We're trying to expand the extent of our ongoing education and public outreach activities about NASA's next great observatory, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). We developed and refined many prototypes of our small robotically controlled deployable models of JWST. We've used those models at dozens of public events held across the country to engage students, educators and the public in how NASA and ESA intend to get JWST out of the world's largest launch vehicle and unfold it into the size of a mansion to conduct its science mission
Our Goals and Commitments
We'd like your support, at any level, so we can produce many more of our deployable models and spread hands-on learning of JWST worldwide. If we reach our funding goal, we will:
- Build at least 10 more computer-controlled robotic tabletop models for our supporters, who in turn will be able to provide 10 more avenues for reaching out to the public and youth across the globe.
- Provide an opportunity for 10 more part-time college students to get a paid hands-on experience building these models.
- Build and deliver all deployable models our backers sponsor.
- Release into the open source this year our 3D printable design of the snap-together manually-deployable Mini model of JWST.
About Our Deployable Model
Here's a video of an end-to-end computer-controlled robotic deployment of our 1/20th scale tabletop size model of JWST that deploys to about 1 meter in length. We developed this model from scratch, using only public domain information, and then refined it with multiple prototypes and feedback during public demonstrations. We build, integrate and assemble all its mechanical components on our small CNC mills, 3D printers and other equipment, while leveraging open source Arduino micro controllers and software to develop its user-friendly controls interface.
To go beyond the great space achievements of the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA is developing the largest space telescope ever built, folding it up as small as possible, putting it on top of the world's largest rocket, and then operating it in deep space, five times farther from Earth than humans have ever gone. Because the Webb has to fold up to fit on top of the launch vehicle, it has to go through a series of robotic deployments, once in space, to unfold into its scientific configuration. These robotic deployments are one of the greatest challenges facing the Webb telescope, but also one of its most enabling achievements. For more information visit http://jwst.nasa.gov/about.html. To see a detailed animation of the flight deployments made by JWST's developers visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTxLAGchWnA.
We're a group of independent, like-minded people who love to engineer lasting improvements that make the world a better place. We've recently started up MESATech Ltd. as a small not-for-profit cooperative run by its members. Our mission is to help the next generation of engineers develop the skills and confidence to tackle unmet needs using applied technologies. We do this one person at a time, by providing mentored hands-on learning, development, and outreach opportunities within our technical interests and capabilities. The ingredients for this project started years ago, with a few young engineering students and an idea, to better explain NASA’s role in helping us all gain a deeper understanding of the universe we live in. Now those same engineers and their mentors founded MESATech as a way to give back to the next generation of technical minds by providing an opportunity to work with a team in a hands-on manner on technological advances that make a difference for everyone. With help from our Kickstarter supporters we hope to provide as many opportunities as we can: for college students to learn hands-on; for educators to inspire; and for the public to better understand how NASA, ESA, and other organizations develop large complex robotic deployable systems, one of the next great steps in space exploration.
Four years ago, we developed a 1/6th scale deployable model of the Webb that is currently touring NASA space centers across the country. However, due to the large size of this model, the audience it can reach is limited. To breach this gap, we developed a smaller, portable 1/20th scale tabletop size model of the Webb telescope that we can travel with and demonstrate in any venue. While small in comparison, the tabletop model goes through many of the same robotic deployments and can be operated wirelessly through a computer.
Mini & Micro Models
To help reach even more people, we've also developed multiple prototypes of two smaller, snap-together manually deployable models at 1/80th scale (Micro) and 1/40th scale (Mini) model that are entirely 3D printed. These models capture many realistic features of the Webb telescope and are ideal for educators to use when discussing with young students how deployable spacecraft work. All of these subscale models incorporate many of the major deployments and subsystems of the JWST telescope, spacecraft and sunshield. With your support we plan to make final refinements and enter into production.
Our 1/40th scale 3D-printed Mini model of JWST goes through all the major deployments, as you can see below. The Mini is great for educators because it is small enough to fit in a carry-on when traveling but large enough to engage a full room. Get a Mini and spread hands-on learning of JWST to all!
How You Can Help
We seek your support in moving our prototypes into larger scale production so we can provide as many of these models as possible to our supporters. We hope you're able to offer your support at any level, so we can provide this hands-on learning experience for students, educators and interested people around the globe.
Our primary objective is to produce more of our Tabletop (1/20th scale) deployable models of JWST, to get them into your hands for use in front of more students and interested people around the globe. After developing and demonstrating many Tabletop model prototypes, we're ready to produce as many as our backers want. Supporting this objective we've also prototyped simpler, manually deployable 3D printed models at smaller 1/40th scale (Mini) and 1/80th scale (Micro) sizes.
We've made sure our Rewards provide more JWST for everyone to enjoy.
- All backers get at lest one of our Keychains
- All backers of our Manual Tabletop Model also get at least one Micro Model and one Coaster 4-pack
- All backers of our Robotic Tabletop Model also get at least one Mini Model and one Coaster 4-pack
- All backers of our Robotic Slewing Tabletop Model also get at least one Micro Model, one Mini Model and one Coaster 4-pack
- All backers of our other Tabletop Models also receive additional types and quantities of our other Rewards, with our big THANKS.
We've also created these combination packs of our Rewards, to provide more choices to people who want to back our campaign.
Stretch Goal #1 - If we reach $35,000 of your support, we will complete and release to ALL of our supporters an iPhone and Android App that enables full remote control of our robotic tabletop models.
Thank You !
We'd like to thank all of you for taking the time to learn about our deployable models and for any support you can provide to help Kickstart us into production. We'd also like to thank the wonderful team of people at the organizations from across the globe who conceived, developed, built, and are now testing the James Webb Space Telescope.
Risks and challenges
We recognize there are a number of challenges we will face as we try to balance the quantity of our models with the costs of production. The more support we get the closer we will be to achieving our goal of reaching countless people with this hands-on learning opportunity about next generation large space deployables like NASA's JWST.
Through development of prototype and demonstration models we've refined our production cost model as well as carefully studied the costs of building our smaller snap-together 3D printed Mini and Micro models. We understand these costs well and plan on producing as many models as we're committing to in this Kickstarter. However, we're humble enough to realize these are just estimates. That's were you come in. By supporting us at any level, and in particular by helping us achieve a large number of tabletop model rewards you'll help us leverage the cost advantages of production runs that will provide us a margin of safety on our estimated production costs.
We've estimated the delivery dates of your rewards as best we can. These estimates reflect us capturing detailed time logs of what it takes us to make all of our tabletop and small snap-together models to date. We've also fully considered our small parts manufacturing capabilities and limitations. We've reviewed, scrubbed, refined, and settled on balancing our desire to get you your reward as soon as practical with the reality of the time it takes to do so properly. We added some modest schedule margin into the reward dates as you see them here. We've also structured our reward categories such that the smaller quantity of models ordered earlier can be delivered earlier. Here again is where you can help. By supporting us at any level you'll be providing some buffer to the resources we can bring to bear on any unforeseen hiccups in the model parts production, assembly, checkout, packaging and delivery process we've planned on.
Thanks in advance for your support.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)