I know the title sounds harsh, but I think it's a valid question. Public outreach and education/inspiration of the next generation has always been a part of spaceflight, and cubesats seemed to be one way for that to happen.

It takes cash, skill and persistence to go from project inception to orbit. It must be incredibly exciting!

However, are there any individual cubesats that have been watched, monitored, or even looked for or listened for (via radio) substantially beyond the group already involved in putting it up there? Are there cubesat fan clubs? Does anybody besides their owners pay attention to them?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Ham radio guys do things with cubesats, but I do not know any details. $\endgroup$
    – user40414
    Commented Apr 30, 2021 at 12:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Earthworm Ah that's right; they really do follow the orbit and health of those satellites carefully, and if there are any that were in the cubesat format that would be an excellent answer! $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Apr 30, 2021 at 12:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @uhoh: Sorry. I've been away too long. $\endgroup$
    – Everyone
    Commented Apr 30, 2021 at 16:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Everyone welcome back! :-) $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Apr 30, 2021 at 17:49

1 Answer 1


Checkout SatNOGS, an "Open Source Global Network of Satellite Ground Stations". These are individuals dedicated enough to set up ground stations to listen to random satellites, many of which are CubeSats. I don't know that they would refer to themselves as a "fan club" but I think it meets your criteria of folks tracking satellites that are not their own. Some people even make fancy mission control like displays for their home or office.

SatNOGS display

One CubeSat I worked on, MYSat-1 from Khalifa University in the UAE, has been tracked by SatNOGS since its deployment from Cygnus1. Our first contact with the satellite was via a SatNOGS ground station. The satellite has gone quiet twice for months at a time, and surprisingly started transmitting again both times. We only knew of this because SatNOGS stations were autonomously tracking it. The university that worked on it did not have the resources to attempt to conduct full communication passes with a satellite that was deemed dead.

Then there is also the CubeSat Developers Workshop organized by CalPoly. Attendees include CubeSat builders, builder hopefuls, and just overall interested people. Since it is a workshop, it may not quite qualify as a "fan club" but its close to what you are asking.

1MYSat-1 was launched on board of the Cygnus CRS-10 cargo mission and was deployed from the spacecrafts external deployer after departing from the ISS.

  • $\begingroup$ Oh the cubesat dashboards are so cool! Yes I think both SatNOGS and it's viewers and workshop attendees definitely count. Thanks!* $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Jun 8, 2021 at 22:56

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