Forget about drones, build your own satellite
What does your average high school do?🤣💘 May be building satellites. 80 students from Israel built Cubesat called Duchifat-2, it will be on the orbit in 2 weeks. 😲
In the meantime, Colorado University students sent a micro-satellite called, The Challenger, to Earth orbit on April 18th and they will study the Earth atmosphere with the data coming directly from their satellite. 💫
They were not alone in this. The collaborative project is called QB50, and aims to place a group of micro-satellites an area of the atmosphere between 125 and 250 miles in altitude. They sent 38 satellites there.
But that is not the whole story… 🌛🌝Cubesats are now going to the moon. Also ESA, European Space Agency, sent one successful satelite to the moon and now prepares another one. The goal is not just lunar exploration but also testing technology for longer expeditions in the galaxy.
♦️But what are these Cubesats a.k.a. MicroSattelites?
A regular (!) satellite is around 6 x 4 meters, 6.6K lbs and it costs $855 million‼️ A cubesat (or microsat) is around 2 lbs and it costs few thousand dollars.
Cubesats provides a low-cost opportunities tor research Earth and Space, 🌎observations, tech developments and experiments. This is a good opportunity for nonprofits, schools, and companies. You can say, microsats are democratizing space exploration. How cool is that!
There are some other companies that NASA chose to work with for microsats: 🚀🚀🚀Firefly Space Systems, Inc. ($5.5 million), Rocket Lab USA, Inc. ($6.9 million), and Virgin Galactic, LLC. ($4.7 million).
There are some loopholes in their work at the moment: Cubesats go into space in shared payloads to lower the cost. So a tiny malfunction in one machine can harm all others. Another concern for Cubesats is that they can cause a space junk apocalypse.🤖
♦️♦️If regular satellites are like desktop computers, cubesats are the smartphones
Normally, the images we see today from space are from months ago, through microsats we will be able to observe the realtime. Planet is one of the companies making this available. Now, Will Marshall asks you: “If you have access the Earth’s data from space realtime, what would you do with that data, what problems you would solve, what explorations would you do❓
@ Waslow, we are building an old-school spaceship and we plan to go to Mars. We recruit the crew by this weekly newsletter. Join the crew by clicking this link.