Launch Your Own Satellite, For A Price

15 Jul, 2009 | SnippetsTdp

Something I thought about a while back was small satellite launchers (I think I was reading something about a guy who was building a rocket powered by sugar -- sponsored by Tate and Lyle I seem to remember). The price for getting something into orbit is coming down as people prove they can build these things in their spare time and successfully launch them.

We're not talking huge monsters like the Arianne 5 rockets launch, but payloads in the 10-50Kg bracket should be perfectly possible. There's probably a business opportunity in it too.

One slight concern is who polices all these satellites. Apparently US Strategic Command is currently tracking 13,000 pieces of junk in orbit, but that's just the big stuff, with 600,000 objects over 1cm in size. Due to the high speed of these particles, even paint chips can cause severe damage to whatever they hit.

Maybe we should be sending up a space hoover.