We've developed a 1-U CubeSat that can be launched from a primary spacecraft. It will be spring-launched and connect via a tether, which can be used to facilitate re-docking, making the system completely re-usable (as there are no consumables to exhaust). The solution can be launched straight out, or into a spiral, to capture multiple angles of the spacecraft.

This project is solving the Deep Space CamSat challenge.


In order to successfully address the design challenges of a small satellite to orbit and take pictures of deep space spacecraft during events of interest, the Deep Space Cam Joined Observation Bot (DeSCJOB) was created. This versatile nano-satellite has been designed to be able to deploy from a launching point, capture photographs, and return to a docked configuration without needing to be manually reloaded. The system is low-cost and completely reusable by using a tethering system, having no propulsion system (which also removes the possibility of interference from exhaust). Using tethered system using, the deployed package may assume a very controlled yet very maneuverable trajectory. The tethering system also allows for an easy retrieval, guiding the deployed nanosatellite to a safe docking zone. The CubeSat has the option of a solar panel arrays on the deployment package as well as deployable solar panel capabilities for longer duration missions. Simplicity of design allows for easy access to images that can wow audiences and captivate the minds of many, driving them to greater public interest.

Project Information

License: Educational Community License, Version 2.0 (ECL-2.0)

Source Code/Project URL:


OpenOrbiter Project -
ADCS System -
Onboard Computing -
Preliminary OpenOrbiter Designs -
CubeSat Structure -


  • Benjamin Kading
  • Jeremy Straub
  • Thomas McGuire
  • Michael Hirsch
  • Michael Parsons
  • Skye Leake