Failure rate of cubesats depends on who’s building them; operator secrecy complicates datasets

by Peter B. de Selding

PARIS — Cubesat operators usually don’t wear ties, but when it comes to disclosing mission-status data they are at least as buttoned-up as any large aerospace company, according to a survey tracking 18 years of cubesat history.

The aggregate number of cubesats launched since 2000 surpassed 1,000 in December 2018, growing from a market nice to a market phenomenon that has caught the attention of regulators and both government and commercial users, said Michael Swartwout of Saint Louis University.

“One thousand satellites is too . . .

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