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Production of variously-sized deployable models of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope to promote hands-on learning.
Production of variously-sized deployable models of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope to promote hands-on learning.
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238 backers pledged $28,633 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$28,633

238

Thank You
Thank You

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.

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About JWST

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.

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About Us

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.

http://www.mesatech.org
http://www.mesatech.org

Educational Outreach

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.

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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.

Assembling a 3D Printed 1/80th scale Micro Model is a Snap
Assembling a 3D Printed 1/80th scale Micro Model is a Snap

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!

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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.  

Rewards

 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.

Relative Sizes of Our Three Deployable Models
Relative Sizes of Our Three Deployable Models

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.

Summary of Reward Combination Packs
Summary of Reward Combination Packs

Stretch Goals

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.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About $5

    JDTM Fan Club
    A 3D printed keychain of the JWST primary mirror, your name on our website (if you like), and downloadable JWST education materials.

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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About $10

    Early Learners Club
    We'll make available for download an interactive PDF of a 3D subscale JWST CAD model for educational purposes as well as JWST related educational materials.

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    Coasters
    A four-pack of drink coasters, two each looking like the JWST segmented primary mirror and sunshield.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Micro Model Kit - Early Adopter
    Manually deployable and retractable snap-together 3D printed 1/80th scale handheld model kit for students of all ages to learn about JWST. Comes unassembled with assembly instructions plus a DVD of JWST related educational materials. Makes an ideal stocking stuffer or Christmas ornament gift.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Micro Model Kit
    Manually deployable and retractable snap-together 3D printed 1/80th scale handheld model kit for students of all ages to learn about JWST. Comes unassembled with assembly instructions plus a DVD of JWST related educational materials. Makes an ideal stocking stuffer or Christmas ornament gift.

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Micro Model Combo Pack
    Get a pack of our awesome JWST novelties along with your Micro Model Kit described above. This includes the Keychain, 4-Pack of Coasters and of course the 1/80th JWST Micro Model !

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Mini Model Kit - Early Adopter
    Manually deployable and retractable snap-together 3D printed 1/40th scale model kit for students of all ages to learn about JWST. Twice the size of the Micro model, but still easily handheld. Comes unassembled with assembly instructions plus a DVD of JWST related educational materials.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Mini Model Kit
    Manually deployable and retractable snap-together 3D printed 1/40th scale model kit for students of all ages to learn about JWST. Twice the size of the Micro model, but still easily handheld. Comes unassembled with assembly instructions plus a DVD of JWST related educational materials.

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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    Mini Model Combo Pack
    Get a pack of our awesome JWST novelties along with your Mini Model Kit described above. This includes the Keychain, 4-Pack of Coasters and of course the 1/40th JWST Mini Model !

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Super Model Combo Pack
    Can’t get enough subscale JWST models? This reward will get you one 1/80th scale Micro Model and one 1/40th scale Mini Model, each as described above, plus a 4-Pack of Coasters and a Keychain.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Educators Kit
    Three copies of our manually deployable and retractable snap-together 3D printed 1/40th scale Mini model kits, for you or to the school of your choice, so students of all ages can learn about JWST. Kits come unassembled with assembly instructions plus a DVD of JWST related educational materials.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Double Combo Pack
    Twice the punch, with two 1/80th scale Micro Models, two 1/40th scale Mini Models, four 4-Packs of Coasters and ten Keychains.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Triple Play Pack
    Three's the charm, with three 1/80th scale Micro Models, three 1/40th scale Mini Models, six 4-Packs of Coasters and fifteen Keychains.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Keychains Galore
    Spread the charm, with 500 of our Keychains that look like the JWST primary mirror.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Four Bagger Pack
    Circle the bases, with four 1/80th scale Micro Models, four 1/40th scale Mini Models, eight 4-Packs of Coasters and twenty Keychains.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Party Coasters
    Share the fun, with fifty 4-packs (200 total) of Coasters that look like the JWST primary mirror and sunshield, along with 200 Keychains.

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    6-Pack of Fun
    Stay cool, with six 1/80th scale Micro Models, six 1/40th scale Mini Models, twelve 4-Packs of Coasters and twelve Keychains.

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    Decadal Survey
    Steer clearly, with ten 1/80th scale Micro Models, ten 1/40th scale Mini Models, twenty 4-Packs of Coasters and twenty Keychains.

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    Pledge $450 or more About $450

    12-Pack of Fun
    Stay twice as cool, with twelve 1/80th scale Micro Models, twelve 1/40th scale Mini Models, twenty-four 4-Packs of Coasters and twenty-four Keychains.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Micro Models Class Pack
    Celebrate your class graduation in Micro style, with 50 copies of our manually deployable and retractable snap-together 3D printed 1/80th scale Micro model kits, along with 50 Keychains that look like the JWST primary mirror.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Mini Models Class Pack
    Celebrate your class graduation in Mini style, with 25 copies of our manually deployable and retractable snap-together 3D printed 1/40th scale Mini model kits, along with 25 Keychains that look like the JWST primary mirror.

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    Pledge $550 or more About $550

    Micro Models Event Pack
    Celebrate your event in Micro style, with 50 copies of our 1/80th scale Micro models, 50 of our 4-packs of Coasters and 50 Keychains.

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Manually Deployable Model - Early Adopter
    One of our 1/20th scale manually deployable JWST Deployable Models, like the prototypes we use in public events and that you see in our videos, but without any actuators or electronics. This tabletop demonstrator deploys to about 1 meter in length manually, then stows manually for subsequent deployments. Packaged as two assemblies made from CNC milled, 3D printed and molded parts.

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Mini Models Event Pack
    Celebrate your event in Mini style, with 50 copies of our 1/40th scale Mini models, 50 of our 4-packs of Coasters and 50 Keychains.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Combo Models Event Pack
    Share JWST charm at your next event, with 50 copies of our 1/40th scale Mini models, 50 copies of our 1/80th scale Micro models, 100 of our 4-packs of Coasters and 100 Keychains.

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    Pledge $1,250 or more About $1,250

    Manually Deployable Tabletop Model
    One of our 1/20th scale manually deployable Tabletop Models, as described above, plus the following:
    Two of our 1/80th scale Micro deployable models, Two of our 4-packs of Coasters, and Five of our Keychains.

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Robotic Deployable Model - Early Bird Special
    One of our 1/20th scale robotic JWST Deployable Models, like the prototypes we use in public events and that you see in our videos. This tabletop demonstrator deploys to about 1 meter in length on command from your computer, then stows manually for subsequent deployments. Comes with everything needed for a fully functional deployable model, though slewing is manual. Packaged as two assemblies made from CNC milled, 3D printed and molded parts. Fully integrated with Arduino micro controller, servos, support electronics, operating software GUI, guidebook and free online learning resources.

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    Pledge $1,750 or more About $1,750

    Robotic Deployable Tabletop Model - Next In Line
    One of our 1/20th scale robotic JWST Deployable Tabletop Models, as described above, plus the following:
    Two of our 1/40th scale Mini deployable models, Five of our 4-packs of Coasters, and Ten of our Keychains.

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    Robotic Deployable Model - Early Adopter
    One of our 1/20th scale robotic JWST Deployable Tabletop Models, as described above, plus the following:
    Five of our 1/40th scale Mini deployable models, Ten of our 4-packs of Coasters, and Twenty-Five of our Keychains.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Robotic Deployable Model
    One of our 1/20th scale robotic JWST Deployable Tabletop Models, as described above, plus the following:
    Ten of our 1/40th scale Mini deployable models, Twenty of our 4-packs of Coasters, and Fifty of our Keychains.

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    Pledge $2,650 or more About $2,650

    Robotic Deployable and Slewing Model - Early Bird Special
    One of our 1/20th scale robotic JWST Deployable Models, like the prototypes we use in public events and that you see in our videos. This version includes our Yaw and Pitch platform that enables slewing of the model from your computer, to simulate how JWST operates during science mode. This tabletop demonstrator deploys to about 1 meter in length on command from your computer, then stows manually for subsequent deployments. Comes with everything needed for a fully functional deployable and slewing model. Packaged as two assemblies made from CNC milled, 3D printed and molded parts. Fully integrated with Arduino micro controller, servos, support electronics, operating software GUI, guidebook and free online learning resources.

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    Pledge $2,800 or more About $2,800

    Robotic Deployable and Slewing Model - Next In Line
    One of our 1/20th scale robotic and slewing JWST Deployable Tabletop Models, with the Yaw and Pitch platform, just as described above, plus the following:
    Five of our 1/40th scale Mini deployable models, Five of our 1/80th scale Micro deployable models, Ten of our 4-packs of Coasters, and Twenty-Five of our Keychains.

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    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    Robotic Deployable and Slewing Model
    One of our 1/20th scale robotic and slewing JWST Deployable Tabletop Models, with the Yaw and Pitch platform, just as described above, plus the following:
    Ten of our 1/40th scale Mini deployable models, Ten of our 1/80th scale Micro deployable models, Twenty of our 4-packs of Coasters, and Fifty of our Keychains.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Museum Kiosk Edition Backer
    Help us develop a version of our robotic deployable model for display in kiosks at public museums around the globe. This more advanced model will automatically deploy, slew, and retract every 15 minutes during exhibit times for a full year before needing maintenance. You'll be supporting a great new hands-on robotics experience for college engineering students, as they work with our staff to overcome the technical challenges of this new development project. We'll ship you one of our 1/20th scale robotic JWST Deployable and Slewing Models plus three of our snap-together 3D printed Mini models, each as described above. In addition, we'll add your name to the Backers Plaque we include on the base of the very first fully-functional Museum Kiosk edition of our robotic deployable tabletop model when we complete this development and donate that model to the Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC for their use in engaging the public on JWST.

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    Pledge $7,000 or more About $7,000

    Balloon Flight Edition - Risk Mitigation Unit
    Support two part-time college engineering students in their paid work/study project that will refurbish one of our original five prototype 1/20th scale Tabletop deployable models to be outfit with cameras and used as a Risk Mitigation Unit (RMU) that will be put through shock, vibration and thermal vacuum testing. Receive not only that RMU (after all testing is complete) but also videos of the RMU during its environmental tests as well as one of our fully functional 1/20th scale Tabletop sized Robotic and Slewing Deployable Models as described above. This is a distinct and optional precursor activity to our planned Engineering Development Model (EDM) described below. Both seek to advance development of an upgraded version of our 1/20th scale deployable model that is capable of being fully deployed at the edge of space on one of NASA's future high-altitude scientific exploration balloon flights and operated autonomously with onboard cameras to record realistic model deployments at the edge of space.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Balloon Flight Edition - Development Model
    Receive our planned Engineering Development Model (EDM) of an upgraded version of our 1/20th scale deployable model that is capable of being fully deployed at the edge of space on one of NASA's future high-altitude scientific exploration balloon flights. Operates autonomously with onboard cameras to record realistic model deployments at the edge of space. Help support this Balloon Flight development educational opportunity for college engineering students. Also includes one of our fully functional 1/20th scale Tabletop sized Robotic and Slewing Deployable Models as described above.

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  37. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Four-Pack of Robotic Deployable and Slewing Models
    Four of our 1/20th scale robotic JWST Deployable Models, like the prototypes we use in public events and that you see in our videos and exactly as described above, including our Yaw and Pitch platform for slewing the model from your computer. Ideal for larger organizations broadly interested in JWST. In addition, we'll include Twenty of our 1/40th scale Mini deployable models, Twenty of our 1/80th scale Micro deployable models, Fifty of our 4-packs of Coasters, and One Hundred of our Keychains.

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Funding period

- (30 days)