July 2, 2013 report
KickSat co-creator, team launches new 'Pocket Spacecraft' project on Kickstarter
(Phys.org) —One of the team members who successfully launched KickSat on Kickstarter has started a new project called "Pocket Spacecraft" with the aim of launching thousands of CD shaped "space craft" into space and landing them back on Earth or on the moon.
KickSat was a project that was designed to allow anyone (for a small price) to put a tiny satellite aboard a rocket and have it launched and sent into an orbit around Earth. That Kickstarter project reached its funding goals and is now scheduled for launch sometime later this year. In this new project, the team wants to give anyone who wishes to do so, the opportunity to send a craft to space and back, or more optimistically, to the moon.
At the heart of the project is the Pocket Spacecraft—it's shape and size is similar to a DVD only smaller and much thinner. The idea is to pack thousands of them onto a craft that is itself put aboard a rocket. Upon launch, some of the Pocket Spacecraft will be released into space where they will fall back to Earth—others will continue on to the moon where they will be set free to crash-land onto its surface.
Each Pocket Spacecraft is up for sale—those who wish to purchase one can upload pictures or messages to it, or even add some programming. Each has a solar panel on it, electronic circuitry and communications gear that will allow for its owner to track its movements with their cell phone. Prices for the Pocket Spacecraft vary depending on whether the buyer wants their craft to fall back to Earth (Earth Scout-£99), or travel on to the moon (Lunar Scout-£199). Other options are also available to allow for groups to share a craft.
Many of the craft are expected to survive falling to Earth—those falling to moon's surface, on the other hand will perish. Those who sign on to the project and buy a craft will be able to watch as their Pocket Spacecraft is made, tested, packed and carried to a rocket for launch.
On its Kickstarter page, the team says they hope to collect the £290,000 goal needed for the project to proceed, and that if all goes as planned, would like to create a similar project for launching tiny craft to other planets in the solar system as well.
This story was corrected: 4am July 3, 2013.
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