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Revealing the secrets of shoebox sized spacecraft missions

Experts based at Space Park Leicester will share their experiences of designing and launching missions featuring one of the smallest types of spacecraft at a free event.

Systems engineers Dan Martin and Andy Dixon, of global intelligence firm Kleos Space, which has a base at the University of Leicester’s world-leading research centre, will reveal the challenges and opportunities that come from launching missions with CubeSats.

The tiny box-shaped satellites – known as nanosatellites – range in size from slightly bigger than a Rubik’s cube puzzle to shoeboxes and are mainly launched into Low Earth Orbit to observe the Earth, perform experiments, qualify hardware or form communications networks.

Dan and Andy will share their experiences during a free event called Space Park Conversations: CubeSat Mission Engineering Considerations next month.

Space Park Leicester Head of Strategic Communications and Marketing Alex Wheldon said: “CubeSats were initially developed as educational tools and provide affordable access to space for businesses, universities and research institutes.

“They are commonly used in Low Earth Orbit but they’re beginning to be used further afield and as a result they’re changing things when it comes to space exploration.

“We’re so lucky to be able to offer this introductory talk by Dan and Andy who both have more than a decade’s experience of working in the space sector, including projects involving in-space manufacturing, ultrasonics for fuel manipulation, Martian sample preparation and automated satellite instrument calibration.

“They’re perfectly placed to speak on this subject as Kleos Space currently has 16 spacecraft in orbit which are using 6U CubeSat buses for data collection.”

Dan Martin, Systems Engineer, Kleos Space

The talk will explain what a CubeSat is and why many companies, academic institutions, technology demonstrators, and various agencies favour their use.

No previous understanding of spacecraft engineering is required to attend the talk as it will cover a broad range of engineering considerations when selecting a mission.

The talk will include refreshments and take place from 1pm to 2pm on Wednesday, July 5, at Space Park Leicester in Corporation Road, Leicester. Free tickets for the event can be reserved here.

The talk will be followed at 2pm by Space Park Leicester’s latest Cosmic Coffee networking event which is designed to help space sector businesses to expand and develop. To reserve a free place at Cosmic Coffee, click here To learn more about the work of Kleos Space, visit