Grant: Slippers2Sat Project: An Open-Source Amateur Satellite Project for Marginalized, Under-privileged and Low-caste Government School Students

Date: August 2023
Amount: $384,000

Antarikchya Pratisthan Nepal (Space Foundation Nepal, APN) is a non-profit organization aimed at promoting research, development, and implementation of space technology in Nepal. One of their goals is to expose Nepali youths, particularly those from underrepresented, marginalized, and/or low-caste communities, to space technology through hands-on opportunities. In this region of Nepal (Melamchi and Guncha), a survey showed that over 85% of students aimed to become dozer/bus drivers, as that is the model presented in their daily lives. Based on these survey results, APN sought to show such students that they can aim as high as outer space for their futures; if they can learn space systems engineering, they can learn anything!

This grant will provide funding for the middle and high school youth of the marginalized, ‘low-caste’ Chepang communities in Nepal to build the Slippers2Sat 1U CubeSat, which will serve as an example of using satellites as a tool to not only better the lives of segregated communities in Nepal, but to also demonstrate that any of them can build something as intricate as a space system. As a result, this work could lead to increased involvement of their youth in amateur radio, grow their interest in STEM careers, all while also making important contributions to open source AI, hardware, and software.

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