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The sizes of Cubesats are measured in "U" units of volume. Each U is nominally a cube of something like 10 to 12 cm on a side, depending on the specific deploying mechanism it's approved for.

1U to 3U are popular sizes, the MarCO deep space cubesats were 6U.

Question: What is the largest proper cubesat? It should be either attempted to have been deployed, or at least on track; serious, funded effort with construction or at least final design underway. Answers citing only crowdsourced project descriptions and/or theoretical papers may receive "honorable mentions" but won't be accepted.

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  • $\begingroup$ I would say the qualifying rule is that it should be compatible with launch/deploy hardware. $\endgroup$ Aug 9 '20 at 18:25
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The largest cubesat allowed by the standard for cubesats is 27U. There is none launched in this size to date though. Millennium Space Systems has developed a platform for these but I haven't encountered any news about customers taking up their offer, or alternative constructions of this form factor planned in the near future. It's definitely an open option for taking, there were just no takers to date.

According to the list of cubesats the biggest-U cubesats currently in space are Momentus-X1 and Palisade, both at 16U.

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    $\begingroup$ Imo the cubesat concept makes less and less sense the bigger you get. Above 8u you might as well just build a regular satellite that happens to be rectangular. $\endgroup$
    – Dragongeek
    Aug 9 '20 at 11:13
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    $\begingroup$ I guess in Minecraft, every satellite is a cubesat? :-) $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Aug 9 '20 at 12:28
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh in Minecraft the world is flat, gravity is a suggestion and the sky doesn't turn dark even on a 170km apogee of a suborbital launch. $\endgroup$
    – SF.
    Aug 9 '20 at 12:38
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    $\begingroup$ now that you've found a list, I wonder if you can also answer Have there been any square 4U (2x2) cubesats? as well? I suppose I could ask about square 3x3 separately, or modify the question to include both... $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Aug 9 '20 at 12:44
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh It seems not. Neither are there any 2x2x2 8U cube cubesats. $\endgroup$
    – SF.
    Aug 9 '20 at 13:47

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