Dawn of the Personal Space Age?

Interesting project developing at Cornell University, via grad student Zac Manchester: KickSat. Want one? It’s only a few hundred bucks and will transmit text message from space. That’s cool.

They need help…

I need your help to put as many Sprites into orbit as possible to demonstrate that they can be safely launched and operated. A minimum fundraising goal of $30,000 (that’s 100 people sponsoring one Sprite each) will allow us to build, test, and integrate all the hardware for KickSat and the Sprites.

As soon as funding is in place, we’ll apply for a free launch through several programs, such as NASA’s ELaNa CubeSat program. While we are not guaranteed a free launch, there are many such opportunities each year and I believe this project has enough technical appeal and value to NASA to compete with anything out there.

If at least 400 spacecraft-adventurers sponsor Sprites, we’ll be able to use the additional funding to purchase a commercial launch, which will help ensure us a ride into space and allow us to get there sooner than we could relying on a free launch – by early 2013 if all goes well.

If at least 1000 space pioneers join us by sponsoring Sprites, we’ll be able to dramatically improve and shrink our design by getting custom microchips made. If we can do that, then costs could be driven down so that every school or even every school child could one day have their own spacecraft to explore the solar system.

Yeah, it’s pretty small (3.8 cm) and was promoted by Radio Shack not too long ago.



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