Student Cubesat Projects are usually open source, may be world-wide in scope, and collaborative.
At the same time, professionals in aerospace have not failed to consider the Cubesat architecture as an alternative for small-sat missions. This can reduce costs by one or two orders of magnitude. There are Cubesats on the International Space Station, and these can be returned to Earth on a resupply mission.
There is a large "cottage industry' developed around the Cubesat architecture, addressing "professional" projects with space-rated hardware. NASA itself has developed Cubesat hardware (Pi-Sat) and Software (cfs).
Cubesats are modular, built to a standard, and mostly open-source. The downside is, approximately 50% of Cubesat missions fail. We hope to point out some approaches to improve this.
If you define and implement your own Cubesat mission, or work as a team member on a larger project, this book presents and points to information that will be valuable. Even if you never get your own Cubesat to orbit, you can be a valuable addition to a Cubesat or larger aerospace project. Shortly, two NASA Cubesats will be heading to Mars. The unique Cubesat architecture introduces a new Paradigm for exploring the many elements of our Solar System. Best of luck on your mission.
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About the Author
Mr. Stakem is affiliated with the Whiting School of Engineering of the Johns Hopkins University, and Capitol Technology University. Mr. Stakem supported the Summer Engineering Bootcamp Projects at Goddard Space Fight Center for 2 years. He developed and presented Cubesat courses.