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LightCube [ASU]

The LightCube is an 1U CubeSat an education mission to allow a CubeSat in low-Earth orbit (LEO) to be easily operable by members of the general public.

The LightCube CubeSat will provide a platform that increases the number of individuals who can participate in space activities. Specifically, anyone with appropriate amateur radio licensing within their jurisdiction and commercial radio equipment available for purchase for less than fifty dollars will be able to telecommand LightCube. The LightCube CubeSat will respond with a flash visible to the naked eye of the commander. In the process of operating LightCube, the user will inevitably learn important science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts in areas such as telecommunications, spacecraft design, atmospheric and climate science, and orbital mechanics.

LightCube will be visible from the ground, with a brightness similar to the International Space Station, momentarily in the night sky when the light beacon is activated. Following ISS deployment, LightCube will orbit Earth for approximately 2 years before safely deorbiting.

It was selected in 2020 by NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) to be launched as part of the ELaNa program. The satellite is to be launched onboard of Dragon CRS-27 towards the ISS, from where it will be deployed.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Education
Operator: Arizona State University
Contractors: Arizona State University
Configuration: CubeSat (1U)
Propulsion: None
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Lifetime: 2 years
Mass: 1 kg
Orbit: 400 km × 400 km, 51.6 (typical)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
LightCube 1998-067VF 15.03.2023 CCK LC-39A Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Dragon CRS-27, STP-H9, ARKSAT 1, Ex-Alta 2, AuroraSat, YukonSat, NEUDOSE


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