M-BARC: Michigan Bicentennial Archive

M-BARC: Michigan Bicentennial Archive



The goal of this VIP team is to create the very first space-based time capsule, an artifact that will commemorate the bicentennial of the University of Michigan. Aside from designing a spacecraft that will have to survive the rigors of launch and space for 100 years, this team is also deciding the content that will be sent up inside the spacecraft. A considerable amount of the project thus involves gathering representative media from throughout the University, providing the future recipients of the time capsule with an accurate representation of the University and state of Michigan in 2017. Students on this VIP team will thus have a chance to work with nearly every part of the university and produce a lasting impact on future generations of U of M students.

More Information: 2017-M-BARC

Students who successfully match to this faculty research team will be required to sign the following document in January 2017:

Student IP Agreement for Faculty Research Teams


How to Apply

Project Features

  • Skill level All levels
  • Students 5-17
  • Likely Majors AERO, Any, CE, CS, ECE, EE, ME
  • Course Substitutions ME 590, ECE Cognate
  • IP & NDA Required? Yes
  • Summer Opportunity Summer Funding Application
  • Public Relations Subteam (4 Students)

    Specific Tasks: conduct interviews and maintain external communications for outreach

    • Likely Majors: ANY
  • Bus Subteam (4 Students)

    Specific Tasks: design and fabricate the structure of the CubeSat

    • Likely Majors: AERO, ME, EE, ECE
  • Propulsion, Launch, & Orbit Subteam (3 Students)

    Specific Tasks: simulate and plan the orbit and maneuvers of the CubeSat

    • Likely Majors: AERO, CSE/CS-LSA
  • Command & Data Handling Subteam (3 Students)

    Specific Tasks: write and test software for the CubeSat’s computer system

    • Likely Majors: AERO, CSE/CS-LSA, CE, EE, ECE
  • Apprentice Researcher (3 Students)

    Requirements: interest in project material, willingness to develop skills. OPEN TO FRESHMEN AND SOPHOMORES ONLY.

    • Likely Majors: ANY

Faculty Sponsor: Thomas ZurbuchenThomas Zurbuchen
Thomas Zurbuchen has been at the University of Michigan for over 20 years, where he is now a professor of Space Science and Aerospace Engineering. From 2009-2015, he served as the U of M Associate Dean of Entrepreneurial Programs in the College of Engineering, and from 2012-2015 he was the Senior Counselor for Entrepreneurial Education. Prof. Zurbuchen was also the founding director of the University of Michigan Center for Entrepreneurship. Aside from his University positions, he serves on the boards of three small companies and non-profits. In 2013, Zurbuchen was appointed by Michigan Gov. Snyder to the Northern Michigan University’s Board of Trustees. Dr. Zurbuchen, earned his Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Bern, Switzerland, received numerous awards, including the prestigious U.S. Presidential Early Career Award, which represents the highest honor by the US government for early career scientists and engineers.