NASA Engineer to Fire (Tiny) Death Star Into Space
Tom Spendlove posted on April 22, 2019 |

Blaze Sanders is a former NASA engineer with a passion for space, open source philosophy, and Star Wars. He’s very interested in the idea that humanity will need to leave the Earth someday, and wants to contribute to the technology required for rocket launches. His current project is called Death Star in Space, and is running a Kickstarter campaign to launch a small Death Star and nine small Alderaans into orbit inside a rocket.

When Rod Pyle estimated the cost to build a full sized Death Star in 2016 his total was $850 quadrillion, so Blaze has set his sights on a much smaller version able to fit inside a United Frontiers Discovery X rocket. The Death Star will be 3D printed from ULTEM 9085 material and contain a Roger 4003 printed circuitboard. The unit has a 119 x 199 x 113 millimeter footprint, and weighs 5.29 pounds. The system will reside in a SpaceBox aboard the rocket. Two lasers, one 150 milliWatt and the other 8 Watt, will beam out at the Alderaan models when the rocket is in orbit. Three BCAP0350 supercapacitors will power the lasers – Sanders says that the supercapacitors were chosen over batteries because of their ability to quickly input and output high amounts of power, and because the name sounds awesome. The United Frontiers rocket will launch toward the end of 2019 with a velocity of 2396 meters per second and an altitude of 110 kilometers. The system will experience an estimated 300 seconds of microgravity.

This project is a great mix of engineering and making with some programming thrown in too. It’s inspiring to think that any former NASA engineers can commission and manage a satellite mission into space. The campaign is not yet successful and ends on May 6, 2019.
















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