This answer to the question How often do reaction wheels require desaturation, normally? says:

One practical example I know of is for a 6U in GEO that is always sun pointed, there's a thruster desaturation once a week. (not enough magnetic field to use magnetorquers)

I can't tell if this is a simulation or real data from an actual cubesat in GEO. So I thought I'd start by simply asking Are there cubesats in GEO?

If so, is there just this one, or several?


1 Answer 1


tl;dr There are zero CubeSats in GEO

The Union of Concerned Scientists has a great database of satellites orbiting the Earth, the smallest satellite that they have in GEO orbit is the S5 smallsat launched by the ARFL, it has a launch weight of 60kg definitely in the smallsat range but much bigger than the largest CubeSats.

Bonus! Here are some histograms of the mass of satellites in different orbits:

LEO mass histogram

MEO mass histogram

GEO mass histogram

Elliptical mass histogram

  • $\begingroup$ Does your source have mass vs volume or U-number statistics? Cubesat mass density (kg/U) statistics? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jun 4, 2019 at 10:11
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @uhoh, it does not; however, you might be able to merge the UCS database data with the nanosats database to get an updated plot. That seems like it would make a great followup question! $\endgroup$
    – Mark Omo
    Jun 4, 2019 at 15:56

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