A graduate student in Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University, Zac Manchester has been the part of the team that originally designed the Sprites for use as space probes, the idea for space traveling using solar winds, including the cosmic dust without any necessity for conventional fuel.
This time, Zac has another idea about how smallest satellite in the world that cost just a few hundred dollards for building and launching one! Zac Manchester’s Sprite spacecraft are about the size of a couple of postage stamps, that comes with basic equipment that the big ones have.
The three of the one-square-inch spacecraft had been delivered to the International Space Station May this year, for further fit and proper test to test whether the Sprites withstand the journey to the outer space. They are currently still mounted on the outside of the station, and are due to be brought back to Earth in the next couple of years.
Each tiny Sprite spacecraft is built with Texas Instruments’ MSP430 microcontroller, solar cells, capacitors, a radio transceiver and antenna. In the current model, those Sprites only capable of transmitting simple bits of data, but Manchester further added that the future versions will also include thermoteters or cameras sensors.
Those sprites willbe carry using a small box type of CubeSat satellite into low-altitude orbit and one CubeSat could carry hundreds or even thousands of spring-loaded Sprites, that will shoot out as soon as the CubeSat’s lid was opened from grond control via a radio signal.
Featuring over Kickstarter for fund raising, Manchester and his team will either have to wait for a spot on one of several free launch programs, or be able to purchase a commercial launch of their own, so in case you want to take part for in this revolutionary tiny Sprites for launching the mini satellites, click here.
[ Source: KickStarter ]