Unfortunately, even the world's most reliable launch vehicles have to fail sometime. That was the case yesterday in Kazakhstan—the Dnepr rocket carrying a Belarussian remote sensing satellite, three microsatellites, and 14 CubeSats crashed shortly after launch. CubeSats are simple little satellites that fit in a 10cm cube. Because they're small, they're low cost ways for universities to participate in space programs—costing roughly as much as a new car—and they fit as secondary payloads on larger launches, in this case, the remote sensing satellite. I was paying attention to this launch because University of Illinois was launching their first satellite, ION1 on that mission. Better luck next time with ION2...
Here are the participating CubeSats...
- AeroCube-1, The Aerospace Corporation
- CP1 and CP2, California Polytechnic State University
- ICE Cube 1 and ICE Cube 2, Cornell University
- ION, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- HAUSAT-1, Hankuk Aviation University (South Korea)
- KUTESat, University of Kansas
- MEROPE, Montana State University
- nCUBE-1, Norway Student Satellite Project
- RINCON and SACRED, University of Arizona
- SEEDS, Nihon University (Japan)
- VOYAGER, University of Hawaii