK3WN SatBlog.


This database began during the European Commission FP7 NANOSAT project in 2013 - 2014. NANOSAT is short for "Utilizing the potential of NANOSATellites for the implementation of European Space Policy and space innovation".

Project consortium consisted of the following organisations

Content disclaimer: source should be stated.


Created by Erik Kulu


Please do not hesitate to contact me should you need any further information. Will gladly receive your questions and feedback.

Thank you to all who edit and add new information!