University of Alberta Needs Your Help
March 14, 2014

The University Of Alberta Needs Your Help

The University of Alberta is attempting to raise money through a crowd funding campaign to help it launch its first satellite into space.

AlbertaSat is being put on by a group of students and faculty at the university, aimed at designing, building, testing, launching and operating satellites. The project said it is looking to the public to help raise the launch fee for its first project, the Experimental Albertan #1 Satellite (Ex-Alta 1).

“Ex-Alta 1, while being Alberta’s first cube satellite, will study the lower thermosphere, study the effects and mechanics of space weather and participate in an international swarm-satellite mission involving 50 Cube Satellites,” the university wrote on its funding raising page.

The university said it has already reached its first milestone of raising $15,000, which works as a down payment for the launch cost. This money will help to guarantee the university a spot on the launch vehicle, but another $15,000 is still needed for the project to keep going.

Donations to the project can give anywhere from $5 to $10,000. Those who give $25 will receive a “shoutout” on social media pages operated by the university, while anyone who ponies up $100 gets their name in space via a chip inside the satellite.

Companies wanting to donate to the project will be able to have their company logo engraved onto the chip inside the satellite for just $1,000. For those wanting to throw down $10,000, the university is willing to provide all of the previous awards, as well as a 3D model of the satellite.

The university said with Ex-Alta 1 it is hoping to study space weather by observing plasma flow interacting with the earth’s magnetosphere and lower ionosphere with data from the QB50 constellation.

“The creation of the Ex-Alta 1 satellite represents the first satellite to be designed and built at the University of Alberta and signifies the starting point in the development of an aerospace program at the university,” the university said. “Our long term goal is to create a thriving aerospace industry in Alberta to diversify the economy and build on an already firm foundation of technological, scientific and engineering expertise.”

So far, the university has already $22,885 of its $30,000 goal due to the 186 backers through USEED. There are only seven days left on the funding project’s USEED.

“This is an amazing opportunity for all of us to participate in near-space exploration, and we want to share the opportunity with you. Anyone who donates will receive a tangible part of the mission as a memento, and will be able to point to sky and say “I helped make that possible.” We hope you’ll join us as we Lift Off Alberta!”

Image Credit: Thinkstock

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