Mission type Atmospheric
Operator EPFL
COSPAR ID 2009-051B
SATCAT № 35932
Website .ch.epflswisscube
Mission duration 3-12 months planned
60+ months achieved[1]
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type 1U CubeSat
Launch mass 1 kilogram (2.2 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date 23 September 2009, 06:21 (2009-09-23T06:21Z) UTC
Rocket PSLV-CA C14
Launch site Satish Dhawan FLP
Contractor ISRO
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Sun-synchronous
Perigee 710 kilometres (440 mi)[2]
Apogee 722 kilometres (449 mi)[2]
Inclination 98.39 degrees[2]
Period 98.97 minutes[2]
Epoch 24 January 2015, 04:38:10 UTC[2]

SwissCube-1 is a Swiss satellite operated by Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). The spacecraft is a single unit CubeSat, which was designed to conduct research into nightglow within the Earth's atmosphere, and to develop technology for future spacecraft.[3] It has also been used for amateur radio. It was the first Swiss satellite to be launched.[4]

SwissCube-1 was launched by a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, serial number C14, flying in the Core Alone, or PSLV-CA, configuration.[5] The launch took place from the First Launch Pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, at 06:21 UTC on 23 September 2009.[6] SwissCube-1 was a secondary payload aboard the rocket, which deployed the Oceansat-2 satellite. Five other secondary payloads were flown aboard the rocket; BeeSat, UWE-2, ITU-pSat1, Rubin 9.1 and Rubin 9.2.[7][8]

SwissCube-1 is operating in a sun synchronous orbit[9] with an apogee of 752 kilometres (467 mi), a perigee of 726 kilometres (451 mi) and 98.28 degrees of inclination to the equator. It has an orbital period of 98.5 minutes.

Its mission was expected to last between three and twelve months.[7] The mission was extended an additional 18 months in February 2010 and an additional ground command facility was added.[10] It took its first picture on 18 February 2011 and its first airglow picture on 3 March 2011.[11]

On 2 December 2011, EPFL ended the SwissCube project and turned over control of the satellite to amateur radio operators.[12] As of February 2014 SwissCube is still operational.[13]

See also


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External links

  • Media related to SwissCube-1 at Wikimedia Commons