A team of students from Moscow University of Mechanical Engineering are raising money on Boomstarter (Russia’s answer to Kickstarter) to build and launch a pyramid-like satellite made of highly reflective material.
The satellite is known as the Mayak, Russian for “Beacon, is already 52% of the way to its goal at the time of writing and has raised over a million and a half rubles (or $20,000 USD ) with just 24 days left.
The project is set out with three main goals. One, to prove that crowd-funding for space projects can work and to demonstrate that the practice of space exploration is not only limited to the government or wealthy parties. Two, for the satellite to accomplish its mission; to use large reflectors to capture rays from the sun to bring back to Earth – thus making it the brightest object in the night’s sky. And three, to build an aerodynamic braking system for satellites to safely bring them back to Earth. The third goal may require additional funding.
Interestingly, the team plans to build a free consumer web application to monitor the satellite’s path. They’ve also announced that Roscomos (a Russian space launch firm) will be their launch partner and that the Mayak could be aboard a Soyuz-2 rocket in the middle of this year.
The Mayak satellite provides us with a satellite in orbit that would be brighter than Venus or the International Space Station. Watch the video below to see more about the project:
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