|Mission type||Technology, reconnaissance|
|Operator||Southwest Research Institute|
|Spacecraft type||6U CubeSat|
|Manufacturer||Southwest Research Institute|
|Launch mass||14 kg (31 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Rocket||SLS Block 1|
|Launch site||Kennedy LC-39B|
|Flyby of Moon|
|Name||Miniaturized Electron and Proton Telescope (MERiT)|
|Suprathermal Ion Spectrograph (SIS)|
Vector Helium Magnetometer (VHM)
CuSP is a low-cost 6U CubeSat nanosatellite that once deployed, will orbit the Sun, measuring incoming radiation that can create a wide variety of effects at Earth, from interfering with radio communications to tripping up satellite electronics to creating electric currents in power grids. The principal investigator for CuSP is Mihir Desai, at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. It will fly on the maiden flight of the Space Launch System, as a secondary payload of the Artemis 1 mission planned to launch in 2021.
To create a network of space weather stations would require many instruments scattered throughout space millions of miles apart, but the cost of such a system is prohibitive. Though the CubeSats can only carry a few instruments, they are relatively inexpensive to launch because of their small mass and standardized design. So, CuSP also serves as a test for creating a network of space science stations.