ArduSat: a real satellite mission that you can be a part of

June 17, 2012 | Source: DVice

(credit: ArduSat)

NanoSatisfi is launching a Kickstarter project to send an Arduino-powered satellite into space, and you can send an experiment along with it, DVICE reports.

NanoSatisfi, a tech startup based out of NASA’s Ames Research Center, is designing a low-cost satellite made almost entirely of off-the-shelf (or slightly modified) hobby-grade hardware, launching it quickly, and then using Kickstarter to give you a way to get directly involved.

ArduSat is based on the CubeSat platform, a standardized satellite framework that measures about four inches on a side and weighs under three pounds.

ArduSat will run on Arduino boards, which are open-source microcontrollers that have become wildly popular with hobbyists. The entire Arduino sensor suite is only going to cost about $1,500. The rest of the satellite (the power system, control system, communications system, solar panels, antennae, etc.) will run about $50,000, with the launch itself costing about $35,000.

NanoSatisfi is looking for Kickstarter funding to pay for just the launch of the satellite itself: the funding goal is $35,000.