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Space Science

Fly Your Own Experiment In Space 76

Posted by timothy
from the in-space-no-one-knows-it's-a-time-share dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Want to fly your own experiment in space? dvice are reporting on a project called Ardusat — a satellite based (unsurprisingly perhaps, given the name) on Arduinos. For $500 you can upload your own code to the satellite, and run your own experiment for 1 week. Experimenters will have access to a veritable battery of 25 sensors including magnetometer, geiger counter, accelerometer, gas sensors and various others. As well as allowing for affordable space science, this sounds like it would be awesome for educational institutes."
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Fly Your Own Experiment In Space

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  • And why exactly? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) on Friday June 15, 2012 @08:30PM (#40341065)

    Why exactly would you want to run code ON the satellite? "run sensors, download data" That's pretty much the drill... The interesting code is what you run to analyze the data AFTER you get it...

  • "Hopeful" language (Score:5, Insightful)

    by uzd4ce (1916592) on Friday June 15, 2012 @09:14PM (#40341359)

    I wrote the following post, then just said Fuck It. Basically this article spews more shit than a shit-eater on the vomitron rollercoaster. Read if you like, i got tired and quit before finishing. Summary: people trying to scam $35k.

    Just the language of the article makes it sound like a kind of pipe dream (or scam) -- nevermind why would i want to use sensors that someone else chose & put on there ... this wouldn't be a real experiment. My experiment would be making beer; I realize Sapporo already did this, but i want space-homebrew.

    Instances where the language is really not making me think this is actually going to happen (and TFP is just more marketing):

    "designing a satellite made almost entirely of off-the-shelf (or slightly modified) hobby-grade hardware, launching it quickly, and then using Kickstarter to give you a way to get directly involved."
      -- Very oversimplified... "it's all so quick and easy" is what it makes me think ... too easy

    " ArduSat, as its name implies, will run on Arduino boards .... ArduSat will be packing.... Lots of sensors, probably 25 ..."
      -- Will run... ok, so it's not running yet. Will be packing ... ok, so it's not packing yet... "probably" ok... they haven't figured out how many???? It's mid-2012, and they're wanting to launch in 2013??? seriously???? Methinks they're running late for the train; er... rocket.

    "NanoSatisfi is looking for Kickstarter funding to pay for just the launch of the satellite itself: the funding goal is $35,000. Thanks to some outside investment, it's able to cover the rest of the cost itself."
      -- So everything is covered, we just need to come up with a mere $35k? That's a lot of money for something that's still in the pipe dream phase, never mind the mysterious benefactor element. Who's the exudingly benevolent party?

    "this will be a learning experience to see what works and what doesn't. The next generation of ArduSat will take all of this knowledge and put it to good use making a more capable and more reliable satellite."
      -- Translation: you're paying for our fuck-ups so we can build a better one that we'll make the real money off of; you won't be invited for that one

    "If this Kickstarter goes bananas and NanoSatisfi runs out of room for people to get involved on ArduSat, no problem, it can just build and launch another ArduSat along with the first, jammed full of (say) fifty more Arduinos so that fifty more experiments can be run at the same time. Or it can launch five more ArduSats. Or ten more."
      -- Umm... where to start... yeah, we have soooooooo many slots to launch it's ridiculous; nevermind our delivery vehicles are soooo diverse that we can change payload size without any problem at all, ah, fuck this.

  • by Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) on Friday June 15, 2012 @09:17PM (#40341375)

    Or they're pretty specialized. Honestly, the sensor suite that they have on their proposed satellite isn't going to care what code is running it, the only thing that could possibly be interesting to do is point the thing in some direction so the camera can take a picture of it. They could do that just with a single simple app that points the thing in a specific direction at a specific time. All the other sensors might as well just be sampled constantly and the data downlinked.

    I could see things being more interesting with a more customized set of sensors perhaps, but REALLY the only thing you can do with one of these things is point it anyway. It isn't like you're going to be able to stick a 20' long dipole magnetometer on one!

    Still, it sounds fun as an educational thing for schools. People could learn a few things about how REAL code is engineered, written, and flight qualified, hehe. Of course 99% of /. could probably use that lesson! I know developing code that has flown on various things was quite a good way for me to learn, that's for sure (and no the next 747 you fly in probably won't fall out of the sky, and if it does it was someone else's fault, V-22s OTOH may be a different matter, but you couldn't pay me enough to set foot in one anyway...).

...when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor. - Fred Brooks, Jr.

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