Flight Heritage, we want it

The original OreSat mission was overwhelming for a first satellite, especially if you're building your own satellite system from scratch. Perhaps we should reference a speech about throwing your cap over a wall at this point.

Recently, in the middle of a pandemic you might have heard of, we received another opportunity to fly a CubeSat. There's no way our original satellite, OreSat, could have been ready by then. But what if we built a smaller satellite, one that had the sole purpose to test all of our critical subsystems?

Meet OreSat0, a 1U CubeSat that provides "Flight Heritage" to the OreSat system. "Flight heritage" is a fancy way of saying "hey our satellite didn't catch fire when it flew in space!". When you're building a satellite system from scratch, proving your critical components in space before your main mission is an extremely good idea.

OreSat0 is a simple satellite: solar panels, batteries, radios, computer, GPS, and a star tracker. That's about it. Some people pejoratively call this kind of a satellite a "beepsat" or "sputnik", and we're fine with that. For this satellite, beeps equals success.

After a long, complicated backstory (that we're happy to tell you over a pint), OreSat0 was handed off to Spaceflight in Seattle, Washington on February 28, 2022. It was launched to a 525 km sun synchronous low earth orbit aboard Astra's LV0009 rocket on March 15, 2022, and is now whipping around the planet at 8,000 m/s, happily beeping at us.

Mission: do not catch fire in space

Mission update: 2022-03-19
In space and totally not on fire! (Yet)
Click here for OreSat0's location and latest data packets

OreSat0's 1U CubeSat frame made from Aluminum that has been anodized black.

The inside guts; lots of cards!

Battery card. This is the part that's not supposed to catch fire.

Star tracker card


Thank you so much to all of the people and organization that made OreSat0 possible. It was a tremendous effort, and you all made it possible.

  • Oregon Space Grant Consortium

  • Osh Park PCBs

  • Spaceflight

  • Screaming Circuits

  • Crowd Supply

  • FLIR

  • Collins Aerospace

  • CRP Technologies


Here's a more formal list of the systems inside OreSat0 (also see the technologies pages for source / CAD links):

  • 1U OreSat frame (v1.2.0, 2021-09-18)

    • 6061 Aluminum, Type II anodized black. 4 outer frames with an innovative "card clamps" build into the frames

  • 4x solar modules (v5.3)

    • Each with 2x Spectrolab XTE GaAs cells and an on-board MPPT), mounted on each X/Y face

  • +Z End Cap (v1.1)

    • 2x HMC3883A magnetometers. (v1.1)

  • Card 1: +Z end card (v2.0)

    • Deployable tri-band turnstile antenna (UHF @ 436.5 MHz / L band @ 1.265 GHz / L1 band @ 1.575 GHz)

    • 3W resistor to melt nylon monofilament "melt wires"

    • 4x solar module connectors

    • +Z end cap connector

  • Card 2: C3 on-board computer (v5.0)

    • STM32F439 running ChibiOS

    • OnSemi AX5043 UHF transceiver and L band receiver

    • Radiation tolerant system watchdog

    • Turnstile deployment circuitry

    • RTC

    • 16 GB on-board data storage

  • Card 3: SDR GPS receiver (v1.0)

    • Octavo OSD335x-SM running Linux

    • SkyTraq Venus 0838 COTS GPS receiver with satellite firmware

    • Maxim MAX2771 SDR GPS receiver experiment

  • Card 4: DxWiFi experiment (v1.0)

    • Octavo OSD335x-SM + Atheros AR9271 USB to WiFi adapter + S band PA for a test of our "DxWiFi" 802.11b-from-space system

  • Card 5: Star tracker (v1.2)

    • Octavo OSD335x-SM + OnSemi Ar0134 color CMOS camera running Linux and "openstartracker" software

  • Card 6: ACS card (v1.1)

    • 6 DOF IMU and circuitry to communicate with magnetometers

  • Card 7: Battery card (v3.0)

    • 2x 2S1P packs of 18650 Li Ion cells (2x 7.2Vnom @ 2.6 Ah = 38 Wh of storage)

  • -Z End Cap (v1.2)

    • 2x HMC3883A magnetometers. (v1.1)

Again, see the CubeSat Subsystems page for a description of the various subsystems.