Soon, Send Own Satel­lites to Space!

The Economic Times - - Around The World -

Wash­ing­ton: Con­duct­ing space mis­sions may soon be wit hi n you r g ra sp a s sci­en­tists, i ncludi ng one of I ndia n- ori g i n, a r e de - velop­ing a tiny space­craft that may al­low hob­by­ists to launch space probes at rad­i­cally cheaper costs.

T he s p a c e c r a f t , c a l l e d Su nCube Fem­toSat, i s a 3cm cube be­ing de­vel­oped by Jekan Thanga, as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor at Ari­zona State Univer­sity, and a team of un­der­grad­u­ate stu­dents in­clud­ing Aman Chan­dra. Thanga en­vi­sions a “con­stel­la­tion of space­craft” — a swarm of them could in­spect dam­aged space­craft from many an­gles, for ex­am­ple. Launch and launch-in­te­gra­tion costs cur­rently run into $ 6 0,0 0 0 -70,0 0 0 per kg. “These high costs put out of reach most ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions and in­di­vid­u­als from the abil­ity to build and launch their own space­craft,” re­searchers said. T he c o s t o f l au nch i n g SunCube Fem­toSat will be $1,000to­go­totheIn­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion or $ 3,000 for flight into low-Earth or­bit.

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