|Mission type||Technology demonstration, reconnaissance, Space Weather|
|Operator||Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)|
|Mission duration||81 minutes 6 seconds|
|Spacecraft type||6U CubeSat|
|Bus||SwRI Custom Design|
|Manufacturer||Southwest Research Institute (SwRI)|
|Launch mass||10.2 kg (22 lb)|
|Dimensions||10 cm × 20 cm × 30 cm|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||16 November 2022, 06:47:44 UTC|
|Rocket||SLS Block 1|
|Launch site||KSC, LC-39B|
|End of mission|
|Last contact||16 November 2022|
|Reference system||Heliocentric orbit|
|Flyby of Moon|
|Suprathermal Ion Spectrograph (SIS)|
Miniaturized Electron and Proton Telescope (MERiT)
Vector Helium Magnetometer (VHM)
CubeSat for Solar Particles (CuSP) is a low-cost 6U CubeSat to orbit the Sun to study the dynamic particles and magnetic fields. The principal investigator for CuSP is Mihir Desai, at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in San Antonio, Texas. It was launched on the maiden flight of the Space Launch System (SLS), as a secondary payload of the Artemis 1 mission on 16 November 2022.
Following deployment from the Artemis launch adaptor, contact with the spacecraft showed that it successfully stabilized and deployed its solar arrays, but after the initial 57 minute 27 second radio contact, no further contact was established, however the search is still on. Blind commanding will be performed to stabilize the spacecraft should it still be functioning.
Measuring space weather that can create a wide variety of effects at Earth, from interfering with radio communications to tripping up satellite electronics to creating electric currents in power grids, is of importance. To create a network of space weather stations would require many instruments scattered throughout space millions of miles apart, but the cost of such a system is prohibitive. Though the CubeSats can only carry a few instruments, they are relatively inexpensive to launch because of their small mass and standardized design. Thus, CuSP also was intended as a test for creating a network of space science stations.
CuSP Spacecraft Team:
Dr. Mihir Desai: Principal Investigator
Mike Epperly: Project Manager
Dr. Don George: Mission System Engineer
Chad Loeffler: Flight Software
Raymond Doty: Spacecraft Technician
Dr. Frederic Allegrini: SIS Instrument PI
Dr. Neil Murphy: VHM Instrument PI
Dr. Shrikanth Kanekal, MERiT Instrument PI
This CubeSat carried three scientific instruments:
The satellite features a cold gas thruster system for propulsion, attitude control (orientation) and orbital maneuvering.
After a successful launch of the SLS at 12:47 am ET, The Orion/ICPS performed a Trans-Lunar Injection and separated. Shortly thereafter, CuSP was deployed from its launch canister. About 30 minutes after deployment, DSN received Open Loop Receiver (OLR) telemetry from CuSP indicating it had booted up, detumbled, deployed solar arrays, and assumed a SAFE, Sun-pointing, orientation. Multiple later attempts to receive signals from the spacecraft failed, and no further contact has been made. The CuSP team is investigating the cause of the sudden battery temperature increase and working to find a solution and to regain contact with the spacecraft. Additional contact attempts are planned during the remainder of 2022.
The 10 CubeSats flying in the Artemis 1 mission