The 1U cubesat structure is a 10*10*10 cm metal cube with frames. But it costs around 2000-3000€, which is really expensive.

I've found it for example on these sites:

What is the reason behind it? Is it created from a special material? Or is it expensive because of the low demand, so it can't be mass-produced?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ That's very inexpensive by space industry standards. $\endgroup$ – gerrit Jan 16 '17 at 10:29
  • $\begingroup$ But it is very expensive for a student or a hobby electronic. It is ca. the half of the yearly salary of an average man in my country $\endgroup$ – Iter Ator Jan 16 '17 at 17:15
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    $\begingroup$ Unfortunately, a typical student, hobby electronic, or average man or woman in any country is not in a position to build even a simple cubesat. Perhaps a CanSat is more achievable? $\endgroup$ – gerrit Jan 16 '17 at 18:42
  • $\begingroup$ @IterAtor According to this random source, it will cost you another 40 000 to launch the satellite. The 2000 for the frame will only be a fraction of the total cost. $\endgroup$ – Yogu May 19 '19 at 14:12

It's expensive because of the quality requirements.

Material cost is small, low demand is a factor but a structure that size can be made much cheaper than this.

The main cost factors are :

  • The design has to be qualified for use in space, this requires testing. So the R&D cost is high. Low demand means you have to amortize this cost over a small number of units.
  • The manufacturing process has lots of verification steps plus a paper trail for auditing.
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