DEADLINE EXTENDED: We Want You To Send an Experiment to Space. We'll Give You $1500 To Do It.

By Veronique Greenwood | June 21, 2012 3:44 pm

Imagine having your own personal satellite orbiting the Earth. It’s got cameras and sensors galore, and you can use it to run experiments, take pictures, and even beam messages back to the blue marble.

Well, that geek fantasy will become a reality if the ArduSat project, which you can see here on Kickstarter, reaches its funding goal. The general public will be able to rent time on this small satellite and use it for whatever they please, courtesy of its Arduino processor.

UPDATE, June 25: The ArduSat Kickstarter project has reached its target of $35,000. But we’d love to raise more money, which would help build a more capable satellite with better steering and better cameras and other sensors. $75,000 would be ideal, so donate and spread the word!

UPDATE, July 9: The deadline for the contest has been extended! Keep sending in entries until July 15.

We at Discover Magazine think this is pretty neat. And we’d like to give away a development kit worth $1500 to the Kickstarter donor who submits the best idea for an in-space experiment before July 6th, 2012.

The kit includes Arduinos and an advanced sensor suite shipped to your home address, as well as one week of up-time on the satellite to run any experiment. You’ll be able to build the experiment yourself and have it be sent up on ArduSat when it takes to the skies.

Here’s what you have to do to enter the (drumroll) Discover Space Challenge:

(1) Fund the ArduSat project, for however much or little as you desire. You’ll receive a personal code that identifies you as a donor.

(2) Read the contest guidelines here to learn about how you should design and submit your idea.

(3) Enter with this entry form, making sure to include your personal code.

(4) Wait for winners to be announced on July 20th, after judging by Discover blogger Phil Plait, Discover Editor-in-Chief Corey Powell, and an expert panel of judges.

(5) Rejoice!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space, Technology
  • Victoria Kostadinova

    This is so marvelous!!! Way to go ArduSat, Kickstarter, and Disover! And Good luck to all!

  • J Noland

    Can a tunable IR, visible, UV LASER be added for plasma experiments, to meet requirements (1) less than $2,500 (2) under 50 grams (3) Less than 400 mW power (4) 50 mm x 50 mm x20 mm volume. ? Would it be totally safe and not possible to damage the satellite? Thank you

  • http://www.ardusat.org Jeroen Cappaert

    Hi J,

    If we end up doing the 2U cube this is pretty doable I think, for the 1U possibly, depends on the actual specs of the laser e.g. internal heating, beam properties, peak power vs. average power etc. If you have a datasheet or specs send it to me and I’ll be glad to take a look at it. But if you think you have a cool experiment to propose with it I’d say go for it!

    Regards,
    Jeroen Cappaert
    ArduSat engineer
    info@nanosatisfi.com

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