Ever dreamed of your very own spacecraft? Well, then you are in luck since you can have your very own spacecraft for just $1000!
Hard to believe, right? Apparently, the spacecraft we know of cost usually millions, if not billions of dollars and maybe even more. These costs are related to the size of the spacecraft such as the typical NASA ones, but if the size was directly related to cost, then it is apparent that a spacecraft a size of a matchbox would be quite reasonable for the ordinary. And that is now possible as of this era.
The scientists at the Arizona State University (ASU) have engineered a concept to build such an innovative spacecraft or satellite. Being given the name femtostat, more commonly known as femtosatellite, the small Suncube platform, weighs even less than 100 grams, making it possible for the satellite to be really small. Furthermore, the weight does include fuel or any mini payload, which makes it seem even more genius.
Yes, there have been other miniature satellites as well, but not as small as this. The others range from microsatellites (10–100 kg) to nanosatellites (1–10 kg) to picosatellites (100 grams to 1 kg). Therefore, it’s quite obvious that such dimensions and weight of the femtostat would enable it to be cheaper to build, and also comparatively cheaper to launch. Therefore, in this way, if anyone is up for space exploration, it’s not quite in their hands, for a reasonable price.
According to the lead researcher Jekan Thanga who is the head of Space Terrestrial Robotic Exploration (SpaceTREx) Laboratory at ASU, “”With a spacecraft this size, any university can do it, any lab can do it, any hobbyist can do it.”
At an ASU even earlier this week, the scientists announced the much-awaited SunCube. Along with it, their research paper highlighted the fact that how approachable it would be for a common man who is interested in space exploration to fulfill his dream.
“There’s a whole community out there interested in this idea of low-cost, swarms of disposable spacecraft,” said Thanga. “It’s like your own GoPro in space. That would give you quite the front-seat view in space.” It is obvious enough that a spacecraft made from a mere hundred dollars of parts won’t be getting anywhere near Pluto, but courtesy the Radio, Sensors,and Camera along with solar paneling, the device would at least function for a long time, because of a continuous power source.
According to Thanga, access to space for everybody could be the future of astronomy. He dreams that the SunCube shall be available on Amazon to be made available for everyone who wants. “We can show the world we can fly in space,” Thanga added. “Being an active person involved in a space mission – it’s the next domain in exploration.”
Let’s just wait for the day when we can send our very own spacecraft in space.