Before we can actually look at the theoretical and costing factors of launching KiwiSAT, we have to either get it flight-ready with our existing hardware and within our existing budget, or do some (possibly expensive) upgrading of some hardware items.
The first is the batteries. The existing set has been installed in KiwiSAT for 10 years. They are performing OK, but there is doubt that they would last another 10 years. We do have another (new) set that we want to install, but that means completely dismantling everything in the space frame, cleaning it, and re-assembling it. It will be a very intricate, time-consuming, and challenging exercise.
The second is our solar cells. KiwiSAT has been operational for the last ten years using a terrestrial 230v power supply - the solar cells have been purchased, but they need to be mounted on their space panels, ready for bolting into place on the mounting holes already drilled into KiwiSAT’s frame. Mounting, gluing, and attaching the panels to the mounting frames is a very delicate and precision exercise. Space, in full sunlight in a weightless environment, at a speed of tens of thousands of kilometres per hour, will not be very forgiving on shoddy construction practices.
The core group members have been asked to commit to providing two teams to undertake these two hardware projects. Brief Project Specs have been provided to assist Core Members in assessing their involvement, should they offer to do it.
It is preferable that these teams be located in the Auckland area - but other offers will be considered.