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In Planning
Born On:
14:03, 28 July 2010 (CDT)
Last Updated:
16:02, 28 July 2010 (CDT)


This page is for the MakerSat project. Makers Local 256's spaceflight effort to put a satellite in space.



  • 7/19/2010 - Bendersgame and Spacefelix discussed some setups for operating a CubeSat. Bendersgame will also try to contact the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for information on the cost of launching cubesats since they have a history doing so.
  • 6/2010 - Have gathered information and resources on satellite and launch options and costs (monetary and technical).


  • Goal - To put a satellite in orbit for a period of time. As of now, the purpose of the satellite is open.
  • Satellite Options:
    • TubeSat - Will be in a decaying LEO (Low Earth Orbit). It will only stay up for a couple of months. But it will only cost $8,000 to buy kit and launch. The best option for us to start out and learn about satellites and spaceflight.
    • CubeSat - Will be in LEO for an indefinite period of time. Cost to build and launch can be up to $50,000. Due to high cost, it would be beneficial to get sponsorships and have other hackerspaces come on board and contribute. We could part out space and mass slots in the satellite for the other spaces to build and integrate their own projects. The option for more capacity, capability and mission duration.
  • Suggested Missions:
    • Real-Time Imaging From Space - Webcast a live real-time video or pictures from the satellite.
    • Biological Payload - Something akin to an EcoSphere or other biological specimens. Would need a way to remotely observe them. Potential science project collaboration.
    • Broadcast - Broadcast custom pre-recorded signals over Ham Radio frequencies so anyone can tune in to our flight.


  • Technical
    • Space Environment - Cosmic radiation, space debris, temperature extremes between light and shadow. Shielding, radiation and temperature hardening and thermal control will be important.
    • Space and Weight Limitations - Projects must be lightweight, compact and must consume minimal resources. Bare-bones parts and architectures a must.
    • Long-Distance Troubleshooting - Once it's up there, you can't fix it. You must make it robust and allow for remote troubleshooting.
  • Financial
    • High Cost of Spaceflight - Achieving orbit on a 1g planet with an atmosphere is a wonder in of itself given the energy required. Getting to orbit on a barely-controlled explosion is always expensive. Therefore, partnerships with people who work with small satellites on the amature level (AMSAT, an amature radio club and a local University CubeSat group) and sponsorships are a must.