Satellites as a category have always been highly regulated by governments and corporations. They have been used for very specific purposes and require an immense amount of capital to launch and operate.
This is the way that the general public perceives them and noone seems to want to correct that perception in any way. But the reality is far different than we can ever imagine.
The truth of the matter is that, having your own personal satellite is not such a far fetched dream. It is easily possible in the form CubeSats, tiny satellites that are regularly launched into space for a variety of uses.
These satellites are 10 cm (roughly 4 inches) cubes, and contain a whole range of sensors and communications receivers/transmitters, giving them the ability to communicate with people on earth quite easily.
These cubesats are generally deploying along with bigger payloads, and are used to study the Earth from space, as well as space around the Earth.
Due to their small size, they are generally kept in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) which ranges from 200 to 800 miles above the Earth. This is the same space where human-tended missions like the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station (ISS) are also present.
Thanks to the small amount of space they occupy, it becomes easy to launch them at a cost of a few thousand dollars only. This allows smaller entities such as researchers, hobbyists and even elementary school groups to put their own satellites into orbit without any hassle.
So far, there are more than 130 satellites operational in orbit, which shows that this is a not just a fad. However, if you want your own satellite in space, you will have to go through quite a bit of regulations as the government bodies that handle space launches are quite strict on making sure that this technology is not misused.
It is an important precaution to take when it comes to ensuring that the space around our planet doesn’t get filled with useless debree, which can be extremely harmful for both our atmosphere as well as the heavy duty satellites orbiting the earth.
So, if after reading this article, you too have started to dream about owning your own personal satellite, make sure that you are doing it for the right reasons.