Design, build and launch your CubeSat using a high altitude balloon.


Horus Launchbox VSSEC Colour

Welcome to the CubeSat Program


The Launchbox program is has been set up so that students can design and launch CubeSats using a high altitude balloon as a launch vehicle. The pilot program involves 8 schools in South Australia. If further funding is made available, the second stage will allow the program to be opened to other schools.

The curriculum map outlining the program can be downloaded here.

There are a series of lessons, presentations and activities in the program. Please open the file for each lesson by clicking on the highlighted link. The file can then be downloaded to your computer or just viewed on the screen. The lesson plans explain the nature of the lesson and the resources required. The resources and activity sheets are in the student resources column.

There is a list of technical information provided after the lesson information for teachers in particular but also interested students who would like a more detailed explantion about the components, both hardware and software, of the CubeSat.

Note: The lesson plans and activities can be freely used by those schools particpating in the Launchbox CubeSat program. This material can also be used by any teachers but please let us know how you use it by contacting us via email at This aids in the reporting and funding of our programs.



Teacher Resources

Student Activities and Resources
 Lesson 1

 Lesson Plan              Pdficon 297X300

Prior Knowledge Ppt     Powerpoint 2010 Icon

 Introductory Presentation Powerpointmac

CubeSat Specificiations     Pdficon 297X300

 Lesson 2

 Lesson Plan              Pdficon 297X300

Design Diagram          Powerpoint 2010 Icon

Role of Leaders          Pdficon 297X300

 Concurrent Design pre-class activity     Pdficon 297X300

Investigations overview  Pdficon 297X300

Design Choices             Pdficon 297X300


 Lesson 3

 Lesson Plan                 Pdficon 297X300


Formatting the SD Card

(new version to come)  Pdficon 297X300

A Safe Flight Path         Pdficon 297X300

Balloon Altitude and Flight Time  Pdficon 297X300

Weather Conditions   Pdficon 297X300

Battery Analysis        Pdficon 297X300

The importance of Data Storage  Pdficon 297X300

  • Hero Camera Manual      Pdficon 297X300

Atmospheric Investigations    Pdficon 297X300

Land Use under the Flight Path  Pdficon 297X300

  • Presentation          Powerpointmac
  • Presentation Notes  Pdficon 297X300

Distance to the Horizon  Pdficon 297X300


Lesson 4

Lesson Plan     Pdficon 297X300

Introduction: Testing Your CubeSat

  • Presentation    Powerpointmac
  • Questions       Pdficon 297X300

Note: If the YouTube video cannot be viewed through the presentation then click here to view it.

Testing the effect of Temperature  Pdficon 297X300

Testing the Parachute       Pdficon 297X300

Testing the GPS   Pdficon 297X300

Instructions on formating, using and downloading data from the SD card   Pdficon 297X300

Lesson 5

Lesson Plan  Pdficon 297X300

Downloading and Using the Data   Pdficon 297X300

Example Text File  Text File 3 (Internet Explorer: right click on the icon and click on "save target as" or Firefox "save link as")

Analysis of the Data  Pdficon 297X300

Lesson 6  Lesson Plan  Pdficon 297X300

 Simulation and Predictive Software  Pdficon 297X300

Sources of Uncertainty  Pdficon 297X300



Technical Specifications

Balloon Logger Electronics Description  Pdficon 297X300

Arduino Processor     Pdficon 297X300

Digital Pressure Sensor:  Datasheet  Pdficon 297X300 Breakout  Pdficon 297X300

Formating the SD Card   Pdficon 297X300    Holder Pdficon 297X300   Breakout  Pdficon 297X300

(New version of Formating SD card to come)

GPS   Pdficon 297X300

Detailed Needs and Requirements: Pdficon 297X300

Hardware: List  Pdficon 297X300   Summary Information   Pdficon 297X300


Arduino Code


To run and edit the code, first download and install the arduino program from the arduino website.

 Arduino Code (updated 26/08/14):  Ino 7214 Internet Explorer: Right click on the icon and click on "save target as"  or  Firefox: "save link as"


At a Glance


    For students in Secondary