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CubeSail is an educational satellite project at the Surrey Space Centre (SSC).

Several PhD projects are centred on its development, and it will serve as a technology platform for at least two further educational satellites developed at SSC. The CubeSail mission objectives are ambitious, and will raise the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of several technologies to flight demonstration level. A key feature is the deployment of a 25m2 sail structure, which will be used to demonstrate the propulsive effect of solar radiation pressure (i.e. solar sailing) and will demonstrate the de-orbiting capabilities of the sail as a drag augmentation device.

CubeSail will be the first launched three-axis stabilised solar sail, and makes use of a novel centre of mass/centre of pressure (CM/CP) offset technique to provide enhanced attitude control. In order to achieve the mission objectives, CubeSail will build on small satellite experience at SSC, such as the STRaND-1 nanosatellite, launched on February 25th 2013.

Furthermore, the mission critical sail deployment mechanism has undergone an extensive testing and validation process as part of the ESA Gossamer Deorbiter project carried out at SSC. The Cubesail project is also financially and technically supported by industrial partners, Astrium and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.

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