Three Canadian CubeSat’s to Launch on SpaceX Resupply Mission to the ISS

The SpaceX Falcon 9 with the cargo Dragon spacecraft for the CRS-30 ISS resupply mission on the pad. Image credit: SpaceX.

The last three Canadian CubeSat Project satellites are scheduled to launch today on the SpaceX Dragon’s 30th Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-30) mission to the International Space Station.

SpaceX is targeting Thursday, March 21 for the Falcon launch from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Liftoff is targeted for 4:55 p.m. ET with a backup launch opportunity available on Friday, March 22 at 4:29 p.m. ET if needed.

The Canadian Space Agency says that “this is the fourth and final launch of miniature satellites under the Canadian CubeSat Project. The teams finalized preparations of their CubeSats in November 2023 at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).”

The final three satellites being flown include QMSat from the Université de Sherbrooke, VIOLET from the University of New Brunswick, and Killick-1 from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. They join 11 other Canadian CubeSat Project satellites that have already made their to the ISS and have been deployed.

The three satellites will be unloaded and made ready for deployment from the Nanoracks CubeSat Deployer on the ISS at a later date.

Canadian CubeSat Project team members from Université de Sherbrooke, University of New Brunswick and Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador at the Canadian Space Agency for the integration of their CubeSat's.
Canadian CubeSat Project team members from Université de Sherbrooke, University of New Brunswick and Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador at the Canadian Space Agency for the integration of their CubeSat’s. Image credit: Canadian Space Agency.

The Canadian CubeSat Project has come a long way from when it was first conceived by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) in 2016. Fifteen university and college led teams would participate and fourteen would make it to the finish line, making it to space. It took longer than expected, primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Only the University of PEI effort, SpudNik-1, didn’t get to the finish line for a variety of issues, including technical. Some team members did eventually join the Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador effort.

The CSA is moving forward with a follow-up program, the CubeSats Initiative in Canada for STEM (CUBICS) with nine university teams having been selected last summer. 

Tonight’s launch will be available to watch on NASA TV as well as on SpaceX.

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

Leave a Reply