Cheaper than a rental car, and high above us in orbit, you can rent a nano-satellite with your spare cash.
Have you ever wanted to have your own satellite? Well now you can, for just $250 a week, which isn’t a lot for playing with something in space. The satellite in question, a 10cm long nano-satellite, is scheduled to launch August 4 on a rocket bound to resupply the ISS. The arduino-powered satellite, called “ArduSat” will connect with the servers at NanoSatisfi, a kickstarter-funded company.
The satellite is equipped with cameras, ambient light sensors, a magnetometer and a Geiger counter, making it a veritable science lab in orbit; or just a really cool internet webcam. As a renter, you’ll be given access to a ground control panel, letting you change the satellite’s mission as you go.
“What’s happening now with satellites is similar to the revolution that brought us from mainframe computer to PCs,” said Peter Platzer, CEO of NanoSatisfi in an interview with The Verge, “Instead of huge, expensive machines, each of which is different, we have smaller, cheaper craft built on a single standard that allows anyone to create improvements for them. We’re taking Moore’s law, and we’re moving it into space.”
Indeed, it is an exciting time for space exploration. Space tourism, rocket launches from the private sector, and now rentable satellites. Pretty soon, space will no longer be a place for a select few to explore, and this seems like an excellent step in the right direction.