Space exploration for the masses could soon become possible through innovative ‘microsatellites’

By @vitthernandez on
ThumbSat is a microsatellite that is only 16 inches across and is equipped with a high-definition camera, battery, microcontroller, transmission communication device and GPS transmitter. Thumbsat

Amateur astronomers and ordinary science enthusiasts can now have the chance to send their experiments outside Earth’s atmosphere. The ThumbSat Project, a space expansion enterprise by Aerospace engineer Shaun Whitehead, aims to make space exploration accessible to individuals who don’t have millions of dollars for a presence in space.

ThumbSat is a microsatellite that measures only 16 inches across and is equipped with a high-definition camera, battery, microcontroller, transmission communication device and GPS transmitter. According to Whitehead, each ThumbSat’s projected market price will be $15,000-$20,000 (A$20,807-A$27,740), enough to purchase a low Earth orbit experiment launch.

“We get slowed down by old-school ways of thinking. I hope that ThumbSat accelerates progress in space, inspires everyone to look up,” he told Wired Magazine.

In space, this small balloon-like microsatellites’ main job is to gather data. The collected information will then be sent to Earth through a network of listening stations that will spread the data in various areas around the globe. Whitehead explained that the approximate data travel from ThumbSat to the Earth is two months, which is also its maximum lifespan. After sixty days, the satellite will lose altitude and burn up in the atmosphere.

Tech Times reported that Whitehead’s project had gained attention from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which asked him to send a bundle of his micro satellites into orbit to document gravitational waves.

Whitehead is only one of the scientist-entrepreneurs who wish to make space exploration an enterprise that is not exclusive to professional scientists and giant corporations.

Dr Ruggero Maria Santilli, chief scientist of tech innovator firm Thunder Energies Corporation ( OTCQB: TNRG ) , wants his newest invention to be utilised not only by astrophysicists but also by regular space explorers. The Santilli Telescope, the first and only optical machine that can detect antimatter particles, is now being sold across the globe through distributorship. It is marketed to practically anyone who is passionate about space exploration. 

“I am particularly glad that Thunder Energies Corporation is making available to professional as well as amateur astronomers all over the world our new telescopes for the first known systematic search of antimatter galaxies following a number of scientific publications,” said Santilli in a statement .

Along with the ThumbSat Project, the Santilli Telescope can introduce changes in space exploration despite being designed to cater to regular science lovers. For these two scientists-cum-entrepreneurs, now is the time to give backyard astronomers and space enthusiasts a chance to help the science community while allowing them to do what they love most.

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