Vermont Lunar CubeSat

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Vermont Lunar CubeSat
Mission typeTechnology
OperatorVermont Technical College
COSPAR ID2013-064AD Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.39407
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerVermont Technical College
Launch mass1 kilogram (2.2 lb)
Start of mission
Launch dateNovember 20, 2013, 01:15 (2013-11-20UTC01:15Z) UTC[1]
RocketMinotaur I
Launch siteMARS LP-0B
End of mission
Decay dateNovember 21, 2015 (2015-11-21)
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
Perigee altitude438 km (272 mi)
Apogee altitude450 km (280 mi)
Inclination40.52 degrees
Period93.47 minutes
EpochJuly 4, 2014, 20:59:35 UTC[2]

The Vermont Lunar CubeSat is a CubeSat satellite by Vermont Technical College and funded in part by grants from NASA and the Vermont Space Grant Consortium and in part by voluntary donations. The satellite, costing about US$50,000 to build — with NASA offering a free launch as part of the ELaNa program — served as a testing model for guidance and navigation pending future launches.[3] The eventual goal of the project is to build a CubeSat capable of orbiting the Moon.[4]

It was launched on November 19, 2013, from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia as part of a payload containing two NASA, 11 university, one high school, and 14 Air Force CubeSats. Vermont Lunar is the only non-NASA/USAF CubeSat from this ELaNa IV launch that is fully working. Eight were never heard from at all. SPARK/Ada 2005 was used, and this is the first spacecraft of any kind programmed in SPARK.[4] The control software contained about 10,000 lines of SPARK/Ada code. The Principal Investigator was Carl Brandon, the Software Supervisor was Peter Chapin, and Dan Turner served as the Principal Developer. This was the first satellite of any kind built by a college or university in New England[citation needed].

The North coast of Western Australia near Port Hedland taken by the Vermont Lunar CubeSat

See also[edit]

Lunar CubeSats in development


  1. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  2. ^ "VERMONT LUNAR Satellite details 2013-064AD NORAD 39407". N2YO. July 4, 2014. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  3. ^ "Vermont Lunar CubeSat Project". Vermont Technical College. Archived from the original on January 13, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Project Overview - CubeSat Laboratory". Vermont Technical College. Retrieved November 24, 2015.