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Launch Your Own Nanosatellite Into Space

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the my-first-satellite dept.

Space 119

First time accepted submitter Rozine writes "Ever wanted to launch your own satellite into space? Thanks to a project at the Cornell Space Science Lab, now you can. In the words of the grad student leading the project, Zac Manchester, 'What better way of showing off your uber-geek credentials than having your own spacecraft?' Zac hopes that by shrinking the size of each spacecraft and using advancements in computer and solar cell technology, satellites can follow the path of the personal computer revolution, opening up space for the masses. For small donations you will receive mementos, but for $300 and up you will get your very own satellite to be launched into space. Perfect for slashdotters and school projects everywhere!" We covered this project in its infancy back in July. I'm glad to see it gained traction.

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119 comments

Great!!! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38757974)

Even more "space junk".

Re:Great!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38758006)

LEO. It will burn in no time.

Re:Great!!! (4, Funny)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 2 years ago | (#38758190)

Burn up? Not a chance! My experimental payload would consist of tiny aero-dynamic "anagyre skipping stone" devices made of satellite piercing ceramic materials that will boomerang into higher, stable, orbits! Muhahahhaaahaha!

Re:Great Smelly Hand!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38758408)

Burn up? Not a chance! My experimental payload would consist of tiny aero-dynamic "anagyre skipping stone" devices made of satellite piercing ceramic materials that will boomerang into higher, stable, orbits! Muhahahhaaahaha!

Yeah but thats not as fun as ass-fisting.

Re:Great!!! (1)

tmosley (996283) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760192)

You don't get to pick the payload, just the programming (or worse, just the message that will be transmitted).

Later versions "may" allow for sensors of various types.

This is an ingenious way for this guy to fund the launch of his own microsatellite, if that is his real goal.

Re:Great!!! (5, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 2 years ago | (#38758040)

Pretty much what sibling said. These creatures will likely be launched into very low Earth orbit, and will likely hit re-entry in less than a couple months at most. A "nanosatellite" won't have any attitude control, or any fuel for that matter. It won't have the means to alter whatever orbit (and subsequent decay) it may get kicked off into.

Re:Great!!! (4, Insightful)

grouchomarxist (127479) | more than 2 years ago | (#38758164)

When it goes from 'having your own spacecraft' to 'had a short-lived spacecraft' it becomes much less uber-geek cred.

Re:Great!!! (5, Funny)

mykepredko (40154) | more than 2 years ago | (#38758212)

You make it sound like for 300 bucks, you should get your own shark in space, with a frickin' laser on it no less!

Re:Great!!! (1)

AllyGreen (1727388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38759264)

Yeah, I think there is definitely a lack of perspective here! $300 bucks for your own satellite is definitely pretty awesome.

Re:Great!!! (3)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760030)

You know you can spend $300.00 and build a real satellite right now, in fact it will be far better than these circuitboards that will barely work. It will just sit on your desk until you pay to get it launched.

In fact for $600.00 I can build one that could act as a ham radio digital communication relay and have enough solar panels on it to make sure it has plenty of power, all from parts at home depot and a tig welder from harbor freight.

The hard part is getting the thing up in the sky high enough that it stays there.

Re:Great!!! (1)

tom17 (659054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38762856)

Get some ladders and weld them end to end with your TIG welder from Harbour Freight.

Re:Great!!! (1)

rioki (1328185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38758934)

You know, although technically correct, I would not consider the nano satellites a "space craft". When someone rolls out the personal space shuttle, then we can talk space craft...

Re:Great!!! (1)

Darth Snowshoe (1434515) | more than 2 years ago | (#38761248)

Buzz. Just because you personally cannot ride in it, doesn't mean it's not a spacecraft (one word.) NASA has been calling them spacecraft for decades. The Voyagers are spacecraft. The Pioneers and Vikings were spacecraft. Sputnik was a spacecraft.

Here's the official NASA mission page;

www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/pioneer/
"The Pioneer series of spacecraft performed first-of-their-kind explorations of the Sun ..."

Not a lot of cred for $300 [Re:Great!!!] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38761450)

When it goes from 'having your own spacecraft' to 'had a short-lived spacecraft' it becomes much less uber-geek cred.

And, worse, when it goes from "having your own spacecraft" to "having the right to put the programming of your choice on somebody else's postage-stamp satellite, which will then broadcast your message at a power level too faint to be heard" it becomes even less cred.

But, there's no reason to think it will get into space at all. From the article:

As soon as funding is in place, we’ll apply for a free launch through several programs, such as NASA’s ELaNa CubeSat program....

So, you are joining a project that doesn't have the hard part, getting into space, nailed down yet. Building a satellite is easy-- I could throw a "satellite" together in an afternoon. Getting it into space-- now, that's hard.

Re:Great!!! (3, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38758464)

But that does bring up a good point of who gets to dump shit and why we should start working at cleaning it up but also be working on "no more dumping shit" rules for space. I mean when you look at the history of our ventures into space we got shit from 1950s (Vanguard) still floating up there as useless shit, and both we and the Ruskies were serious slobs when it came to dumping shit in space with no regards for anybody else.

Now we have not only the Indians and Chinese, who with their sat blowing bit showed they don't give a crap about polluting the hell out of space, we are now gonna have private enterprise (not talking about TFA who is going for a low enough orbit it'll be gone pretty quick) who as we have seen with such lovely messes like superfund sites frankly haven't given a crap about polluting the hell out of earth if it makes them profits, and we are supposed to trust them not to take a big giant dump in space? you just know they'll have everything set up with shell corps they can just dissolve if the poo hits the fan and just walk away leaving the mess while they count their money.

So we REALLY need to get a hold on this thing now, while its a mess but not an unrecoverable mess, and set up some serious ground rules to protect this valuable natural resource. After all it really wouldn't take much of a disaster to create such a minefield out there our birds would be dropping like flies and our society has gotten too used to having sat communications to let it be a free for all. So while i'm all nothing but love for the guys in TFA I do think it just shines a spotlight on how as things get cheaper its gonna become even more riskier if we don't set down with our nations and set some hard ground rules now.

Re:Great!!! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38758512)

Never thought I'd see the day that a space-hippie showed its' unwashed head. Get a job!

Re:Great!!! (0)

kylemonger (686302) | more than 2 years ago | (#38758944)

Anything we might do by accident a terrorist can do on purpose. Imagine a satellite sized object launched into orbit whose sole purpose is to detonate and disperse 100,000 ball bearings. Even more fun if a high inclination or retrograde orbit is used. Still, space is pretty big so shotgun blasts like this could probably be dealt with like we deal with the Van Allen belts--- just make a run for it and get out of the danger zone as fast as possible.

Re:Great!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760096)

You don't have a grasp on what orbits are and how satelites work do you.

almost all of our communications satelites are in geosync orbit, that is way, way, way the hell out there. so far out that the shuttle could never reach them and the only manned flights that were out that far were on their way to the moon.

LEO is the low earth orbit that can cause problems, it's where we part birds on their way to their final orbits. A bit higher than that is where the things like iridium and GPS constellations are floating around.

the chances of a "cascade" taking everything out are zero. a cascade in LEO will not touch the GEO birds.

What we need to get ahold of is the low earth parking orbit messes. it's the cause of most of the problems. And the problem is NOT projects like this.

Please come back when you have even a tiny bit of understanding about what you are talking about. You sound like those idiots in the republican party or Fox news, spouting off about crap they know nothing about as if they were experts.

and I dont claim to know everything. I'd love to get a NASA guy to fill us in on the reality of all this instead of fake sensationalism from the news outlets.

Re:Great!!! (5, Funny)

daktari (1983452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38758466)

Attitude control is what I like to see engineered, not merely just in our nanosatellites, but pretty much in all our tech devices.

Re:Great!!! (4, Funny)

sulimma (796805) | more than 2 years ago | (#38759004)

Yes. In movies like "Dark Star" or "2001" we see what can happen if you do not have proper attitude control in your spacecraft.
They start to argue, refuse to take orders or just get lazy.

Re:Great!!! (5, Informative)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 2 years ago | (#38758044)

They are aiming for an orbit time of a few days to a few weeks until they reenter and burn up upon reentry. They are doing that specifically so they don't leave any space junk.

RTFA.

Re:Great!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38758098)

RTFA.

+1, I'm sick of people commenting without having even tried to read the article.

Re:Great!!! (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#38758260)

Even more "space junk".

Yeah, but the RIAA and MPAA will hate it! That makes it all worth it.

Re:Great!!! (2)

hitmark (640295) | more than 2 years ago | (#38758472)

Hmm, bumping torrent trackers into space...

Re:Great!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38758552)

Or an orbital weapons platform targeting the RIAA headquarters...

Re:Great!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38758744)

Or at least some actual Low Orbit Ion Cannons.

Re:Great!!! (1)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38762722)

Awesome idea.. wait till these have more memory then buy one and program it to beam mp3s and movies down at the ground!

Re:Great!!! (2)

NeverWorker1 (1686452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38759040)

From the linked article:
Because we will only launch KickSat into a low-altitude orbit, we can guarantee that all of the Sprites will re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere within a few days or weeks, leaving no trace of space debris. KickSat itself will last somewhat longer, but should burn up in the atmosphere within a few months.

Re:Great!!! (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38759956)

Space Junk No... I plan to make a satellite that will broadcast on all channels the Old 1990's version of Hamster Dance.
Because I am doing it from space, there are no laws against it!
If you call that junk, then you are probably quite sane and rational. But where is the fun in that.

Microscopic Space Fleets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760420)

I guess all the rich Douglas Adams fans out there will be wanting their own Microscopic Space Fleets...

Re:Great!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38762146)

Exactly my first thought!

Space junk (-1, Redundant)

dnrck (973325) | more than 2 years ago | (#38757976)

Aren't we trying to reduce the amount of space junk?

Re:Space junk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38757996)

that was my first thought. the last thing we need is thousands of geeks launching their own space junk.

Re:Space junk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38758052)

okay now this is too much: apropos captcha
http://twitpic.com/89dn09

Re:Space junk (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38758056)

that was my first thought. the last thing we need is thousands of geeks launching their own space junk.

If you had clicked on the link...

"Because we will only launch KickSat into a low-altitude orbit, we can guarantee that all of the Sprites will re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere within a few days or weeks, leaving no trace of space debris. KickSat itself will last somewhat longer, but should burn up in the atmosphere within a few months."

Re:Space junk (1)

UnresolvedExternal (665288) | more than 2 years ago | (#38759336)

If you had clicked on the link...

This is Slashdot you insensitive clod!! Take your reasonableness somewhere else please.

Personally I think that these nano satellites have the potential to open tiny black holes and can only strengthen the creationist argument.

Re:Space junk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38759520)

That sounds as exciting as watching the first five minutes of a football game and then tuning it off.

Re:Space junk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38758042)

They're deployed near each other and all head the same direction. Plus they're in low enough orbit to reenter within the decade, if even that long.

Re:Space junk (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#38758274)

Aren't we trying to reduce the amount of space junk?

However, the way things are going, we'll need it to rebuild the internet.

Space Junk (-1, Redundant)

AUSman (1606165) | more than 2 years ago | (#38757980)

I thought space junk was already a problem.

Space junk from everyone, for everyone (1, Interesting)

durrr (1316311) | more than 2 years ago | (#38758004)

My sattelite is a crate full of explosively dispersed pinballs, will it cost only $300 to launch it?

Re:Space junk from everyone, for everyone (-1)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 2 years ago | (#38758048)

Exactly, even without sending up malicious satellites, there's enough space junk up there that's hard enough to track. Why would you want it to cost only $300 to send something into space. That sounds like a really terrible idea unless they have a nice garbage collection method planned.

Re:Space junk from everyone, for everyone (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38758216)

That sounds like a really terrible idea unless they have a nice garbage collection method planned.

It's a sophisticated system called gravity, although I wouldn't give them full credit for the invention.

Re:Space junk from everyone, for everyone (2)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#38758254)

It's not gravity. It's atmosphere. Even in Low Earth Orbit, there is a whisper of atmosphere. This causes a drag on the satellite, causing the orbit to decay.

Re:Space junk from everyone, for everyone (2)

NFN_NLN (633283) | more than 2 years ago | (#38758386)

It's not gravity. It's atmosphere. Even in Low Earth Orbit, there is a whisper of atmosphere. This causes a drag on the satellite, causing the orbit to decay.

causing the orbit to decay and the satellite to drift off into space...? if only there was a way to predict where in 3d space it would head towards.

Re:Space junk from everyone, for everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38758444)

Dear mods:

THIS is funny. Quit modding up that "in Soviet Russia" and "I saw the movie too" crap.

Regards,
The Internet

Re:Space junk from everyone, for everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38764924)

In Soviet Russia, the comments mod YOU!

Re:Space junk from everyone, for everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38758650)

No offense Dave, but please open your mind before you open your mouth.

Re:Space junk from everyone, for everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38758230)

how explosive?

probably won't launch the pinballs into a significantly higher orbit and so they would likely reenter the atmosphere at most like a few days after the few weeks it will take for the majority of the payload which is designed to reenter anyhow.

hrm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38758036)

how much to launch a satellite containing a tungsten rod in geosync orbit over the location of my choice?

Re:hrm... (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#38758174)

A lot more since that's very different from LEO.

Significantly more if your chosen location isn't on the equator - changing the rotational axis of the Earth is going to take a great deal of effort, it might be cheaper to just change the laws of physics...

space junk (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38758080)

I'd like to send a vial of my swimmers up there. Is there a size limit? I pull out some three-ropers that put Peter North to shame.

what about a bigger shared sat? (4, Interesting)

unrtst (777550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38758224)

This junk it'll be sending up is damn near useless. They want to see how well the electronics hold up in space... for a few days before re-entry, with no ability to query them, and just a very short message sent (on repeat?) via radio?

IMO, I'd rather rent a timeslice on something even a tad more advanced. Long term goal is more interesting, and I realize the first launch is mostly proof-of-concept, but that's an expensive proof for something that can obviously be done. I'd be nice if the larger donations got better kicksat boards at least.

It wouldn't surprise me if there are other projects out there he could team up with that would love to do some swarm robotics up there that wouldn't cost a whole lot more for the individual parts, but could at least make use of there being 100-1000 of them in near proximity in space.

Further off on a tangent.... I was kinda hoping to see a cheaper launch vehicle for microsats. Maybe a combo of weather balloon and rocket that goes off once it hits near-max-height?

Re:what about a bigger shared sat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760022)

Naysayers!

You gotta start somewhere, and this is pretty cool!

It's really easy to be cynical and do nothing, ever

Re:what about a bigger shared sat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38764814)

$1000 and you can build your own to do whatever you want. RTFA

really, "nano"? (1)

pablo_max (626328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38758276)

Are they saying that these satellites are 1 billionth of a normal satellite?
Why do they always want to apply nano to everything?

Re:really, "nano"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38758308)

Perhaps the context for the prefix was its cost?
And personally, I prefer to apply vi over nano, but whatever - I'm not one of "them".

Re:really, "nano"? (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 2 years ago | (#38758754)

Perhaps the context for the prefix was its cost?

The average satellite costs $97M to build and $51M to launch (source: Euroconsult 10-year satellite forecast, 2009), so "micro" would still be more appropriate (the units being about 500 milli-satellites from this perspective, I'll allow them to get away with a factor of two exaggeration).

And personally, I prefer to apply vi over nano, but whatever - I'm not one of "them".

Jed all the way, for me. With a bit of kate thrown in for good measure.

Re:really, "nano"? (2)

Albanach (527650) | more than 2 years ago | (#38759976)

No, they're saying it's small, as in dwarf, which is the meaning of the Greek word from which science derived its nano- prefix.

Just because science has borrowed a word and given it a meaning does not then exclude others from using that same word, especially if in doing so they are using the original meaning and not the one added by scientists 50 years ago.

Kewl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38758290)

Smash a nanosatellite-size hole into the international space station for me!

Can it be made to SURVIVE re-entry? (5, Interesting)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 2 years ago | (#38758328)

I don't know how flexible (if at all) the parameters are for your very own "chip" sized satellite but wouldn't it be possible to make it survive re-entry? If it were made of ceramic and light (not dense) enough, couldn't it be designed to "gently" de-orbit without building up the heat that would cause it to vaporize.

Shape might be important too, I understand how that the first space capsule designers were initially flumoxed be the inability of their needle nosed re-entry vehicles to survive more than a few seconds in the hypersonic wind tunnels before melting. Then, a clue from nature in the form of Tektites; spherical blobs of glass of extraterrestrial origin that managed to survive due to the shock wave that protected them. (Russian re-entry vehicles were spherical for a time, now I think they, like the Americans, are using blunt cones). So if they can't be flat, maybe you'll have to take the space of a few "chip" sized satellites to send one golf-ball sized satellite capable of re-entry.

What a scoop that would be if you could do this! Imagine a worldwide competition for "find the space golf ball" where the person who finds the (hopefully) intact ceramic ball will get a reward and fame. (There could be a code inside to verify the winner, or perhaps DeBeers would sponsor putting a nice diamond in it). If constructed properly, it could be made to float so a water landing wouldn't automatically lose it. Maybe some sort of retro-reflector could be used to make finding it easier as well (but would restrict the likely recovery teams to professionals).

Actually since the chance of finding one old be so small, I'd imagine you'd have to send up a bunch with the first one found getting the big reward. Still finding any of them would be a great collectors item! Finally there might be some (very small) uses for being able to return (very small) samples from space but because of the difficulty in finding it, it's probably best suited for some sort of game or promotional event.

Re:Can it be made to SURVIVE re-entry? (4, Insightful)

sonamchauhan (587356) | more than 2 years ago | (#38758416)

"...best suited for some sort of game or promotional event."

The rest of the world is just thrilled at the chance of a high-velocity bullet vaporising their skull at any instant or location, all for the sake of some game or promotional event

Re:Can it be made to SURVIVE re-entry? (4, Interesting)

ChatHuant (801522) | more than 2 years ago | (#38758746)

I don't know how flexible (if at all) the parameters are for your very own "chip" sized satellite but wouldn't it be possible to make it survive re-entry?

There's my chance to beat the world record for longest drop of an egg without breaking!

Re:Can it be made to SURVIVE re-entry? (1)

q.kontinuum (676242) | more than 2 years ago | (#38758942)

But they might check afterwards and notice the egg is not raw (anymore). Doesn't this violate the rules?

I'd love to see an airplane competition for the longest flight...

Re:Can it be made to SURVIVE re-entry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38759138)

Imagine the court cost if one of these things put a hole though someone's house or worse; took someone's head off.

Re:Can it be made to SURVIVE re-entry? (2)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#38759610)

I don't know how flexible (if at all) the parameters are for your very own "chip" sized satellite but wouldn't it be possible to make it survive re-entry? If it were made of ceramic and light (not dense) enough, couldn't it be designed to "gently" de-orbit without building up the heat that would cause it to vaporize...

In the history of objects re-entering our atmosphere, has there ever been a case of something doing it "gently"?

...What a scoop that would be if you could do this! Imagine a worldwide competition for "find the space golf ball" where the person who finds the (hopefully) intact ceramic ball will get a reward and fame.

In a world literally driven by litigation, I can imagine this idea coming to a rather sudden and abrupt halt when said "space ball" hurtling unpredictably through our atmosphere ends up destroying property or killing someone. Mini-parachute deployment perhaps? Dunno. It would probably still be tough to get past the legal team.

Re:Can it be made to SURVIVE re-entry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38760230)

i'd run it like a worldwide, annual lottery, last one to burn up get half the cash raised.

Not a good idea. (1)

surfcow (169572) | more than 2 years ago | (#38758350)

Screw geek cred. I don't want idiots throwing toilet-paper at the space station. Or explosives.

How can we not have the infrastructure to move off this crazy planet?

Totally agree we need cheap access to space. (2)

tlambert (566799) | more than 2 years ago | (#38758474)

Screw geek cred. I don't want idiots throwing toilet-paper at the space station. Or explosives.

How can we not have the infrastructure to move off this crazy planet?

Totally agree we need cheap access to space.

Now where did I leave that ceramic coated rebar? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinetic_bombardment [wikipedia.org]

-- Terry

Re:Not a good idea. (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#38759676)

Screw geek cred. I don't want idiots throwing toilet-paper at the space station. Or explosives.

How can we not have the infrastructure to move off this crazy planet?

Ironically you're bashing the very community who will likely make more progress to "move off this crazy planet" than any other organization before it in the next 20 years. Don't underestimate the masses. They tend to find ways of accomplishing things faster and a hell of a lot cheaper than government-ran orgs.

And the reason we're not "off this crazy planet" is because the 1% isn't done making money here. They're perfectly content...who cares how the rest of us live(or not). I know this may sound like a political statement, but I promise you that greed has done more damage to quash innovation than anything else. 100 years later, we're still burning dino-fuel. It's certainly not because we suck at inventing alternatives, or making fuel a hell of a lot more efficient...

Re:Not a good idea. (2)

x6060 (672364) | more than 2 years ago | (#38760834)

Really? Is there ANYTHING you cant blame on the supposed 1%? Jesus, give it up already.

Re:Not a good idea. (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#38763874)

Really? Is there ANYTHING you cant blame on the supposed 1%? Jesus, give it up already.

Whether you want to call them CEOs, leaders, greedy assholes, by their kitschy "1%" meme name, it's all referring to the same group of those in control. Now if you cannot see it within the painfully obvious example I provided here with Big Oil and their attempts to quash any innovation that creates a major paradigm shift in their profits, and how greed itself has manipulated innovation over the last decades, then obviously we have nothing further to discuss here.

Greed has gotten us here. It was greed that drove us to improve ourselves over the last thousand years, but it will ultimately be greed that will destroy us likely within the next hundred years.

Go back in time a mere 5 years ago to see if anyone thought global markets would ever lose $20 trillion almost overnight in a massive meltdown...seems no one is laughing now.

Re:Not a good idea. (1)

x6060 (672364) | more than 2 years ago | (#38764146)

So.. Your answer is no. You can blame everything on the mysterious and truly undefinable 1%. Good job...

My cereal is soggy in this milk, it must be the 1%s fault. I made a terrible decision to put myself in a huge amount of debt for something I couldn't afford, it must be the 1%s fault. No one is willing to pay me thousands of dollars for this mac and cheese I threw on a canvas and called art, it must be the 1%s fault!

Re:Not a good idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38763694)

The fact that only a small fraction of the globe having been industrialized for more than a 100 years has nothing to do with it.

1% is a menace but thats a real stretch.

Can we cure space junk by crowding it out? (-1)

kawabago (551139) | more than 2 years ago | (#38758388)

It really doesn't sound like a good idea.

Re:Can we cure space junk by crowding it out? (1)

aintnostranger (1811098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38758410)

Ok, so the comment is dumb (if had RTFA would have seen they are launching to LEO, dont make me explain the implications, there are a many previous comments doing it). And then comes a dumber moderator and mods such FUD up ?!!??

Gaining traction doesn't help... (1)

mevets (322601) | more than 2 years ago | (#38758446)

To achieve orbit, they have to trade kinetic for potential energy, there is no other way. Traction is lovely, but won't get you into space.

ps: 2001 called, and wants a royalty for using its buzzwords.

Your own personal Sputnik (1)

VTI9600 (1143169) | more than 2 years ago | (#38758448)

...is how these sprites being sold to us. Yet it wasn't what Sputnik did while in orbit that made it such a marvel, but the ingenuity that got it there. This is a neat idea, but sorry, geek cred can't be bought for $300 or any other amount. For the same money I could build a rocket that would not make it a fraction of the distance (assuming it didn't blow up on the launch pad), but it would be uniquely mine, as would be whatever "cred" that came with it.

idiots..!! (-1, Troll)

echonyne (2545100) | more than 2 years ago | (#38758686)

u noobs din't even thought of the after effects of this stupid scheme of yours...eh? building up space junk..so that whenever a critical research/maned NASA/JAXTA/EURO (srry RU's outta business i guess; multiple SAT launch failures :D) mission goes up..n they get accidentally hit by the space junk you all stupids left out there? do you really know that even a space debris of just a small centimetre in size could hit you with really enormous speeds and has the capability to pierce an astronaut's suit/ rocket's outer shield..!!? now you're doing this just to promote/showoff your geekness?..ssshheehh... :/ now u guys have some issues ..being a "geek" (infact you shouldn't be called a "geek".. if you've been a real geek you should've come to finding a solution to already existing problems instead of "raising more" problems..!) peace..~

Solar Orientation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38758798)

Dumb question - how do you ensure the sprites don't deploy from the kick sat facing downwards (ie. away from sun?) I'm guessing it has solar panels both sides? Wasn't immediately clear.

This is how I want to go (2)

peawormsworth (1575267) | more than 2 years ago | (#38759304)

I liked it in Star Trek when Spock's casket was launched into space after he died. I thought this would be a great way to be "buried". Then I saw this and put the two together. Why not offer this as a funeral service and instead of all the electronics, put 1000 one centimetre cubes in the release box filled with a small portion of the cremated remains. I think this would sell well at just $300 a pop. I would buy my centimetre spot right now. As a bonus, they could offer some 5 minute digital message for each participant to be beamed out by just one transmitter also in the box. That way ur message would be beamed to earth and out to the heavens forever. It sure would give me comfort to know that for a brief point in the future, part of me would be up in space and then burned up in the upper atmosphere. Maybe I am alone, but I would pay this and much more. Somehow... I think this $300 pricing must be off. Perhaps it is dependent on the load being research based and thus costs being subsidised.

Re:This is how I want to go (1)

L1mewater (557442) | more than 2 years ago | (#38759904)

Maybe I am alone, but I would pay this and much more.

You can already pretty much do this, though I think it's a lot more than $300. I don't want to directly advertise what I consider to be a kind of shady company, but just google "cremated remains in space."

the big crash (1)

Nightjed (1102995) | more than 2 years ago | (#38761068)

I wonder what will governments say when one of these 300 bucks satellites cause a 100 thousand million satellite to get out of orbit or even an accident during a future space mission

im completely for freedom to tinker but we need to be aware of the harmful consequences of things we do might have, the trash already in space will eventually come bite us in the ass, if we are going to make more it should at least be for a good reason and not just for epen purposes

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