Hi, this is Randy Chung, CEO and co-founder of SpaceFab.US, and Sean League, Director of Spacecraft Engineering and also co-founder of SpaceFab.US.
A lot has been happening at SpaceFab, and we’d like to give an update to the general astronomy community, and to those of you who we met at SpaceComm in Houston last November, at the AAS conference in January earlier this year, at SPIE in San Francisco and Anaheim, at the Cubesat Workshop in San Luis Obispo, and to those of you who attended our presentations at Orange County Astronomers and Rose City Astronomers in Portland in July.
We’ve seen an extraordinary response to our presentations about SpaceFab’s commercial space telescope and asteroid mining and space manufacturing business plan.
We received great feedback on the initial design of our 12U cubesat telescope, which can be used both for astronomy and Earth observation. The 48 megapixel main camera is unchanged, the EMCCD/UV camera has been upgraded from 2 megapixels to 8 megapixels, and the third camera will be a 150 band hyperspectral camera instead of a Near-IR camera. The early satellite telescope design had four booms for the secondary mirror system, and has been changed to use three booms for lower cost.
The architectural design of the satellite is finished. We have identified all the sources and vendors for the major components, and we are currently working on the mechanical, optical, and electronic designs. We’ve decided on the SoC FPGA (System on Chip Field Programmable Gate Array), and how it will control the spacecraft, interface to the cameras, and process the images.
We now have an agreement with a major U.S. university to place our optical ground station at their observatory site. Our ground station will have a robotically controlled Planewave telescope, and the university will be able to use it except when our satellites are making a ten minute pass every 24 hours. We are looking for a second location, so if you are aware of any space available at an observatory site, please let us know at email@example.com .
We have identified the filters that will be on the satellite, and are listed below. In addition to the filters, a polarizer or a 2X focal reducer can be inserted.
Waypoint Satellite Filter Types
A simulated picture of the M51a (NGC 5194) and M51b (NGC 5195) galaxies are shown below. Each pixel is .6 arc seconds in size, which corresponds to the telescope’s target resolution.
The next development steps are to start writing satellite software, continue working on the mechanical and optical design, designing our high precision star trackers, and design the optical communication transmitter and optical ground receiver.
As you may know, we have a partner who has offered us two launch slots on his Falcon 9 when his communications satellite is launched. We still intend to launch our first Waypoint space telescope in 2019. Our space telescope satellite has the most features, the most utility, and the lowest cost compared to other satellites of similar size. We believe this project will more than break even, and any profits will be used to help fund our efforts in asteroid mining and exponential space manufacturing.
Our Wefunder Investment Portal
Many of you have expressed interest in investing in SpaceFab.US, and supporting our space venture in building space telescopes, asteroid mining, and exponential space manufacturing. We want to allow the public to invest in our space company. We have been working with Wefunder for almost a year to set up a crowdfund investment campaign and we are close to opening the campaign, but we need to show that there is investment interest from people like you.
If you are interested in getting investment information, you can sign up as a potential investor at https://Wefunder.com/signup . You are under no obligation to invest, signing up allows you get investor information not available to the general public. You don’t have to be an accredited investor, and the investment is even open to non-US citizens.
If you don’t see any fundraising campaign information about SpaceFab after you’ve signed up, it would help us get the campaign released if you sent Wefunder an email to firstname.lastname@example.org telling them that you want to see the investment information about SpaceFab.
You can read more about us, including our asteroid mining and space manufacturing plans, at our website: www.spacefab.us
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