Amateur Space News May 5, 2014

Bad news for the KickSat crowdfunded satellite mission, amateurs helping Nasa find asteroids, student and amateur rocket news, student space station research, amateur storm-spotting, and a Mars One from Malta are in today’s news.

KickSat, the crowdfunded space mission, may not succeed. Project organizer Zac Manchester announced that a technical glitch is preventing the satellite from releasing its Sprites - the satellites-on-a-chip that several hundred people sponsored via Kickstarter. Radiation appears to have reset the countdown clock which now won’t reach zero before KickSat re-enters the atmosphere. (Via Southgate Amateur Radio News)

The role of amateurs in Nasa’s Asteroid Grand Challenge was the subject of a San Jose Mercury News report. The latest app challenge to improve algorithms that spot asteroids ended on Friday with contributions from 422 people from 63 countries.

Broadalbin-Perth High School’s rocket team heading for this weekend’s Team America Rocket Challenge to compete for a share of $60,000 in scholarships and prizes. (Via the Leader-Herald of Gloversville, NY)

The Idaho Statesman shared pictures from the SpudRoc amateur rocket event. Organized by the Idaho prefecture of the Tripoli Rocketry Association, the event drew 75 people from around Idaho.

Texas middle and high school students want to send research to the International Space Station. Rockwall Independent School District’s students are chasing a spot on the ninth Student Spaceflight Experiments Program mission. The students will design their experiment in the Fall for a shot to space in 2015.

Amateurs needed to spot storms in Michigan. The professional managers at St Clair county’s weather-ready program wants more citizen volunteers to take part in SkyWarn and other weather spotting programs. They are also setting up twitter hashtags for local residents to use when they see an extreme weather event.

Mars One candidate Stephen Fenech spoke with the Malta Independent yesterday. A Maltese citizen, Fenech lives in Canada where he works as a television director. The 45-year old adventurer has travelled to every continent and filmed the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger. He made it into the next round of Mars One’s selection process where he hopes his experience will let him represent Malta on the fourth planet.