CubeSats are now on display in the library until May


Jordi Puig-Suari, a retired Cal Poly aerospace engineering professor, co-created the CubeSat platform, a mini-satellite that has dramatically expanded space exploration and research for students and, increasingly plus, the space industry. Puig-Suari owns a 1U CubeSat, a mini-satellite that is a 4-inch cube. 1 credit: Cal Poly

Small big spaceship in space research

–Paso Robles Public Library invites the public to learn about CubeSats, a class of research spacecraft called nanosatellites, invented at Cal Poly in the late 1990s that have become an international design standard.

Provided to the City of Paso Robles courtesy of Cal Poly Engineering Department’s CubeSat Lab, the life-size CubeSat model on display in the library is an ExoCube2 design, first launched into space in 2015 and again in 2021 with a mission to monitor changes in Earth’s upper atmosphere.

CubeSats can be carried on rockets that launch vertically, or on next-generation vehicles called “spaceplanes” that launch horizontally from airport runways. Once in space, the CubeSats are launched into low Earth orbit (LEO) where they position and orient themselves autonomously for their mission in the weightless environment using tiny rocket engines the size of of a person’s thumb.

“Having this CubeSat display available in the city library is a wonderful opportunity for people to come and see an example of what modern satellites look like and how small they are, as well as learn about modern space technology and the key role Cal Poly plays in it,” said Paul Sloan, Economic Development Manager for the City of Paso Robles.

“National Library Week is a great time to recognize the variety of ways libraries stimulate discovery and learning in our community,” added City Librarian Angelica Fortin.

Originally created for academic research, most CubeSat launches today are for commercial purposes. Some CubeSats have become the very first satellites of many countries.

The library is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Curbside service is available during business hours. Call the library at (805) 237-3870 or visit and the library’s Facebook and Instagram sites for more information.

About the Author: News Staff

The Paso Robles Daily News news team wrote or edited this story based on local contributors and news releases. The press team can be contacted at [email protected]

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