May 19, 2022

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How cheap, small satellites are helping to make space science more accessible to many

Many scientists see satellites and telescopes as a resource they can draw on to conduct research beyond the limits of our planet, always with the goal of finding answers to issues such as the changes that the oceans are experiencing as a result of warming. Global holes or black holes hidden in distant galaxies.

However, doing all this requires building powerful satellites and telescopes, which involves a huge investment of money that can only be covered by governments, national space agencies or people with massive purchasing power.

Fortunately, this situation has led to the emergence of more affordable options that involve developing Nano-satellite provides them with a payload not exceeding 10 kgincluding fuel, and they can then release them individually or in swarms so that they can transmit data as part of missions focused on marine traffic, crop monitoring, education, etc.

The decisive factor in the development of these small satellites was Uniform shape and sizewhich allowed them to launch en masse with a single missile.

Among the shapes in this category of satellites The Cubesat It has been widely used It has a side length of 10 cm and can be built from commercial electronic components.

In the case of companies like SpaceX and Rocket Lab, they offer rideshare missions that make it easy to split the launch cost among dozens of small satellites. In this way, people who are financially able can get the ability to build, test, launch, and get data from their CubeSat at a cost of as little as $200,000.

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There is no doubt that nanosatellites have given rise to new ways of exploring the planet and space. In 2018, it became known that two nanosatellites were integrated into NASA’s Insight mission to Mars in order to enable real-time communication with the probe during its descent.

In May this year, it is expected that the Rocket Lab . will be implemented First CubeSat launched on the Moonas well as an introduction to what will be the launch of the Artemis spacecraft by NASA in 2024.