PC World magazine reports that a fundraising campaign for the satellite, SkyCube, launched on Kickstarter last weekend (July 14) with the goal of raising US$82,500. Kickstarter is an online service popular with entrepreneurs and startups for raising money.
The article says the SkyCube team is led by Tim DeBenedictis, a self-described “space nut” and the man behind the popular Sky Safari smartphone app that provides a guide to the stars.
It will take pictures of Earth with three VGA cameras and deliver 120-character messages to smartphones running a SkyCube app. The messages will be collected on Earth and transmitted to the satellite about once a day, where they will be stored in memory and broadcast every 10 seconds. In addition to the app, anyone with a fairly modest amateur radio-type receiver might also be able to pick up the broadcasts directly.
The PC World article incorrectly says that Chris Phoenix is the projects radio expert, he isn’t, Chris is doing the firmware not RF.
SkyCube will be the first 1U CubeSat to carry an inflatable balloon. When the 3-meter reflective balloon is deployed 90 days after launch it should be visible to observers on the ground. A few weeks after deploying the balloon SkyCube will burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere.
It is understood they are planning to use 915 MHz and hope to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in the first half of 2013. http://www.southernstars.com/skycube/
Watch SkyCube Interview
Read the PC World story ‘Space Nut’ Looks Skyward With Web-funded Satellite
SkyCube Proposes “Tweets from Space” http://www.uk.amsat.org/8435
Southern Stars SkyCube http://www.southernstars.com/skycube/
Kickstarter SkyCube http://www.skycube.org/
Radio ham Zac Manchester KD2BHC used Kickstarter to raise $74,586 in donations to fund the development and deployment of over a hundred amateur radio KickSat sprite satellites.
The amateur radio satellite project ArduSat managed to raise donations of $106,330 in just 30 days.
Kickstarter is not just about raising large sums of money, for example Sandy Antunes used Kickstarter to raise $2,780 to buy a ham radio transceiver and antennas to create an amateur radio satellite ground station Calliope
Kickstarter to launch in UK http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-18780184