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September 10, 2012

Skycube Kickstarter

Skycube is a nano-satellite that lets you take Earth images and "tweet" from space, then inflates a visible balloon, and de-orbits cleanly.

They have 25 hours left on their kickstarter.

Friend of Nextbigfuture, Chris Phoenix is writing the onboard software for Skycube.

Who Are We? And What is SkyCube?

We're the makers of the SkySafari astronomy apps for iOS, Android, and Mac OS X, and the SkyFi wireless telescope controller. With our mobile apps, we've revolutionized the way people observe the night sky. Now, we want to do for space exploration what we've done for amateur astronomy.

SkyCube will take low-resolution pictures of the Earth and broadcast simple messages uploaded by sponsors. After 90 days, it will use an 8-gram CO2 cartridge to inflate a 10-foot (3-meter) diameter balloon coated with highly reflective titanium dioxide powder. SkyCube's balloon will make the satellite as bright as the Hubble Space Telescope or a first-magnitude star. You'll be able to see it with your own eyes, sailing across the sky. But SkyCube's balloon isn't just for visibility. It will - within 3 weeks - bring SkyCube down from orbit due to atmospheric drag, ending the mission cleanly in a fiery "grand finale" that avoids any buildup of space debris.
SkyCube: Your Eye in the Sky

SkyCube won't just let you broadcast messages from space. It will also let you look back at the Earth from orbit. You can request images from the satellite using our smartphone or web app. SkyCube's images will be transmitted to our ground stations when the satellite passes over them - and then forwarded to you across the internet. You might just see your entire state (or country!) in one image from space, or catch a sunrise from orbit.









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