16 year-old UK student to work on KickSat Sprite

KickSat 437 MHz Sprite Satellite

KickSat 437 MHz Sprite Satellite

The Yorkshire Post reports that Luke Bussell, who is a Year 11 student at Bootham School and a member of the school’s astronomy group, got more than he bargained for when he started doing his research for the annual Society for the History of Astronomy essay prize.

Choosing to write about the history of unmanned exploration of Mars, he contacted the British Interplanetary Society (BIS) to quiz their experts in this fascinating field.

They were so impressed with the depth of Luke’s IT skills that they have recruited him as a software engineer to work on the amateur radio KickSat project, which will the see the design, building and testing of very small spacecraft called Sprites.

Luke, who lives near York, said:

“I did not realise that I would be working on something that might be going into space.”

“It’s very exciting.”

“It’s good as I am only sixteen. I think that my family are quite proud,” he added.

Read the full Yorkshire Post story at

The KickSat Sprites from both the BIS and London Hackspace are planned to launch on the SpaceX Falcon 9 ELaNa 5 / CRS 3 mission early in 2014.

British Interplanetary Society KickSat Sprite programming and planning day

KickSat Sprite Technical Summary

KickSat to deploy 128 Sprite satellites