It has been exciting to write personally to all who responded so positively to our call for help with progressing KiwiSAT to the flight-ready completion status. While we have yet to reach our funding target the help received has been quite tremendous.
Encouragingly the donations have been both large and small, all gratefully received. It is the combination of number and quality of assistance which is so rewarding way down here in the South Pacific.
KiwiSAT will carry the names and callsigns of all who contribute; this is a way of making sure you can get into space. From an earlier activity I know that my name is in orbit, I have the photo proof proudly displayed in my shack.
If you would like to have your name on that list just visit our funding page at http://kiwisat.org/funding.html .
Over the next few days we at AMSAT-ZL will be working to bring the latest news of our efforts to you all via our www.kiwisat.org site. We'll update the donations information and bring you some new pictures. The hope is that a regular visit will prove interesting to all involved.
If you are wondering about the funding process perhaps I should point out that we have broken this down into three phases. Firstly we want to complete the basic unit to flight-ready status. The second phase is to populate the surface with solar cells. This process has been identified and the costs isolated. We already have a third of our requirements in a special account ring-fenced for this purpose. A further source of funding for this phase has been identified and will be used in due course. Lastly, the launch. Again we have identified two sponsors and are firm in the understanding that there is no way that KiwiSAT will sit on a shelf - it will FLY! By the way, there are no administration costs associated with KiwiSAT, all meeting and other expenses being paid from our own pockets.
Its great to be directly involved after many years of being just a user and silent supporter in the Amateur Satellite Service. It's an interest I have held since OSCAR-I gave out its first HI - and its not just the satellites that have increased in complexity, what I wouldn't have given to have the station I now use back in those early days, hand made predictions, manual data collection, make-shift audio systems - all to collect the most basic of data.
Best wishes to all for a healthy and successful 2008.
73, Terry, ZL3QL - President AMSAT-ZL