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KickSat -- Your personal spacecraft in space!

Posted by: Rob Goldsmith - Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:39 am
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KickSat -- Your personal spacecraft in space! 
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Post KickSat -- Your personal spacecraft in space!   Posted on: Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:39 am
Has this been mentioned?

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/251 ... t-in-space

Quote:
Would you like to have your own spacecraft in space?

I'm Zac Manchester, a graduate student in Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University. Over the last several years a few collaborators and I have designed, built, and tested a very tiny and inexpensive spacecraft called Sprite that can be built and launched into low Earth orbit for just a few hundred dollars each!

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Post Re: KickSat -- Your personal spacecraft in space!   Posted on: Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:28 pm
Ha! I know that guy/project. It's very cool, essentially an N-Prize satellite designed ultimately to be printed on custom chips that will control the amount of charge they hold in a dynamic way in order to utilize the lorenz force and ride magnetic fields. right now just a prototype.

i don't know what sort of long-term potential there is in this class of satellite, but it does potentially have the ability to perform some really out there long-range planetary science missions.

tried to get them on a balloon launch with Monroe but they ended up gluing one to the side of the ISS instead (I think that actually ended up going through, but never confirmed it).

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Post Re: KickSat -- Your personal spacecraft in space!   Posted on: Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:10 pm
An initiative called Microlaunchers (google that) has been in development for over 15 years. It is to be a vertically integrated launch system which can launch up to 1 kg (Cubesat) to LEO or 100-200 grams to escape.

I invite Zac to contact. ML is now in Las Vegas to better the chances of incorporating, reaching "ctitical mass" of participants.

Today, cellphone cameras weigh less than a gram, diode lasers can send data over planetary distances, colloid thrusters requiring less than one watt are technologies that can initiate this. This can be an analog to the appearance of the 8080 and the Altair and what followed.


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Post Re: KickSat -- Your personal spacecraft in space!   Posted on: Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:45 pm
And perhaps they could be powered using ambient RF, as in WISP and WARP. Although there's enough sun in space as well of course...

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Post Re: KickSat -- Your personal spacecraft in space!   Posted on: Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:59 pm
Lorens: If replying about power for early Microlaunchers spacecraft, the plan is for 2 to 5 watts of ordinary solar cell. Some are up to 20% efficient without being too expensive.

All the ML designs are based on presently available technology, using presently available performance of the major components. Less than 1/4 watt will support a 30 mw diode laser and associated circuits. actuators like used in the one gram model planes require a few milliwatts.

Half way to Mars, the solar power is still over 1/2 that at Earth orbit.


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Post Re: KickSat -- Your personal spacecraft in space!   Posted on: Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:38 pm
I was just reading on his web page, it's an excellent idea. I would like to see them launch something with a small camera on board. That would be fantastic.

Though in the whole text he didn't mention what kind of transport they are using. Rockets? Is that legal? :) I presume they would at least have to get some kind of permission. But anyway, great stuff.


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Post Re: KickSat -- Your personal spacecraft in space!   Posted on: Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:38 pm
replying to Starwing--

Rockets. The initial entry level, "ML-1" is to have a launch mass of 100-200 kg and a payload to escape of 100-200 grams. Google "microlaunchers" and the image on the home page of the site is the notional design. The main features are a 100 sq cm solar cell and a laser diode data link using a 3" aperture telescope and a cell phone camera to take pictures of a NEO then send a few GB of flash memory images over the next months.

The rocket is to be 3 stages, using LOX and propane or butane for the vacuum operating upper stages. Described a little in some of the pages on the site.

The stages are small enough to test as amateur rockets, so a launch license is not needed till space launch. The launch process will be somewhat like that for a model rocket, with no installed infrastructure.

ML-1 is to also be capable of a 1kg Cubesat to a 200 km low orbit, to be used in the upcoming Nanosat Challenge, and a launch servied for the 100+ Cubesats awaiting launch.

ML is now in Las Vegas, and the initial participants are being recruited. The development process is suggested in the N Prize presentation in the site.


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