Scheduled to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in December 2021, a Mini-Cubes PocketQube satellite will serve as proof of concept for the prevention of “man-in-the-middle” data hacks.

Data breaches cost millions of dollars every year. IBM’s annual Data Breach Report indicates that the average worldwide cost per breach in 2020 was $3.86 million. In the U.S., the average cost per breach was $8.64 million.


IBM cites Internet-of-things (IoT) devices and third-party breaches as among several key cost-amplifying factors. These factors contribute to the average total cost of data breaches. As IoT devices become ubiquitous—alongside electronic transmission of sensitive data such as patient medical records amid the COVID-19 pandemic—cybersecurity must keep pace.

Designed for Cybersecurity

The Mini-Cubes satellite (named Challenger in honor of the Space Shuttle Challenger crew of 1986) is designed to help avoid the risk of electronic eavesdropping and data interception for IoT devices.

In contrast to Earth-bound data relay, in which hackers position themselves between network nodes, space-based transmissions cannot be intercepted while in transit, thus preventing man-in-the-middle attacks.

Designed for Sustainability

There is growing concern with the amount of space debris in orbit around Earth, which range from paint flecks to inactive satellites. Space debris poses safety risks to humans and infrastructure in orbit. To address that concern, Challenger and other Mini-Cubes satellites are designed to burn up completely upon reentry to Earth’s atmosphere at the end of a five-year lifespan.

Not only does this approach minimize space debris, but destruction upon reentry ensures that any sensitive data or components on the satellites themselves cannot be recovered by those with malicious intent.

Designed for Affordability 

Payload mass is a major factor in the cost of launch. As a 3P PocketQube weighing only 700 grams at liftoff, a miniature satellite like Challenger paves the way to the democratization of space with affordable launch capabilities.

Mini-Cubes satellites may be small and lightweight, but they are also sturdy. “I can just about stand on them,” said Mini-Cubes CEO Joe Latrell. For the structural components, Mini-Cubes has partnered with 3D printing manufacturer CRP Technology, based in Modena, Italy.

CRP is ISO-certified (ISO 9001:2015) to produce 3D-printed components for applications with demanding customer and regulatory standards.

About Mini-Cubes, LLC

Our driving belief is that virtually anyone can reach space today. Founded by Joe Latrell in 2018, Mini-Cubes evolved the miniature satellite concept into a financially viable opportunity for customers in government and private industry. By integrating affordable, off-the-shelf components in our designs, our cost-effective satellites take your business to low Earth orbit.

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Joe Latrell
Mini-Cubes, LLC