Start Your Own Space Program

Space travel was once something only governments could do.  Now private companies are getting into it, and soon private citizens as well.  I’m not talking about the super expensive space flights offered by companies like Virgin Galactic.  I mean everyday people building their own personal space programs.

In the last decade, CubeSats have become increasingly popular.  CubeSats are small, cubical satellites that can be bundled together and launched in small groups.  This allows anyone from major corporations to small universities to individuals tinkering in their garages to conduct science experiments in space at a relatively low cost.  Groups of CubeSats are sometimes launched along with other space missions, lowering the cost even more.  For more on CubeSats, click here.

A group in Germany, with the noble goal of providing censorship-free Internet to everyone, is planning to launch their own satellites into orbit.  If successful, the Hackerspace Global Grid (H.G.G.) would provide an Internet connection to everyone in the world, bypassing any restrictions imposed by terrestrial governments.  China has strict censorship rules about Internet access, and the United States is considering some strict rules or its own with the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act.  For more on H.G.G., click here.

One family in New York recently launched a video camera into space.  They built a “space capsule” with an HD camera, an iPhone (for its GPS function), and some hand warmers to keep the electronics from freezing.  They attached it to a weather balloon and let it fly into the upper reaches of Earth’s atmosphere.  Here is the video their camera brought back.

The most advanced technology of the 1960’s is obsolete now, but that technology was good enough to take a man to the Moon.  As the cost of technology continues to drop, space travel will become more and more affordable.  Of course it still isn’t what you’d call “cheap.”  A CubeSat could cost tens of thousands of dollars to build and launch, but that’s still less expensive than traditional space launches and makes space accessible to a wider range of people.

9 Responses to Start Your Own Space Program

  1. Elbert Arant says:

    Having read this I thought it was very informative. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this article together. I once again find myself spending way to much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!

    Like

  2. Alma Hardy says:

    Hi Planetpailly,
    Along the same lines,, …of what to use this site for?
    Could I make a virtual space alien pet website(adopt an alien,take care of him) but then I will need your help for finding a program to make virtual pet site.
    Could I make a site for entertainment for kids
    Could I start a bussiness from this site
    Cheerio

    Like

  3. G’Day! Planetpailly,
    Interesting Thoughts, How possible is it for mankind to finally frontier into space? I mean lets face, NASA and all these other space programs don’t get nearly as much funding as military campaigns, wars, and weapons of mass destruction does. I think its time to invest funds into the stuff that could actually help us out instead of looking for reasources on our planet that are bound to become depleted. I want to know how possible is it for us to start living in colonies in space and if it possible when do you guys think it will start?
    Regards

    Like

    • James Pailly says:

      I totally agree. We have to remember the technology of the 1960’s was good enough to get us to the Moon. I believe, through private companies like SpaceX and Virgin Galactic and international partnerships like the one that brought us the ISS, we could start colonizing the Moon in a decade or two and be on Mars by the end of the century.

      Like

  4. scraw says:

    where is the best place to meet other space enthusiast and researchers thare are not connected with government

    Like

    • James Pailly says:

      I’m not sure if this is what you’re looking for, but there are an increasing number of citizen science projects out there. These projects are run by various scientific organizations (government and non-government) that are asking for everyday people to help. One I recently got involved in is GLOBE at night, a project collecting measurements of light pollution all over the world. http://www.globeatnight.org/

      Like

  5. James Pailly says:

    Due to a ridiculous number of spam comments left on this post, I’ve had to clear out most of the comments here and block any future comments. If you left a legit comment and it got deleted by accident, I apologize.

    Like

  6. Natural Burn says:

    Natural Burn

    Start Your Own Space Program | Planet Pailly

    Like

%d bloggers like this: