Skycube

Their claim:   SkyCube: The First Satellite Launched by You!

Which is kind of amusing since I already told you about PongSat.  I have known about PongSat for a long time though.  JP Aerospace has been carrying PongSats for people for over a decade, since March 9th, 2002, via 15 launches!

I found out about Skycube a few days ago when George Takei mentioned it on Facebook.  George is great, I like following him, you might too.

It’s all good though.  The more the merrier, I say!

Looks like one satellite will be launched, on a Falcon 9, and the way YOU get to play is via their mobile/web app after the launch, next year.

I sure like this part:  “We want to create a space exploration experience that can be shared by everyone – including you!”

They already reached their Kickstarter goal and their stretch goal, they are going for another stretch goal…

“As of August 30th, 2012, we are annoucing a new stretch goal of $110,000.  The additional funds will be used to build a second copy of SkyCube, in case of launch vehicle failure or (much better) to let everyone take even more pictures and send more messages from space!”

So they know how to get the funding done.  That’s something most of us could use in this business.

They know how to get press as well.

I’m as excited about those two parts as much as the satellite.  Imagine what some motivated, everyday spacers could do with THAT knowledge!

Here’s a hint about their abilities:

“SkyCube will take low-resolution pictures of the Earth and broadcast simple messages uploaded by sponsors.  After 90 days, it will use an 8-gram CO2 cartridge to inflate a 10-foot (3-meter) diameter balloon coated with highly reflective titanium dioxide powder.  SkyCube’s balloon will make the satellite as bright as the Hubble Space Telescope or a first-magnitude star.  You’ll be able to see it with your own eyes, sailing across the sky.  But SkyCube’s balloon isn’t just for visibility.  It will – within 3 weeks – bring SkyCube down from orbit due to atmospheric drag, ending the mission cleanly in a fiery “grand finale” that avoids any buildup of space debris.”

It’s a bit short term though well thought out – space debris is a real issue up there!

I urge you to visit, to pledge or not, to read how we can play and you gotta see the video near the bottom “We’re NASA and we know it” – first hip-hop Filk I’VE ever heard!  I sure learned a lot just by reading their Kickstarter home page.

Oh, and they are nearly at the end of their program, so hurry.

If you just don’t want to wait, work it up and send JP Aerospace a PongSat now.  I know they are launching the next mission around September 22nd.  Yeah, in about two (2) weeks.  If you can’t make it, I’m sure they’ll have more.

Oh, and we’d better talk about the satellites up there launched by ham radio operators soon too!

I’ll keep an eye on this project and let you know when something interesting happens next.

NOTES:
*Investment
*Age Restricted to Earners
*Cost Determined by Investor
*Launching in 2013 Sometime

Sources
*http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/880837561/skycube-the-first-satellite-launched-by-you
*http://www.southernstars.com/
*http://www.jpaerospace.com/pongsat/index.htm

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