Launch your own cube into space

USA (Arizona)

The next big thing in space is really, really small.

The SunCube FemtoSat is a fully functioning spacecraft equipped with a camera, radio, sensors and miniature solar panels, which could make personal space exploration and education accessible and affordable for the first time.

Developed by researchers at Arizona State University, each side of the SunCube is just three centimetres across (nearly two inches), which is four times the size of a sugar cube, and it weighs less than 100 grammes. The low cost tech means it could reach the International Space Station for just US $1000.

“With a spacecraft this size, any university can do it, any lab can do it and any hobbyist can do it,” Jekan Thanga tells us, Assistant Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and Head of the Space and Terrestrial Robotic Exploration Laboratory (SpaceTREx). The team hope to send a prototype into space within the next year as part of a mission to examine how asteroids are formed.

Watch how the miniature satellites can help personal space exploration:

Read what happened when Atlas Editor Lisa Goldapple met NASA’s king of innovation and crowdsourcing – FutureHero Steve Rader.

Written by

Michelle Hardiman, Community Manager, Atlas of the Future (21 June 2016)

Project leader

Jekan Thanga, Assistant Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration

Support the Atlas

We want the Atlas of the Future media platform and our event to be available to everybody, everywhere for free – always. Fancy helping us spread stories of hope and optimism to create a better tomorrow? For those able, we'd be grateful for any donation.

Creative Commons License



Take me somewhere
Take me somewhere
Data Protection Act: LOPD.
In compliance with Organic Law 15/1999, of 13 of December, on Personal Data Protection, and the development of Rules of Procedure, approved by Royal Decree 1720/2007, of 21 of December, Atlas of the Future subscribers may be required to provide Personal Data, which will be included in a file owned by Democratising The Future Society SL. Such file is duly incorporated in the Spanish Data Protection Agency and protected in compliance with the security measures established in the applicable legislation. Subscribers may exercise, at any time, their rights of access, rectification, cancellation and/or opposition regarding their Personal Data. The subscriber shall notice their will, either under written form addressed to Democratising The Future Society SL, Ref. LOPD, Calabria, 10 6-3 08015 - Barcelona (Spain) and/or by e-mail, clicking here. Also, the subscriber shall communicate Atlas of the Future any modifications of their Personal Data stored, so that the information stored by Atlas of the Future remains at all times updated and error-free.
Get World-changing projects and news in your inbox weekly.