Launch Your Own Satellite Into Orbit For Only $US8000

Looking to start your own satellite TV station? Perhaps you want to take your stalking of your ex to the next level. Well, if you have $US8000, Interorbital Systems can help make that happen.

The Mojave, California based company is planning to start sending NEPTUNE 30 rockets into low-earth orbit, and they'll sell you a spot on board for a relatively cheap price. Here's CEO Randa Milliron on how this works:

The scenario goes like this: the builder pays IOS $US8000 for the kit/launch combo, builds the kit, sends IOS the completed satellite for testing, inspection, and integration into the NEPTUNE 30 rocket. It is then launched. Lift off is not via your very colorful description of candles or hot air, but with four pillars of fire generating 40,000 pounds of thrust. It launches into a circular 310km polar low-earth-orbit (LEO) from the South Pacific Kingdom of Tonga.

When a person buys a kit, ideally he or she has an experiment, task, performance, or other use in mind for the satellite. It's really for people with a good set of electronics and programming skills, or for those who want to learn and prove their skills in the field. It can be used as a team building exercise or a solitary triumph. It's the ultimate educational tool that allows the user to do real space-based orbital science at what are (comparatively) dollar store prices. Somehow, the bragging rights of being able to say, "I just sent my first satellite to space and it said hello to me!" are a far better return on investment than most other purchase options.

Sounds interesting! Whether or not this will all actually, you know, happen, remains to be seen. [H+ Magazine via Boing Boing]

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