CubeSat Laboratory

Project Overview

The goal of the CubeSat Lunar Lander project is to explore the technologies required for building a viable CubeSat device that can orbit and/or land on the moon. This project's predecessor was the Alaskan Ice Buoy Project which assisted in learning about the CubeSat Kit hardware that is also being used in this project.

We have built a single CubeSat to test the navigation components we would use to go to the Moon, that was launched as part of NASA's ELaNa IV program on the Air Force ORS-3 mission, on an Orbital Sciences Minotaur 1 rocket from Wallops Island, VA, on November 19, 2013. Click for launch video.

Amateur Radio Operators who would like to track our CubeSat:

Please email any packets received to

Our downlink frequency is 437.305 MHz, 9600 baud, FSK, AX.25

Our current TLE (March 31, 2014, updated as we get new tracking data):

We appear to be International Designation: 2013-064AD also cataloged as NORAD: 39407U:

1 39407U 13064AD 14089.36782759 .00035131 00000-0 13245-2 0 896
2 39407 040.5281 209.8681 0004753 097.6128 262.5259 15.26345208 17624



Here is the first photo of the Earth downloaded and assembled by Bill McGrath of LED Dynamics. It is of the North coast of Western Australia, looking towards Port Hedland

And here is the second downloaded photo of clouds over the ocean:


Here is the third downloaded photo of Yarra Yarra Lakes, Mongers Lake, Lake Moore and Lake Austin. North of Perth in Western Australia.


Here is a photo of the cloud covered edge of the Earth.

Here is some Inertial Measurement Unit data downloaded from the CubeSat on March 6, 2014 (plots by

First contact, 1 1/2 hours after launch, from the parking lot at Wallops Island, with an Arrow antenna, Funcubedongle+ and Macbook, by Justin Foley (Cal Poly):

News media on our launch:


Our ELaNa IV CubeSat, the Vermont Lunar CubeSat

This project is supported by grants from the Vermont Space Grant Consortium, a part of the NASA Space Grant program, NASA and EPSCoR. Vermont Technical College has also received generous donations of commercial software from AdaCore, SofCheck, Altran, and Rowley Associates to support using high integrity software tools and methods in the programming of the system.

Software to analyse orbits of our spacecraft has been supplied as a generous donation by AGI of their Systems Tool Kit.

This project built upon our previous Arctic Sea Ice Buoy