We will launch a miniature Star Wars Death Star and Alderaan planet model into space in time for the release of the Star Wars VII movie. The Death Star with working a laser and cameras will test laser communication and will trigger the Alderaan model to blow up using AR glasses as user output and a MYO armband as user input.. The Alderaan and Death Star models will contain people’s names and photos, which will be transmitted to distant stars via laser, and spoken in Darth Vaders voice.

This project is solving the SpaceBot Stereo Vision challenge.


I love Star Wars, and who doesn't... There have been proposals to build a Death Star in Space before. Just check out White House website at They estimated the cost at $850 Quadrillion for a full scale (120 km / 74.5 mile) diameter system; but I know we can send up to space a 20 centimeter / 7.87 inch diameter Death Star for a lot less. I have already put down the deposit for a XCOR space plane flight to 100 km, using ARETE STEM as the payload integrator. Now lets get the rest of the way to space together!

While in the shower (true story) three months ago I decided to make this happen, and today I'm OPEN SOURCING all the hardware, software, and KickStarter business analysis work I have put in so far. With this KickStarter we have ~27.3 days (one Lunar Month) to raise the money and attention of Walt Disney and make this happen. Lets walk through the mission objectives, as well as the engineering and marketing progress so far... PROJECT YOUTUBE VIDEO

Key Hardware Requirements:

  • The laser pointing body shall have an automatic computer vision based / back-up self targeting system should user input from AR / VR glasses or MYO stop functioning, with a max operating distance of 5 meters.
  • The Inertial Measurement Unit (code for YEI 3-Space is available on the GitHub) shall operate at +300 Hz and draw less than 0.05 Amps of continuous current at 5 Volts.
  • The microcontroller (Parallax Propeller with 8 parallel CPU's) shall run at at least 80 MIPS @ 80MHz, have at least 4 CPU cores, at least 64 KB of memory (32 KB RAM + 32 KB ROM), be 32 bit, have at least 16 GPIO pins, and draw less than 0.3 A of continuous current at 3.3 V.
  • Each camera (code for CMUCamera 2 is available on the GitHub) shall operate at a frame rate of at least 23 Hz, draw less than 0.2 Amps of continuous current at 5.0 Volts, and store VGA resolution images on a 64 GB SD card at 300 kilobits / second.
  • Each reaction wheel (placeholder code for RW-0.007-4 is on the GitHub) shall have a Nominal Momentum of at least 5 mNm-sec @ 4000 RPM, a Nominal Torque of 0.71 mNm, and draw less than 0.5 Watt @ full torque.
  • The voice speaker shall be 8 ohm and produce audio volume of at least 40 dBA.
  • The text to voice synthesizer (code for EMIC 2 is available on the GitHub and working system is in this projects video entry) shall create a Darth Vader voice which greater than 51% of team likes by Critical Design Review (CDR).
  • The communication subsystems shall allow communication between the Death Star and Alderaan planet model, as well connection to the ISS wifi (working with Nanorack and Saber Astronautics on this).

Key Software Requirements:

Key System Requirements:

  • The system must be on the ISS before Jan 5, 2016 do play off the PR buzz from the Star Wars VII movie release.
  • Mission control must process the following data using the Predictive Interactive Ground station Interface (PIGI); temperature, rotation rate (3-axis), acceleration (3 axis), direction to target (X, Y, Z), color of target, power level and data encoding of laser signal, battery level, MYO gesture sent to Death Star and Alderaan, camera frame rate and resolution, photo and name being displayed and/or spoken, and name of user wearing & controlling the VR/AR glasses.
  • The AR/VR glasses must create an virtual explosion, give orbital parameter data about the Death Star and Alderaan planet model (population, orbital parameter), output Darth Vader voice audio, and show video feed from the ISS and reach at least 4,000 student to promote STEM education subject such as; morse code, orbital mechanics, computer vision, laser communication benefits, sound in vacuum not carrying, or how a IMU works.

Cost Estimates:

Launch: SubTotal = $1 to $30K

  • LEO cost $30,000 on the Space-X CRS-8 mission.
  • Suborbital cost $6,000 to $20,000 with XCOR (cockpit or C pod)
  • High Altitude Balloon cost $1000 with JP Aerospace.

Hardware: SubTotal = $17 to $35K

  • 3D printing with Made In Space cost wiwPENDING PAPERWORK
  • Electronics cost $10,000 using PongSat Parts and Sol-X technology
  • Structures cost $5,000 using Flat Labs (Contracted) technology

Software: SubTotal = $8.5K

  • Autodesk Inventor License cost $8,000 for a Perpetual License
  • 12 Blocks cost $160 on the One Robot website
  • User Interface Apps costs $340 (i.e Pebble, Urthecast

Marketing: SubTotal = $1.5K

  • Facebook Ads cost $600 using keywords like Star Wars
  • Youtube Ads cost $900 via Patreon or Subbable

GRAND TOTAL IS $19.5 to $75K, so depending on the funding level reached, the Death Star and Alderaan planet models will get to space some way or other! The Kickstarter goal is $44,416 since; $19.5K is the minimal amount needed (balloon flight), on average our reward levels are priced at 104% profit (varies from 24% to 500%), and KickStarter + Fees takes 10% :(

KickStarter Draft -

Meta 1 Dev Kit Augmented Reality App:

My day job is Sr. Electrical Engineer at The AR / VR app we would complete for this project would; create an virtual explosion (NASA doesn't like real explosions on the ISS / is not remaking "Gravity" the movie), give orbital parameter data about the Death Star and Alderaan planet models (population, six orbital parameters, gravity, ...), output Darth Vader's voice, accept MYO armband user input to detect Darth Vader style finger pinch and fist gestures, and show a video feed from the ISS. Eighty more hours of work should get the app good enough for release.

I almost entered this NASA App Challenge :)

Project Information

License: MIT license (MIT)

Source Code/Project URL:


KickStarter Draft -
KickStarter Script -
Meta 1 Dev Kit Augmented Reality App Video -
Meta 1 Dev Kit Augmented Reality App Code -


  • Diana Salles
  • Blaze Sanders