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Design, manufacture and launch of a stratospheric satellite... to make beer. (and eventually, clear up space debris)

Our Mission was to design, build and launch a 1U CubeSat (microsatellite) in the harsh near-space stratospheric environment, completely in-house and with the focus to democratize space technology by pursuing affordable manufacturing processes. We succeeded, and in six months we had a successful stratospheric launch and a cubesat kit available for anyone wanting to do the same.

Rapid prototyping

Our team consisted of a Materials Expert, a Technical Engineer and  myself as Product Designer and Manager. 

I earned a 

We also prepared all the required documentation, plans (mechanical and electronic circuit designs) and run laser-cut tests on different materials.

Launching the cubesat

We succeeded in creating a microsatellite well within the limits of weight and environmental conditions, and run some initial tests to ensure everything worked (as much as possible). We detected early challenges and adjusted accordingly.. all the while working remotely. In the six months we worked on this project, the team came together only 3-4 times, even though we were meeting remotely every week.

Success: launch and recovery.

We included a vial of beer yeast as bio-payload from Amsterdam brewers Poesiat & Kater, to take it to the Stratosphere and back. At 2,5 g the vial was easy to include into the cubesat. Now we are in process of finding out if it survived the stratospheric trip, the cold and the wind, the solar radiation and the ozone layer… and if indeed it can be propagated to make Stratospheric Beer!)
You can read more about the launch here.

Quick facts

Departure: The Hague, Netherlands.
Burst: 50.3215, 5.7707 at 24,735 m altitude.
Coldest point: -37°C at 10 km altitude.
Landing site: 49.8747, 6.0242 at 458 m altitude, 9°C internal temp. (Luxembourg)
Total trajectory: 326.86 km

Moving forward

We have now made all the files available via GitHub here, and are preparing a set of educational materials to deliver this knowledge to the scientific community. 

The team was formed by Marco A Morales (BA Comm Design) as Product Manager and COO, Mikelis Putnieks (BSc Advanced Technology (Twente)) Engineering solutions and Frank Hofman, Investor.

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