September 14, 2005

The Homebrew Satellite Club points to this story from the New York Times:

An ambitious program called CubeSat, developed at Stanford University and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, is giving students and companies the opportunity to build and launch functional satellites into low Earth orbit, or about 240 to 360 miles above the planet.

The satellites are tiny--they weigh a kilogram and generally measure about 10 centimeters on each side--but they cost far less than conventional commercial satellites. A CubeSat unit costs roughly $40,000 to build and only $40,000 to launch. As part of the program, Cal Poly takes care of the bureaucratic and logistical hurdles.

By contrast, a conventional satellite can run between $150 million and $250 million to build and $100 million to launch.

"I kind of look at this as the Apple II. The ordinary person can get something into space," said Bob Twiggs, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at Stanford and one of the principals behind CubeSat. "We don't know what the ultimate use is, but look what happened to the Internet."
Posted by jackhodgson at September 14, 2005 04:43 PM