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MIT student group offers sponsorship in space

MIT's student-led Mars Gravity Biosatellite
Program is publicly launching a unique effort to pay its way into
space today through its new website,
The group
is offering to put logos, photos, messages and other images on its
new Earth-orbiting research spacecraft which will be launched into
orbit in 2010. The website allows organizations and individuals to
make tax-deductible donations to the project. In return, donors can
post images on the satellite.
The goal of the program is to study how Martian gravity -- about
one-third that of Earth -- will affect the mammalian body, helping to
pave the way for future manned missions to Mars. The program, which
is a collaboration with Georgia Tech, is the largest American
student-led spacecraft design program with over 450 student
participants from universities around the world.
"Compared to traditional aerospace missions this project is a
bargain, but our progress is still funding dependent," said Rosamund
Combs-Bachmann, assistant program coordinator for the project. The
students need funds to design, implement, launch and operate the
mission. Their initial goal is to raise $500,000 to reach their next
major design review in 2007.
There will be at least 100,000 square centimeters of open area on the
spacecraft to place images on. The entry price is $35 for one square
centimeter of space. While in orbit, content on the outside of the
spacecraft will be photographed with views of the Earth and space.
Donors who choose a location on the outside of the spacecraft can
receive photographs of their logo from space, while donors who choose
a location inside the return vehicle will receive the piece of
spacecraft hardware bearing their logo or other message after the
To learn more, please visit:

Heather Manning | MIT News Office
Further information:

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