Crowdfunded Russian Beacon Satellite Is An Orbital Mirror

A crowdfunded Russian orbiting mirror satellite named Beacon (Маяк) is starting to gain traction on the Russian site BoomStarter. (It's referred to as a "краудфандинговая" site, a transliteration that sounds like kraoudfandin-govaya when you say it.)

The Маяк is a solar-synchronized satellite that will use a 16 square meter shaped reflector to beam sunlight back to Earth in the night sky. Brightest star in the sky! At least that's the idea.


(Russian Beacon satellite video)

The team behind Mayak (which translates as "Beacon") has raised 1.72 million rubles ($23,000) on the Russian crowdfunding site Boomstarter (which looks suspiciously like Kickstarter). According to the group's page, the Russian space launch company Roscosmos has "Confirmed the possibility of (Mayak) being added to a launch on a Soyuz-2 rocket in the middle of 2016." The scheduled launch is also carrying the Canopus-B-IR satellite, an earth observation satellite for monitoring forest fires.

Like most crowdfunding efforts, this one comes with a mobile app, which will give users the location of the satellite at any time. And it has stretch goals as well—the next goal is to fund construction of a model of Mayak for Moscow's Museum of Cosmonautics. After that, the team hopes to construct an experimental atmospheric braking system that would help Mayak (and potentially other future satellites) re-enter the atmosphere and be recovered without the use of retro-rockets.

In the novelization of Star Wars: The Revenge of the Sith, orbital mirrors play an important part in the battle over Coruscant, the capital city of the Republic.

The skies of Coruscant blaze with war.

The artificial daylight spread by the capital's orbital mirrors is sliced by intersecting flames of ion drives and punctuated by starburst explosions...

Even better, in his 1941 story Completely Automatic, Theodore Sturgeon wrote about orbital mirrors:

That ship was quite something. There may be a few of them left - bulky old KH-type ore carriers. The series has been discontinued now, but it seems to me I saw one or two of them on the inter-asteroid runs a few years ago. Her capacity was something like two hundred thousand tons net and she was loaded to the ceil-plates with granular magnesium and sodium for the Sun mirrors of Titan. I don't have to tell you about the seven two-mile-diameter orbital mirrors that circulate around the satellite, making it habitable. You may not know, though, that the girders are all solid mag, because great rigidity isn't needed out there, and mag is cheap. The mirrors are silvered with sodium, which is bright and easy to handle.
(Read more about orbital mirrors)

Also, I have to say that the Beacon satellite kind of reminds me of the Tet satellite from the 2014 movie Oblivion, which I kind of liked. Which I suppose lends a somewhat sinister air to the Маяк satellite, which is intended as a gift to lovers, according to their video.


(The Tet satellite from Oblivion)

See the Russian crowdfunding site Космический спутник Маяк (Cosmic Sputnik Beacon) and ArsTechnica.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/19/2016)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

Miners! NASA Wants To License RASSOR Excavator
'The borers had been dismantled and packed away.' - Ray Cummings, 1930.

Starshade Will Help Space Telescope To Search For Exoplanets
'When it found planetary systems in its field, automatically shifted upon them a higher powered telespectroscope ...' - Edmond Hamilton, 1936.

Yes, But Do Astrobees Have Lasers For Lightsaber Training?
'... Ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.' - George Lucas, 1977.

Japan Uses Explosives On Asteroid
'...a tiny, rocket-powered projectile, drove towards the mysterious bulk. It hit, exploding into a cloud of incandescent vapour.' - EC Tubb, 1958.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Miners! NASA Wants To License RASSOR Excavator
'The borers had been dismantled and packed away.'

Bee+ Robobee Now With Four Wings
'It was a tiny thing, scarcely more than an inch and a half in length...'

CNSILK Robotic Spider Builder
'We could certainly spin a web right through the Solar System, if we can think of a good use for one.'

Starshade Will Help Space Telescope To Search For Exoplanets
'When it found planetary systems in its field, automatically shifted upon them a higher powered telespectroscope ...'

Tiny LEDs Developed For Dust-Sized Computers
'They use sparkles to talk to each other...'

Is There Extraterrestrial Life Here In The Solar System
'How fast is it moving? ...one meter per minute.'

Can We Comprehend Deep Learning Systems?
'You’ve nothing remotely like it, so I can’t describe it to you.'

Skin Electronics Can Show Electrocardiogram
'... the young men in the streets who applied polyimde OLED body film to their bared shoulders.'

Chinese Fern Helps Remediate Arsenic Soil
'Bioengeering had put out a spec report on the long crawly things five months back.'

Skai Air Taxi Costs The Same As Uber
'The air-taxi found its way past and around other ground-cars...'

Neurodevices For Consumers? Neuroethicists (And Philip K Dick) Say 'Caveat Emptor'
'They tried to use it today and it wouldn't work. No colors and no ceph patterns, neither one...'

NASA 3D Printed Habitat Challenge Won By AI SpaceFactory
3D printing - on Mars!

The Future Of Elon Musk's Neuralink
'Cerebral Electromagnetic Emmission Amplification and Relay System — call it artificial telepathy, if you like.'

Researchers Make You Say Anything in Videos
'[It] caused his televised image... to mouth the vowels and consonants beautifully.'

Jeff Bezos Tries Waldoes (Robotic Hands)
'Waldo put his arms into the primary pair before him...'

Asimov and Musk - Boring Company Tunnel vs. Street Race
'There was almost no sound, just a steady velvety whirr as the taxi sped along.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.