“We Invested, Not Because It Is Shiny”

Why the “Rocketbank” and experts in the field of Astronautics was pleased with the crowdfunding launch of Sputnik “Mayak”, and users are disappointed. 14 July 2017 at the cosmodrome “Baikonur” launched rocket “Soyuz-2.1 a” which delivered into orbit of 72 small spacecraft, including Sputnik “Mayak”, which, according to the creators, was to deploy a pyramid of metalized polymer film and become “the brightest star in the sky”.

The authors of the spacecraft — engineering students of the Moscow Polytechnic University, which raised funds for “the lighthouse” using kraudfandingovom platform Boomstarter. The campaign ended on 10 March 2016. Assistance in project engineers had the advertising Agency 12.Digital and “Rocketbank”.

The cost of the project “lighthouse” amounted to more than 5.1 million rubles, of which directly to create, test and run went the 2.7 million rubles. The remaining funds were directed to the organization of crowdfunding, videoproduction, events and PR campaign, as well as website creation and mobile apps. With the help of fundraising on Boomstarter and on the project website, the creators of “Lighthouse” managed to collect almost 2 million rubles. Another 1.9 million rubles provided the “Rocketbank” is the total income amounted to 3.9 million rubles.

The difference in value temporarily covered Agency 12.Digital, which continues to raise funds to cover all expenses. Objectives of the project, in addition to the stated brightness, began the popularization of cosmonautics and space research in Russia, as well as increasing the attractiveness of scientific and technical education among the youth. In addition, Mayak needs to test the aerodynamic brakes, which in the future will allow to reduce the orbit space debris, and examine the density of the air in the upper atmosphere.

It is expected that the spacecraft will descend from an orbit on 15 August 2017 and will burn up in the atmosphere. To track the position of the satellite in the sky the authors of “the Lighthouse” presented a special application for devices based on Android. The iOS version is awaiting approval from the App Store.

In comments to be published on the website GeekTimes on the launch of Beacon, a discussion arose about the correctness of the calculations about the potential for satellite to become “the brightest star in the sky.”. Community members who have invested money in the project on Boomstarter, accused the authors of failing to the stated promises. The Lord had originally set an impossible goal, distorting all thought, and rushed to implement on the knee, and when they have it, went into denial and eventually even launched. The money was gathered at a bright reflector, not a very simple by modern standards companion for a fun group of students the author of the project.

Because of this, all the questions. If the satellite will not be able to see and identify with the naked eye, then all your project has clearly failed, because that was the root of all the beautiful statements in the campaign, and that is what people gave money. Otherwise we are back to the fact that the Baker just took part in charity and student activities.

The head of the team of promotion of the project “Mayak” and the head of the Agency 12.Digital Alexander Panov in conversation with vc.ru told that it is impossible to say that the companion was bright enough. However, he admitted such an outcome. The team, according to Panova, it is necessary to obtain data and is opened if the dome of the apparatus, taut whether the reflective film and what is the frequency of rotation of the satellite. Affect the visibility of the machine and high clouds.

For information about the device, the inventor of the “Lighthouse” and the head of the project Alexander Saenko had to go to one of the observatories “in the South of the country,” said Panov. “The dome is opened, the rest of the experience engineering team. They need more time,” he said. We all understand that this crowdfunding project a rebellious and unusual.

When we announced that the device will become the brightest star, that was based on their calculations. Even if the satellite will not become the brightest star for some reason (and while it is too early to say), we still happy I started it. We were the first in Russia have passed this way — from the inception of ideas, the team of enthusiasts to launch the device. Gentry also noted that this is not science, and popularization project, which is made to show that a team of enthusiasts can run your camera.

Mayak proved that the space will be able to engage not only government and large corporations, but also ordinary enthusiasts, he said. We do not give product output. We raised money for project enthusiasts, which by default was not a grocery. To tell that someone is unhappy that we are not sufficiently bright — its weird.

At the same time, experts in the space believe that the original promise of the team about the brightness of the Beacon sounded doubtful. But the project itself isnt any less important, said vc.ru popularizer of Astronautics and the author of the blog “Open space Green cat” Vitaly Yegorov. According to him, the launch of the “Lighthouse” — good experience for a young team of developers of space technology.

The satellite also serves as an example for enthusiasts who would like to start doing similar projects. Egorov believes that the calculations of the brightness of the device was based smooth reflective surface like a mirror. It was launched a shiny crumpled foil comparable to the foil. The surest proof that the pyramid of the satellite opened, it will be a rapid decline in comparison with other satellites in the same run.

It is too early to say that it was revealed. When thinking about the high brightness, it may increase due to the reduction of the apparatus and will reflect a bit more light. But it hardly compares to the brightness of the star Sirius.

Egorov believes that the entire campaign “Lighthouse” was built on a promise of brightness, and people donated only out of a desire to see the satellite in the sky. Many supported the project because it created “a young team of enthusiasts who wanted to touch the cosmos.”. The expert noted that the Russian space industry, crowd funding — a rare case. The author of the blog encouraged participants to donate to the creation and launch of Beacon, calling it an interesting initiative.

In such space projects, according to Yegorov, there is always the risk of failure. “Is the space in it, even people are dying. A hundred percent no one can not guarantee anything”, — he said.

Head of laboratory of Aerospace engineering, Moscow state University of M. In. Lomonosov Nikolay Vedenkin believes that the claims of users GeekTimes justified because, in his opinion, it was clear that the “lighthouse” will be faded. If we talk about the brightness, the engineers obviously made a mistake in the size of his “Lighthouse”. Because even the ISS reflects light is not very bright as the North star about. But the station hundreds of times more than “the lighthouse”.

Therefore, the error was in lack based on reflection. While working on “the Beacon” Vedenkin in conversation with vc.ru called interesting and correct idea, but the satellite launch is a major milestone for Russian space industry. According to him, the project brought together people who love space, and the creators were able to raise the funds to make the spacecraft and launch it into space.

The expert believes that to build a satellite which could be called “the brightest star”, really. But in this case its size should be three times higher than the ISS. “Rocketbank” support “lighthouse” not only providing funds for the start of the project, but in their action, which allows customers to get increased cashback on all purchases for 40 minutes after the satellite will appear over their region.

In a press-service Rocketbank vc.ru said that he supported the initiative “not because the satellite shines,” and for other stated goals of the project — testing of the braking and the ability to collect space debris. The organization, according to its representative, impressed by the idea of the creators project to launch the satellite into space. There is a possibility and we do not exclude that the experiment will fail. We are talking about science, and we must always be prepared for the fact that not everything. We as the Bank considered it important to support and try this experiment, because it potentially solves a serious problem.

In addition, when the “Rocketbank” he created — it was also an experiment that few believed. Send your column about how our world will change, [email protected]

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