KickSat

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Zachary R. Manchester and KickSat
KickSat Sprite prototype

KickSat is a small satellite (femtosatellite) project inaugurated in early October, 2011, to launch a large number of very small satellites from a 3U-CubeSat. The satellites have been characterized as being the size of a large postage stamp.[1][2] and also as "cracker size."[3] The mission launch was originally scheduled for late 2013[4] and was launched April 18, 2014.[5][6]

Kicksat reached his orbit, sent beacon signals, that have been received by radio amateurs, telemetry data allowed to predict the orbit and the reentry on 15 May 2014 at somewhat 01:30 UTC. According to a clock reset the femtosatellites have not been deployed but have burnt as the whole nanosatellite KickSat.

History[edit]

The project was "crowd-funded" through Kickstarter.[7][8][9] Part of the appeal was in offering "personal spaceflight", the chance to effectively and affordably own and operate one's own satellite.[10][11][12][13]

Design[edit]

In its minimal configuration, each Sprite femtosatellite will be designed to send a very short message (a few bytes long) to a network of ground stations.[14] Firmware developer kits were sent to donors who contributed enough to qualify for customizing their own Sprite.[15]

Sprites can be organized into fleets; one of them will be named for the British Interplanetary Society.[16] London Hackspace has begun work on its own ground station.[17]

Inaugural mission[edit]

KickSat launched on an ISS commercial resupply mission, SpaceX CRS-3, originally late 2013,[4] now April 18, 2014.[18] On April 30, 2014 the microcontroller managing the master clock had been reset due to a technical problem. This resulted in a two week delay of the launch of the sprites. On May 14, 2014 KickSat reentered the atmosphere and burned up; all sprites were lost.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Radu Tyrsina (October 11, 2011). "KickSat to Launch Postage Stamp-sized Satellites into Space for $300". Mobile Magazine. Retrieved 2011-10-16. 
  2. ^ Fish, Elizabeth (Nov 14, 2011). "Explore Space With A Spacecraft The Size Of A Postage Stamp". Geek Tech (blog). PCWorld. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  3. ^ Garling, Caleb (2012-12-24). "Personal satellites that fly into space". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2012-12-26. 
  4. ^ a b Bruce Dorminey (November 28, 2012). "First Kickstarter Funded Satellites To Launch In 2013". Forbes. Retrieved 2012-12-26. 
  5. ^ "KickSat Has Been Deployed in Low-Earth Orbit". arrl.org. 2014-04-19. Retrieved 2014-04-26. 
  6. ^ O'Neill, Ian (2014-04-14). "Helium Leak Forces SpaceX Launch Scrub". news.discovery.com. Retrieved 2014-04-15. 
  7. ^ Zachary Manchester (Oct 4, 2011). "KickSat -- Your personal spacecraft in space!". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2011-10-16. 
  8. ^ Mark Brown (10 October 2011). "Kickstarter project will launch hundreds of personal satellites into space". Wired UK. Retrieved 2011-10-16. 
  9. ^ Wayne Hall (Nov 17, 2011). "An orbit of your own, "KickSat" crowdsources spaceflight". Kentucky Science & Technology Corporation. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  10. ^ Boonsri Dickinson (October 10, 2011). "Send your own satellite into space". CNET. Retrieved 2011-10-18. 
  11. ^ Michael Doornbos (Oct 21, 2011). "Evadot Podcast #86 – Would you like to have your own spacecraft in space? Kicksat.org says you can". Evadot.com. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  12. ^ Johnson, Michael; Manchester, Zachary; Peck, Mason (Jan 30, 2012). "KickSat.org - an open source ChipSat dispenser and citizen space exploration proof of concept mission". Rhode-Saint-Genèse (Brussels), Belgium: Von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics. p. 91. Retrieved 13 July 2013. 
  13. ^ von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics. "Fourth European CubeSat Symposium". Retrieved 13 July 2013. 
  14. ^ Peter Murray (October 15, 2011). "Sprites – The Computer Chip-Sized Spacecraft That Will Send You a Text Message (for $300)". Singularity Hub. Retrieved 2011-10-16. 
  15. ^ John Biggs (October 9, 2011). "KickSat: Send Tiny DIY Satellites Into Space". Techcrunch. Retrieved 2011-10-16. 
  16. ^ Andrew Vaudin (Oct 24, 2011). "Join the BIS in space". www.bis-space.com: Featured Articles. British Interplanetary Society. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  17. ^ AMSAT-UK (November 19, 2011). "London Hackspace work on HackSat1". AMSAT-UK. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  18. ^ "Worldwide Launch Schedule". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 2012-12-03. 
  19. ^ "KickSat has reentered". Retrieved 2014-05-18. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]