KickSat – Private Satellites?

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The goal is to bring down the huge cost of spaceflight, allowing anyone from a curious high school student or basement tinkerer to a professional scientist to explore what has until now been the exclusive realm of governments and large companies. By shrinking the spacecraft, we can fit more into a single launch slot and split the costs many ways.


Sprites are the size of a couple of postage stamps but have solar cells, a radio transceiver, and a microcontroller (tiny computer) with memory and sensors – many of the capabilities a bigger spacecraft would have, just scaled down. This first version can’t do much more than transmit its name and a few bits of data – think of it as a shrunken down Sputnik – but future versions could include any type of sensor that will fit, from thermometers to cameras.