a directory of ways to participate in space exploration

TubeSat Kit


Build and launch your own satellite into space! One of the primary missions at Interorbital is to provide satellite hardware and launch support for the experimental and commercial satellite community. Planet Earth has entered the age of the Personal Satellite with the introduction of Interorbital’s TubeSat Personal Satellite (PS) Kit. The new IOS TubeSat PS Kit is the low-cost alternative to the CubeSat. And, best of all, the price of the TubeSat kit actually includes the price of a launch into Low-Earth-Orbit on an IOS NEPTUNE 7 launch vehicle. Since the TubeSats are placed into self-decaying orbits 310 kilometers (192 miles) above the Earth’s surface, they do not contribute to the long-term build-up of orbital debris. After operating for a few months (the exact length of time on orbit is dependent on solar activity), they will safely re-enter the atmosphere and burn-up. TubeSats are designed to be orbit-friendly. Launches are expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2013 or the first quarter of 2014.

Total Price of the TubeSat Kit including a Launch to Orbit is $8,000 USD.

Each TubeSat kit includes the satellite’s structural components, safety hardware, solar panels, batteries, power management hardware and software, transceiver, antennas, microcomputer, and the required programming tools. With these components alone, the builder can construct a satellite that puts out enough power to be picked up on the ground by a hand-held amateur radio receiver. Simple applications include broadcasting a repeating message from orbit or programming the satellite to function as a private orbital amateur radio relay station. These are just two examples. The TubeSat also allows the builder to add his or her own experiment or function to the basic TubeSat Kit. Examples of add-on experiments or applications include the following:

Earth-from-space video imaging, Earth magnetic field measurement, satellite orientation detection (horizon sensor, gyros, accelerometers, etc.), orbital environment measurements (temperature, pressure, radiation, etc.), on-orbit hardware and software component testing (microprocessors, etc.), tracking migratory animals from orbit, testing satellite stabilization methods, biological experiments, on-orbit advertising, private e-mail, space art, space burials.

If specified, Interorbital can supply an empty external shell with component rack at a lower cost. This allows advanced TubeSat developers to replace the standard kit components with their own hardware.

Project owners + coordinators:
Randa Milliron

To learn more and order a kit, visit:


Interorbital Systems’ NEPTUNE rocket series’ main engine roared to life in its first hot-firing test.

Category: hardware.

Tags: , , , , , , , .