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An engineer from Ithica, New York is planning to send a box of tiny solar-powered radio transmitters into space and record their transmissions in order to demonstrate the research potential of low cost space crafts. The size of a couple of postage stamps – the space boffin has designed 300 chips that contain scaled down capabilities of larger spacecrafts including solar sells, a radio transceiver and a micro-computer with memory and sensors.
The Cornell University graduate found that even cheap space-research comes with a cost - specifically $30 000 - so to subsidise the project The aerospace engineer is offering people the opportunity to fund the venture. In exchange the "Sprite" satellites will broadcast your initials or personal message as they orbit the Earth. SPRITE MICROCHIPS The chips are the size of a couple of postage stamps but have solar cells, a radio transceiver, and a microcontroller. Picture: Kickstarter Source: Supplied Once in space amateur radio operators at the Genso Project will track the chip's transmissions. Though the chips have pretty basic functionality, Mr Manchester says he hopes to install thermometers and other sensors to the next generation of chips. Can’t afford $300? That’s okay, for donations of $25 or more you can have your name printed on of the panels of the KickSats box which will be used to launch the chips into space. $75 will earn you a non-functioning replica of the chip as a souvenir. That’s one small cost for man – and possibly one giant amateur space project for mankind.