Get Involved!


Since LunarSail is a project managed by a non-profit organization, the most obvious way you can contribute to the success of the mission is to make a donation. We intend for LunarSail to set an example of the power of crowdfunding as a means for groups of people to come together for a common cause and do great things. LunarSail will make history and your donations will make it possible. We have set up funding campaigns on both Kickstarter and Indiegogo and hope to raise enough to fund the design and construction of the spacecraft, excluding the sail which we will have to obtain from an outside manufacturer. In exchange for your donation, we will send you a gift in recognition of your contribution. Additionally, you may make donations directly to ARES Institute. Direct donations are tax deductible since ARES Institute is a registered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization.

Contribute Hardware

We are also interested in contributions of hardware. The spacecraft bus and main computer are relatively inexpensive. However, there is a lot more that goes into a space mission than simply the shell of a spacecraft. We will require electronics for the payloads, computers for our lab and and ground station and even things like office furniture. As the project progresses, we will have a complete list of desired items that we will keep updated. As with cash contributions, donations of hardware are also tax deductible relative to their cost when purchased and age.

Donate or Develop Software

Along with hardware, we will need software, both commercial off-the-shelf and custom. Donations of commercial software, such as Microsoft Office, will be handled in the same manner as hardware donations and are tax deductible as well.

Perhaps the most exciting area where you can get involved in LunarSail is with custom software development. We will need software created for use during development of the mission, applications for use on the ground and onboard software for the spacecraft’s computer system.

On the ground, we anticipate using commercial software packages such as Matlab, LabView and Satellite Toolkit for designing the spacecraft and mission as well as use during testing and after launch. We would like to hear from anyone with experience in these areas, as well as Java and C++ engineers.

LunarSail’s computer is based on the Raspberry Pi, which is a complete Linux-based single-board computer running on an ARM processor ( We welcome any Linux programmers (C++ preferred) and especially anyone who has experience developing applications for the Raspberry Pi.


We welcome assistance in the construction of the spacecraft and ground station. In this area, especially if you have prior small/amateur satellite assembly and test experience, in particular with AMSAT, your help will be invaluable in ensuring mission success.The basic spacecraft and ground systems will be very similar to other cubesat projects. However, integration, test and checkout of the sail and its associated hardware will present some unique challenges. This is an opportunity to expand your smallsat experience into new areas while making history building a lunar-orbiting spacecraft.

We Want Your Ideas

ARES Institute is a grass roots, volunteer, membership-based organization. You ideas, concepts and questions will be an integral component of the LunarSail project throughout its lifetime. Even if you can’t contribute financially or with hardware or labor, we would still like to hear your ideas for making the project successful.

Submit your creative work

Finally, we are inviting everyone in the public to contribute content to be carried by LunarSail. You may submit your name and a short message to be stored and rebroadcast by the spacecraft from lunar orbit. If you are an artist – painter, designer, musician, etc. – we would like you to contribute your graphics, photos, music or video clips to be included on the spacecraft. We will also broadcast that content back to Earth from the Moon as well as sending them out in near real-time from LunarSail on social media networks (via our ground station) and on the project website.

One Comment

  1. Mladen Jankovic
    Aug 07, 2013 @ 19:51:20

    Hello, I’m a physics student from Croatia, and I’ve been involved in a solar sail project before. I was wondering what are your plans for covering launch costs, as that was the point that got the project I was on canceled. Our planned spacecraft would have less thrust than the atmospheric drag in LEO, and our budget would not allow us to go higher. Have you considered that problem?

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