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If I had a CubeSat sitting on my desk ready to go today, what documentation and testing would I need to do before I could get it launched?

Presumably the launch provider won’t just launch anything I give them, but if they did I’ve got an Arduino in a cardboard box that’s flight ready.

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I found this document which seems to be a checklist of requirements for the CubeSat launch systems. Listed in section 2 seems to be all the documentation and compliance the CubeSat launch provider would have to supply/meet. I would assume that they would need similar documentation on each Cube also.

Everyone mentions a NASA safety review, but details are sparse on any exact documentation that would be needed with that. NanoRacks has a documentation section which includes reference information on Acoustic Noise Control and Analysis Plan, Flammability; Offgassing and Compatability Requirements; and Standard Materials and Requirements for Spacecraft which are likely key points of the safety review.

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If you read ULA's "Aft Bulkhead Carrier Auxiliary Payload User's Guide" found here: "http://www.ulalaunch.com/Products_AtlasV.aspx" , you'll find details about the requirements for Auxiliary Payloads (AP). Primarily, it says the Auxiliary Payload Coordinator (APC) is responsible for making sure the CubeSat meets ULA's requirements for Atlas V launches.

This means that the APC is going to come up with some plan with the CubeSat developer that ensures satisfactory payload capacity for the loads that it will be put through during transport and launch, the electromagnetic interference, and the thermal environment, in addition to making sure the CubeSat doesn't damage the Centaur with debris, outgassed materials or any other contamination.

This is what I gather from the user doc, I'll know better after a year is through, since my team's CubeSat (BYU PIC 1.0) has an offer to launch with the WorldView 3 satellite next year.

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You can also check out the System Requirements documents for the QB50 project. You'll find system requirements and testing (qualification and acceptance) as well as requirements regarding quality control and reporting.

The QB50 project will launch 50 double and triple cubesats to study the lower thermosphere.

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You can also have a look at the European Cooperation on Space Standardization (ECSS) here. Plenty of documents are available describing what to test and how to do it.

For instance if you navigate to "Standards (at the top)" -> "1.ECSS Architecture" -> "_2. PA branch", you'll see a list of all kind of material testing that should be made prior to launch. You can then access each document via "Standards" -> "2. Published Standards On-line" (free registration required).

These standards are good practice but then each launcher will impose its own requirements.

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