Luxury Electronics: How did we ever get by without it? Change truly is the only constant left for us, especially when it involves technology. Among the latest reminders of that phenomenon is the introduction of a customized personal satellite, the MySat-1, from the Japan-based Astro Research Corporation. As reported recently by Discovery Channel News, MySat-1 is a low-Earth-orbiting satellite that is capable of circling the planet 14 times daily and remaining in space for 20 to 30 years. It is a
four-cubic-inch container that weighs 44 pounds and is approximately 10 inches high. This box-shaped, aluminum-alloy personal satellite can be ordered for $860,000.
Per Astro Research's press release, which was published on SpaceRef.com, the MySat-1 package includes satellite design, development, fabrication, testing and quality control. Additional services provided are launching (via piggyback) and satellite operation services that include communication with the satellite, tracking, and de-orbiting. Service upgrades can be purchased too. MySat-1 is being marketed to both individuals and businesses. Each satellite can be customized. It is designed to carry an 11-pound load, and its whereabouts can be tracked by radio signal on a website.
Usage of the satellite is as wide open as owners' imaginations. Personal belongings could take flight. Business could launch marketing and advertising
efforts. Scientific endeavors are definitely doable. How long is it going to be before a satellite crematorium is launched? What about safety-deposit boxes 600 to 800 kilometers in space? Private investigation firms are probably going to love it. You can bet that the MySat-1 is sure to find itself on numerous, odd, peculiar, esoteric, and expensive gift lists of numerous upscale publications.
Discovery News also reported that universities and research institutions are working on smaller satellites that weigh around two pounds. Astro Research is ready to take orders now. The MySat-1
satellites could be ready as early as June 2007. However, a definite timeframe for delivery remains somewhat up in the air.
For LxM James Rothaar