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LunarSail, the world's first crowdsourced Solar Sail CubeSat

A project in Titusville, FL by Matthew Travis
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LunarSail is a project to design, build and launch a CubeSat amateur satellite containing a solar sail and orbit the Moon.
Backers: 260
Average Pledge Per Backer: $61

Funded: $15,817 of $11,000
Dates: Jul 3rd -> Sep 1st (60 days)
Project By: Matthew Travis
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$15,817

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Last Updated: September 1 @ 21:30 -0400 GMT

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Latest News

Solar sail design progress update

August 3rd - via: kickstarter.com
It's time for an update regarding the solar sail that we're deisgning. Actually, we're pursuing two options for a sail. Ideally, we will be able to be able to acquire a high-performance, low mass sail from an established supplier. This would... (Read More)

Open-source parallel supercomputing for an open-source spacecraft

July 31st - via: kickstarter.com
We just pre-ordered one of these. It's a single-board computer with a dual-core primary processor and 16-core Epiphany co-processor from Adapteva. These things can be stacked to get a massively parallel supercomputer at a fraction of the cost and... (Read More)

What are we going to use this money for? (Our budget!)

July 30th - via: kickstarter.com
I've had questions about what our budget and costs are and what the money raised from Kickstarter will be used for. Here's the most recent budget estimate for hardware that we have to purchase. Pumpkin, Inc. 3-Unit Skeletonized Cubesat Kit - $8,750... (Read More)

More hardware comes in, Embedded Pi has arrived!

July 27th - via: kickstarter.com
Our new Embedded PI (Coo Cox, sold by Element14) board finally came in the other day. With this unit, we'll be able to simultaneously utilize Arduino shields as well as RasPi components.  We need something that can do manage several... (Read More)

Popular Mechanics blog post

July 21st - via: kickstarter.com
Popular Mechanics had a blog post with us as the Kickstarter of The Week. I'm not sure why we didn't link it here (!?!?) but here it is just a bit late... http://www.popularmechanics.com/how-to/blog/kickstarter-of-the-week-lunarsail-15687754  (Read More)

Embedded Pi... our link to Arduino

July 19th - via: kickstarter.com
The Embedded Pi is based on the STMicroelectronics STM32F103 MCU and form factor compatible with Arduino™ shields, it can operate as a bridge between Raspberry Pi and Arduino™ shields and in standalone mode as a Cortex-M3 evaluation board.... (Read More)

Video Promo

July 17th - via: kickstarter.com
Here's a short, 1-minute video promo one of our supporters whipped up for us...  (Read More)

Selecting an operating system: ChibiOS/RT on the Raspberry Pi

July 14th - via: kickstarter.com
We're in the process of evaluating different real-time operating systems (RTOS) to use on LunarSail. We need something that has low overhead and a small footprint. Normal uses of the Raspberry Pi utilize a version of Debian Linux. That would suffice... (Read More)

Here are some pictures of our “aluminum photo” reward

July 9th - via: kickstarter.com
One of the rewards we’ve added is to take a photo of your picture captured with the Moon in the background and print it on high-quality aluminum backing. The metal base is about 1mm thick and pretty strong. The photo quality is outstanding, as good... (Read More)

We've Added New Rewards!

July 9th - via: kickstarter.com
Well, so far there has been a great response to our fundraising campaign and we thank everyone who’s pledged so far. We’re constantly looking at ways to improve our crowdfunding and giving back to those who support our efforts. So we’re adding... (Read More)

Dr. Stephen Hawking - "Why Go To Space?" - NASA 50th Anniversary Lecture

July 7th - via: kickstarter.com
Why we should go into space. What is that justification for spending all that effort and money on getting a few lumps of moon rock? Aren’t there better causes here on Earth? In a way, the situation was like that in Europe before 1492. People might... (Read More)

Raspberry Pi: coffee maker or spacecraft?

July 7th - via: kickstarter.com
Here's an interesting little product that uses the same computer we're using, the Raspberry Pi. As much as we love coffee, we like our project better - a Pi to the Moon. Moon Pi anyone? From CNN: This Raspberry Pi robot will make you coffee  (Read More)

Why We Should Go Back to The Moon - Thunder Productions

July 7th - via: kickstarter.com
Interesting video, thoughts on why we should return to the Moon... of course, using a Solar Sail if we have anything to do with it...  (Read More)

Facebook Page

July 5th - via: kickstarter.com
If you haven't already, please check out our Facebook page and you'll get all the latest updates, interact with project members and see other interesting posts about space! https://www.facebook.com/Lunarsail  (Read More)

Video introduction

July 5th - via: kickstarter.com
This is our original introductory video. We have a professionally-produced video coming soon but in the meantime, we posted a new video on the project home page. Check it out!  (Read More)

Watch Out NASA, The Next Mission To The Moon Might Not Be Yours

July 4th - via: kickstarter.com
"In 1959, the author Martin Caidin (“Marooned”) wrote, “The mysterious Moon may well be Man’s next outpost in the conquest of space. How will he reach it? What will he find there? Will we be the first to land on the Moon or is Russia likely... (Read More)

Doing science from the Moon

July 4th - via: kickstarter.com
I had a great question asked about the project. What is the mission once the spacecraft is in orbit? I thought I'd post my response here... LunarSail will have science instruments on board that will operate both during transit to the Moon and after... (Read More)

Why we do this, a picture is worth a thousand words

July 3rd - via: kickstarter.com
While I was covering the grand opening of the space shuttle Atlantis exhibit at Kennedy Space Center with fellow team member Mike Killian (http://www.mikekillianphotography.com), I realized what this project is all about - in the larger sense. I... (Read More)

Thanks for donations, especially these!

July 3rd - via: kickstarter.com
We're going to need desktop computers for developing software, both programs that will run on LunarSail as well as ground station software, apps for internet devices, a web-based dashboard, etc. One of our backers kindly donated two and a half dozen... (Read More)

The guts of a spacecraft...

July 3rd - via: kickstarter.com
Here is some of the hardware we've purchased so far. This computer techie-stuff is part of the heart of LunarSail. The primary computer is in the center-front. Notice how small it is! That's a Samsung Galaxy SIII next to it. We're going to use this... (Read More)

If you have additional news that doesn't appear here, shoot us a link!