Amateur Space News April 12, 2014

Amateur-related space news ranged from eighth-graders doing research on the International Space Station to next week’s launch of crowdfunded satellites to a student rocket project and a student satellite project.

Student research on the International Space Station took one step closer to space. Eighth grade students at St Peters School in Kansas City, Missouri, held a video conference with Houston-based Nanoracks. Their experiment will study the effect of microgravity on metal oxidation, or rust. The school is using Kickstarter to raise money to support the project’s $10,000 cost.

Make Magazine interviews Zac Manchester and Andy Filo about their crowdfunded KickSat satellite-on-a-chip project. KickSat rides into space on Monday’s SpaceX launch. It will release 200 Sprites, cracker-sized satellites built on a circuit-board. Manchester and Filo talk about how the convergence of technologies are bringing satellite technology within reach of amateurs.

An article in the York Dispatch highlighted the Spring Grove High School’s rocket team. Nasa had selected the team to take part in the Student Launch Initiative but later cancelled the program. The students found other sponsors and are now ready to launch their rocket 1,800 meters above the Pennsylvania countryside.

The student satellite team prepares for a Nasa Critical Design Review. According to Florida Today, the Merritt Island High School students are waiting for a new launch date after their StangSat was bumped from an August SpaceX launch.

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