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Shoe box-size satellites one of the next big things

Relatively low cost could even let a high school class send one into an Earth orbit

By Carolyn Y. Johnson
Globe Staff / November 28, 2011
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The next generation of satellites is made up of modest cubes about the size of a coffee mug, now being developed to circle Earth, where they monitor space weather, observe the atmosphere, and even test the feasibility of using a sun-powered sail to tow space junk. Over the past seven years, these diminutive cube satellites, or CubeSats, have grown in importance, now poised to have a potentially profound impact on the big-budget space industry, similar to the way that personal computers transformed access and innovation in computing.

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