The TubeSat lists one of its possible uses as Earth-from-space video imaging—very scientific, of course. But to me that means "Now you can spy on your hot neighbour Steve Jobs without leaving the comfort of your home!"
Other uses for Interorbital Systems' TubeSat Personal Satellite Kit include:
- Earth-from-space video imaging
- Earth magnetic field measurement
- Satellite orientation detection (horizon sensor, gyros, accelerometers, etc.)
- Orbital environment measurements (temperature, pressure, radiation, etc.)
- On-orbit hardware and software component testing (microprocessors, etc.)
- Tracking migratory animals from orbit
- Testing satellite stabilisation methods
- Biological experiments
- On-orbit advertising
- Private e-mail
All of these functions are actually pretty handy for the space geek in all of us and Interorbital Systems does the hard work, including launching your TubeSat using a NEPTUNE 30 vehicle. As part of the kit they also send you all the components you need:
The TubeSat kit includes the satellite's structural components, safety hardware, solar panels, batteries, power management hardware and software, transceiver, antennas, microcomputer, and the required programming tools. With these components alone, the builder can construct a satellite that puts out enough power to be picked up on the ground by a hand-held HAM radio receiver.
How often do you get a new toy with the batteries already included?
BUT WAIT! There's more! Purchase the TubeSat for only $US8,000 today and you get the launch for FREE! That's right, folks! I'm channeling Mr. Mays today because this it is just that good of a deal. A mere 8,000 Washingtons and you can have your own bit of space junk in the air (but don't worry, it goes into a self-decaying orbit, so it won't be up there forever). [Interorbital via Space Fellowship via PopSci]