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SSTL's A-Listers to get their names in Space

Who's boldly going on TechDemoSat-1?
As well as flying an impressive set of new and innovative payloads for industry and academia, TechDemoSat-1 will also carry names into space – but you have to be very special to be on our list!

The story begins back in 2011 with an opportune gap on the spacecraft, designed originally for an additional payload that was removed from the mission early on. Having already completed the platform design, we then needed to fly a “mass dummy” – something weighing the same as the missing payload – in order to validate our design, structural requirements and test campaign. And rather than flying a blank piece of metal, we decided to give a local charity, Challengers the chance to “virtually” go into space!

Supporters of the charity, Crisp Thinking and Menzies Chartered Accountants, donated funds to have their names engraved alongside the charity’s new logo on a plaque which has been mounted on the spacecraft . Representatives from all three organisations were also invited for a VIP visit to come and see the spacecraft for themselves in our cleanroom, before TechDemoSat-1 was boxed up, ready for shipping to the launch site.
Challengers provides exciting and challenging play and leisure opportunities for disabled children and young people and short breaks for their carers and it was SSTL’s chosen charity for our fund-raising efforts in 2013.

Next up with a request were our friends at the British Interplanetary Society, celebrating their 80th anniversary and seeking an in-orbit ride, and we were happy to oblige. We found a spot on the interior of one of the spacecraft’s panels for a small engraved plaque, precision machined in high grade aluminium alloy to depict the Society’s 80th Anniversary Logo.
The BIS plaque was sponsored by Reaction Engines Limited and was made in the company’s machining division, Brite Precision
And lastly, SSTL staff are finally getting the longed-for opportunity of going into orbit - well, virtually anyway! Our names are engraved on the reverse of the charity plaque, and very soon we’ll be lifting off with TechDemoSat-1!





29 May 20140 Comments1 Comment

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