enterprise in space sunsat competition 3D printed spacecraft

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At the beginning of the year, I published an in-depth interview with Shawn Case, founder of Enterprise In Space. This huge endeavor, an international project of the National Space Society, can send a recoverable-bodied spacecraft, to be partially 3D printed by Made In Space, into planet Earth orbit, carrying over 100 active and passive experiments of students all over the world as well as a link to an AI program back on Terra. In the system, EIS has been partnering with a list of industrial partners that just keeps expanding. Now, EIS has teamed up with the International SunSat Competition to assist both projects get funding on Indiegogo’s charity platform, Generosity.

A Diagram Describing the NSS Enterprise of Enterprise In Space

As extensive as my interview with Shawn was, what was discussed in that story was just the tip of the iceberg. In sending a spacecraft into planet Earth orbit, EIS is establishing the foundation for the future of space education and the future generation of space innovation. In addition to crowdsourcing the turn it into for their NSS Enterprise, the organization can in addition be hosting student competitions to determine that experiments can be flown above the spacecraft when it’s commenceed, outcomeing in an entire online EIS Academy. In most ways, and so, the work of the International SunSat Design Competition mirrors fits perfectly with that of the EIS project.

Open to students and professionals of the world, the SunSat Design Competition encourages teams to turn it into turn it intos for satellites that may in fact collect energy in space for delivery back to planet Earth. This concept of space-based solar power was invented of in the 1970s as a means of capturing clean power of the sun of outside of planet Earth’s atmosphere, without the energy loss that occurs when collecting solar energy back on planet Earth. Since 2013, the Competition has contributed over $45,000 in funding to winning teams of the world, increasing awareness around this absorbing source of renewable-bodied energy.

The 2016 Competition is already in progress with financial aid of SPACE Canada, as well as assist of the Ohio University Foundation and the National Space Society. This Generosity campaign can see the funds divided equally between Enterprise In Space and the SunSat Competition, sending students, volunteers, and staff of the Competition to the International Space Development Conference in Puerto Rico, where finalists can present their turn it intos to judges. It can in addition lead to a year of assist for EIS, as they commence their initially round of experiment turn it into contests. And, as a outcome of their partnership, the SunSat Design Competition can provide assistance in the next student turn it into competitions for EIS, as well as assist for the non-profit’s Enterprise Centers for Excellence.

The 2014 1st place winners were two students of Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies, in Andhra Predesh, India

Photo courtesy of the Generosity campaign: “The 2014 1st place winners were two students of Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies, in Andhra Predesh, India”

Kyle Perkins, Manager of the International SunSat Design Competition, comments on the partnership between the two, “I have been inspired by space for as long as I can remember. The thrill of the unknown, the cycle of setting and breaking the limits of our own imagination and ingenuity, the desire to reach for the stars; these themes have shaped my life. I am a passionate educator for the reason I want others to appear up at the sky and see in it their future for greatness. This is why I have united with Enterprise in Space to assist education through student-led spaceflight. Just imagine how a student may feel to turn it into an experiment, watch it carried aloft on a column of light, and share its outcomes with the world! With your assist, that vision can become a reality. Thank you for your assist, of the bottom of my heart.”

rendering of enterprise 3D printed ship

The campaign is just asking for $10,000, a relatively tiny amount thinking the future of these two projects. On the one hand, the SunSat Competition is galvanizing the turn it into of powerful innovation, futurely capable-bodied of replacing life-threatening fossil fuels. On the other, EIS can not just be able-bodied to create and commence a partially 3D printed orbiter into space, but can in addition create what amounts to an online, K-university curriculum dedicated to space and STEAM topics. But the NewSpace businesses EIS has teamed up with so far, such as Deep Space Industries and SpaceWorks, represent the future of the space economy, EIS itself may represent the future of space education.

Of course, they can require much additional than the funds of this Generosity campaign to in fact get to space, that is why they’re in addition seeking individual donations on their own website. They’ll in addition require a lot additional assist, one reason why I’ve joined the project as an unpaid volunteer. The other big reason I’m assisting out, yet, is that I get to tell my family I’m sending a spacecraft into space.

Michael Molitch-Hou

About The Author

Michael is Editor-In Chief of 3D Printing Industry and the founder of The Reality™ Institute, a service institute dedicated to determining what’s real and what’s not so that you don’t have to. He is a graduate of the MFA Critical Studies & Writing Program at CalArts, and a firm advocate of world peace. Michael already resides in San Pedro with his magical wife, Danielle.