Mission typeTechnology demonstration
COSPAR ID1998-067NW[1]
SATCAT no.43548[1]
Mission duration2 years, 5 months and 10 days
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type6U CubeSat
Launch mass12kg
Dimensions10 × 20 × 30 cm (3.9 × 7.9 × 11.8 in)
Start of mission
Launch dateMay 21, 2018 (2018-05-21), 08:44:06 UTC[2]
RocketAntares 230
Launch siteWallops Pad 0A
ContractorOrbital ATK
Deployed fromInternational Space Station
Deployment dateJuly 13, 2018 (2018-07-13)[3]
End of mission
Decay dateDec. 24, 2020
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Perigee altitude399 km (248 mi)
Apogee altitude407 km (253 mi)
BandKa band
Ka band radar

RaInCube, also stylized as RainCube, was a 6U CubeSat made by NASA as an experimental satellite. It had a small radar and an antenna. It was put into orbit in May 2018 and was deployed from the International Space Station on June 25, 2018. It re-entered Earth's atmosphere and burned up on Dec. 24, 2020.[4][5] It was used to track large storms.[6]

Mission objectives

RainCube's mission objectives were to:[7][4]

Launch and deployment

Main article: Cygnus OA-9E

Launch of an Antares 230 rocket with Cygnus OA-9E

RaInCube was launched as part of the Cygnus OA-9E Commercial Resupply Services mission on board an Antares 230 rocket on May 21, 2018, at Wallops Pad 0A. The Cygnus spacecraft docked with the International Space Station on May 24, 2018, three days later. RaInCube was finally deployed from the International Space Station on July 13, 2018.[3][2][8]



  1. ^ a b "Technical details for satellite RAINCUBE". N2YO.com - Real Time Satellite Tracking and Predictions. Retrieved 2021-12-17.
  2. ^ a b Clark, Stephen. "Antares rocket launch kicks off space station's next commercial cargo delivery – Spaceflight Now". Retrieved 2021-12-17.
  3. ^ a b "RainCube". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2021-12-17.
  4. ^ a b "JPL | CubeSat | RainCube". www.jpl.nasa.gov. Retrieved 2019-07-30.
  5. ^ "A Pioneering NASA Mini Weather Satellite Ends Its Mission". www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/a-pioneering-nasa-mini-weather-satellite-ends-its-mission. Retrieved 2021-02-22.
  6. ^ "NASA Tests Tiny Satellites to Track Global Storms". NASA/JPL. Retrieved 2019-07-30.
  7. ^ "RaInCube - eoPortal Directory - Satellite Missions". directory.eoportal.org. Retrieved 2019-07-30.
  8. ^ "OA-9 Cygnus cargo ship arrives at ISS". SpaceFlight Insider. 2018-05-24. Retrieved 2021-12-17.