PRESat (NASA).jpg
PRESat satellite
Mission typeTechnology demonstration
Mission durationFailed to orbit
60 days (planned)
Spacecraft properties
Bus3U CubeSat
ManufacturerNASA Ames Research Center
Launch mass4.5 kg (9.9 lb)
PowerSolar cells and batteries
Start of mission
Launch date3 August 2008, 03:34 UTC
RocketFalcon 1 # 3
Launch siteKwajalein Atoll, Omelek
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit (planned) [1]
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Perigee altitude330.0 km (205.1 mi)
Apogee altitude685.0 km (425.6 mi)
Period90.0 minutes

PharmaSat Risk Evaluation Satellite (or PRESat) nanosatellite, for NASA, was about the size of a loaf of bread, weighed about 4.5 kg (9.9 lb) and was constructed in just six months.[2]


PRESat, 3U CubeSat, contains a micro-laboratory with a controlled environment packed with sensors and optical systems that can detect the growth, density and health of yeast cells. PRESat was to demonstrate its ability to create a stable, space science laboratory using innovative environment control techniques, and to monitor the levels of pressure, temperature and acceleration.[2]


The satellite was lost in the failure of the third Falcon 1 launch, on 3 August 2008, at 03:34 UTC.[3]


Although NASA was not able to test this payload in space, NASA mission managers and payload engineers achieved success in this low-cost mission by rapidly pulling together expertise from across the agency to develop, build and ground-test a fundamental space biology micro-laboratory. The communications team also successfully established a fully operational South Pacific Ground Communication System using two ground stations, which were transported and installed at Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands and at the Universidad Centroamericana in El Salvador.[2]

This mission was to provides an excellent opportunity for collaboration between two NASA centers, other government agencies, academia and the burgeoning space industry. Through the development of PRESat, NASA gained experience and knowledge it can apply to future small and nanosatellite missions.[2]

See also


  1. ^ "PRESat". Gunter's Space Page. 11 December 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d "PRESat Update". NASA. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Report. 21 July 2021. Retrieved 15 October 2021.