CJR Returns To Kickstarter To Raise Funds For Its Third Watch Collection

It will be launched from a Soyuz 2 rocket with help from Roscosmos 

  • Made of a reflective thin polymer film 20 times thinner than human hair

     

  • Parachute-like structure may be used to lower the orbits of space debris

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  • By Ellie Zolfagharifard > and Abigail Beall For Dailymail.com

    Published: 15:20 EST, 1 April 2016 | Updated: 07:03 EST, 2 April 2016

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    A Russian satellite could soon be the brightest 'star' in the night sky.

    Called the 'Mayak' or 'Beacon', the satellite is set to outshine everything in the sky, apart from the sun, thanks to a giant reflective sheet of material.

    Its designers say it could also be used to combat space junk by using a parachute-like structure to lower the orbits of debris so they can burn up in Earth's atmosphere.

    Now, the team has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $45,000 to complete testing for the satellite and pay for the launch.

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    Engineers on the the 'Mayak' or 'Beacon' project are hoping to launch a satellite that will become the brightest object in our skies, apart from the sun, thanks to a giant reflective sheet of material

    Engineers on the the 'Mayak' or 'Beacon' project are hoping to launch a satellite that will become the brightest object in our skies, apart from the sun, thanks to a giant reflective sheet of material

    CROWDFUNDING SPACE PROJECTS 

    Crowdfunding has become a popular way of raising money for space exploration projects in the last few years.

    In 2013, the asteroid-mining company Planetary Resources raised more than $1.5 million (£1m) via the crowdfunding site Kickstarter to help develop its public-use Arkyd space telescope. 

    The company's first space craft was successfully deployed from the International Space Station (ISS) last year.

    Another Kickstarter campaign by a group called Lunar Mission One, aiming to send a robotic spacecraft to drill deep into the rocks near the moon's south pole, received more than $1 million (£716,000) in pledges in 2014.

    Mayak has already raised $33,000 through two Russian crowdfunding campaigns held in 2014 and earlier this year.

    The latest Kickstarter campaign is hoping to raise $45,000, and is currently $988 towards its goal, with 37 days to go.  

    The launch of Mayak scheduled for around August is expected to be taken up in a Soyuz 2 rocket, with help from Roscosmos, the Russian space agency.

    The team is planning to place the spacecraft in a sun-synchronous orbit 370 miles (600km) above the ground. 

    This means it will always be in the path of sunlight, so will always be shining at different locations on Earth as it rotates.

    The small spacecraft will launch a giant pyramid-shaped solar reflector in orbit. 

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    The reflector is 170 square feet (16 square metres) in size and made of a thin polymer film 20 times thinner than human hair.

    Each edge will be 2.7 meters (9ft) long, with a total surface area of 6 square meters (65 square feet).

    The Cubesat will used also a braking system to open a parachute that will catch space debris. 

    Its designers say it could also be used to combat space junk by using a parachute-like structure to lower the orbits of debris so they can burn up in Earth's atmosphere

    Its designers say it could also be used to combat space junk by using a parachute-like structure to lower the orbits of debris so they can burn up in Earth's atmosphere

    The launch of Mayak scheduled for the summer and is expected to be taken up in a Soyuz 2 rocket, with help from Roscosmos, the Russian space agency

    The launch of Mayak scheduled for the summer and is expected to be taken up in a Soyuz 2 rocket, with help from Roscosmos, the Russian space agency

    But the aim of the project is to promote space research in the country, and to make science and engineering more appealing to young Russians.  

    A previous proposal, which involved attaching a reflective panel of plastic to a cargo ship heading to the Mir space station, was designed to see if orbiting mirrors could illuminate cities or other parts of Earth by reflecting sunlight. 

    The idea was that the mirrors could extend daylight hours for farmers, for example, reports Ars Technica

    The Mayak project team recently announced it has raised enough money to undergo the next stage of the rocket's testing. 

    A pledge of $75 gets you a full-size model of the satellite, while $99 lets you become part of the team's 'Mayak Project movie'.

    'We are sending a spacecraft into orbit that will be the brightest star in the sky, visible from any point on our planet,' project leader Alexander Shaenko, head of the modern cosmonautics course at Moscow State University of Mechanical Engineering. 

    'We want to show that space exploration is something exciting and interesting, but most importantly that today it is accessible to everybody who is interested.'

    Students from the university are also taking part in the crowdfunded project to launch the orbital spacecraft. 

    The team is planning to place the spacecraft in a sun-synchronous orbit 370 miles (600km) above the ground. This means it will always be in the path of sunlight, so will always be shining at different locations on Earth as it rotates

    The team is planning to place the spacecraft in a sun-synchronous orbit 370 miles (600km) above the ground. This means it will always be in the path of sunlight, so will always be shining at different locations on Earth as it rotates

    A previous proposal, which involved attaching a reflective panel of plastic to a cargo ship heading to the Mir space station, was designed to see if orbiting mirrors could illuminate cities or other parts of Earth by reflecting sunlight. Pictured is the Myak team

    A previous proposal, which involved attaching a reflective panel of plastic to a cargo ship heading to the Mir space station, was designed to see if orbiting mirrors could illuminate cities or other parts of Earth by reflecting sunlight. Pictured is the Myak team

    Students from the university are also taking part in the crowdfunded project to launch the orbital spacecraft

    Students from the university are also taking part in the crowdfunded project to launch the orbital spacecraft


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    Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3519589/Russia-s-radical-plan-launch-artificial-star-turns-Kickstarter-raise-funds-launch-August.html

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