The big picture

The N-prize is a competition for launching a 10-20 grams satellite with less than 1000 pounds. It must complete a minimum of 9 orbits above 100 km altitude. Their website is here: . The Alchemy team is posed to win the prize, and this blog is used as means to report the achievements and track the progress.

The whole system design contains these main elements: It consists of a solid fuel rocket, guided by a control system through a ground based radar. The payload is a satellite optically tracked by a ground based telescope.

So far the team has one member only. Hopefully this might change in the future. The team is open for new members.

03.11.2015 Update

Even if Vanguard 1 satellite is more advanced than Sputnik 1, I think it is a good model. It has a 16.5cm diameter, and an expected lifetime of 240 years. It can also be tracked optically. The launching rocket, Vanguard, had a 10 050 kg mass. It means 6837 kg of rocket are needed for each kg of satellite. For a 20 grams satellite it needs a 200 kg rocket (as the considered fuel performs a bit worse), and the satellite expected lifetime should be a little more than 3 years.

02.25.2017 Update

The fuel can be ignited, and a low accuracy guidance system can fit the budget. It’s a matter of time now. Probably a long time, because I don’t have so much free time.


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