back to article Launch your own satellite for only eight grand

Interorbital Systems is offering your own orbiting satellite for only $8,000, including launch, though evil geniuses might balk at the expected 2-week lifespan before a fiery re-entry. The plan is to launch 32 of the diminutive TubeSats into low earth orbit, around 310Km up, using a single Neptune 30 launcher (under …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Very nice (strokes fluffy white cat)

    Sat here in my dug out volcano, I have to say this is interesting. And while two weeks may seem little, it is really more than enough time to threaten the UN with my ray gun for....... One million dollars!!!!!

  2. Hermes (nine inch) Conran
    Thumb Up

    P.A.R.I.S.

    Perfect for launching paper planes!

  3. James 55
    Linux

    All this talk about birds

    makes me think about getting a 12-bore...

  4. James 12
    Coat

    Ashes

    So how long before the first person ashes are scatter in space?

    Cant think of any other novel use...

    Mine the one with the unopened Idiots guide to being an evil genius in it.

  5. Ian Ferguson
    Happy

    Awesome!

    Anyone fancy chipping in so I can send a poo into space?

  6. NukEvil
    Flame

    Sounds like fun...

    ...and, at the end of the orbit, you can hopefully watch your $8,000 burn up.

    Flame, because, well...it's obvious.

  7. h 6
    Happy

    maybe

    Maybe the UK can put a wedge of cheese in one and let it orbit for a couple of weeks...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Terminator

    Purchase 4 tubes

    Just purchase 4 tubes (allowed), use the electronics module in one, and the rest of the bird for your evil genius payload (0.5*3 +0,2*4 ) = 2.3kg max payload.

    Install a ion engine in one and 2 x 700gr metal lumps in the other two, and you can attack 2 targets, whenever you want.

    With the ion engine you can use the solar power to displace the bird & get to upper orbits without a lot of fuel mass, and if velocity is high enough, you could deploy a ramscoop, because of the lot of matter that will be floating so near to earth. Energy will be chaep with the solar panels, albeit with a limited power.

    Of course you can just leave the metal lumps out and pack more fuel and/or welectronics, and drive ti to the moon/mars/the sun/wherever you want.

    AC just in case someone does it.

  9. Sabine Miehlbradt
    Joke

    Great

    Now you can put the Reg paper plane into orbit.

  10. Irp

    Vulture 2 ?

    So will El Reg be following up their balloon launch with an orbital mission ?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Flying hams?

    Don't Interorbital Systems realise that there's a couple of dozen amateur radio satellites up there already - and are staying up there for a while yet (the shuttle dropped off another 4 on July 30th)?

    BTW the 'Amateur Radio on the International Space Station' (ARISS) frequences are 145.80 MHz down & 145.20 MHz uplink (in Europe).

  12. Marty McFly
    Coat

    Somewhat serious comment

    Anyone consider the implications for a small 'suitcase' nuke as the payload. Electromagnetic pulse to wipe out the world's infrastructure. Scary stuff.

    Mine's the one with the attached tin-foil hoodie.

  13. Nexox Enigma

    Damn...

    Just the other day I was moaning about how expensive it was to launch things into orbit. Now I guess I have no excuse for not taking over at least a small island in the south pacific.

  14. Solomon Grundy

    Control System?

    Wonder if you could fit a tiny propulsion system in one? If you could, you could crash it into other people's satellites - personally I'd aim for the ones that broadcast cable companies use.

    Neat idea though, and really cheap considering.

  15. Frank Haney

    @ James 12

    "So how long before the first person ashes are scatter in space?"

    It's already been done. Gene Roddenberry (of Star Trek fame) was one of the first.

  16. Benny
    Thumb Up

    Thats so cool!

    I have no idea how I could/would use this, but the idea is fantastic!

    The pure geekery(ary?) of it all, and the fact its even possible for a pretty reasonable amount, well that's just fantastically cool!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hmmmm

    Anyone have a working ion drive that will fit into less than 1 liter? minus at least 10 kW of solar panels, radio equipment, reaction mass (how much of that do we need?) etc.?

    AC because I'm probably still missing some huge point

  18. Joe Cooper

    The future

    Between this and the flying motorcycle, we can finally say its here.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    200g payload

    A small potato weighs about 200g.

    Small suitcase nuke? EMP? With 200g of fissile material? What is that, about a thimble full?

    Looks to me like the canisters are sealed, so ion propulsion or anything else that needs access to the outside is probably a no go. If you can make a small potato sized thing open the can and then head for the moon you are better than an evil genius.

    If you use two cans, then you're up to nearly a kilo of payload, but (obviously) that'll cost you $16K and your gadget will still have to cut itself out.

  20. Jacob Reid
    Thumb Up

    Could I...

    Put a laser weapon in one? or maybe some missiles? Even just heavy objects with sufficient heat shielding not to be destroyed in the atmosphere and sufficient mass to make a small crater of my target?

    Just wondering, you know...

  21. King Edward I
    Go

    EVERYONE CHIP A FIVER IN...

    And we can have El-Reg being broadcast from space in no time...

  22. Onionman
    Grenade

    @ Marty McFly

    13.5cm long, 8.7cm diameter. That'd be a suitcase even smaller than mine.

    O

    You could get a hand grenade in there

  23. TeeCee Gold badge
    Joke

    @Ian Ferguson

    What? So it can be burned up in the atmosphere on reentry? And you expect us to *pay* for the privilege of potentially inhaling your vapourised excrement?

    There's a two word answer involving sex and travel for this one.......

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    200g payload only

    I'm sending up 200g of tungsten, that might even survive re-entry.

    Watch out.

  25. Your alien overlord - fear me
    Alien

    a way home

    just need to break free of gravity....see my name......

  26. Grease Monkey

    @Marty McFly

    And how would you propose to build a nuclear weapon within the weight limits imposed? If you can do that then you're a genuine evil genius.

  27. Paul 4

    A real idea!

    This is in the right price range that people like LEAs and universitys could afford to do this. Get Students to disign an experiment and get them doing some real science.

  28. Irp

    @AC Re Flying Hams

    At least two of the 4 satellites "dropped off" by the Shuttle carry beacons only, rather than transponders. A lot of these satellites just "use" Amateur Radio frequencies and beacon their data and telemetry down, rather than serve as a transponder that you can communicate thru

    There aren't actually all that many Amateur Radio *transponder* (or FM repeater) satellites up there and operational these days: AO-7, AO-51, FO-29, and VO-52 come to mind. Most are in Low Earth Orbit, thus have fairly short passes, and relatively small footprints (AO-7 being the exception)

    To be honest, unless some micro propulsion could be added to one of these tubesats to raise the orbit, and keep it in space more than "a few weeks", I don't see that much use for them from an Amateur Radio perspective.

  29. Lloyd
    FAIL

    Or

    You could fill it with 32 tubes of frickin' baby sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their frickin' heads, admittedly not my best though out plan but it sounded good if only briefly.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    GPS carnage anyone?

    Mine's the one spouting fake GPS info to all those idiots who can't live without it.....

    ....Mwuhahahahahahaha

    Paris....because I'll bet she loves multiple loads being ejected at regular intervals.

  31. CD001

    Hmmm....

    Plague. See if it survives the radiation outside of the Earth's magnetosphere or if it mutates into a new, more resistant strain that can survive re-entry.

    Would you be able to recover the payload or will the whole shebang be destroyed returning to Earth?

  32. Winkypop Silver badge
    Flame

    Payload

    200g of ball bearings might make a spectacular meteorite shower on re-entry?

    Look Martha, aliens!

  33. Big Al
    Pirate

    Kinetic

    So... what I need is a ceramic-encased, superheavy material that will survive the burnup of the outer Tubesat... Oh yeah, and 8 grand.

    Lasers are for wimps who think precision is cool, kinetic weapons are for those who wish to make a real impact!

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