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英国推出低成本自制迷你卫星

来源:新东方英语 更新日期:2013-10-15 点击:

摘要:据英国《每日邮报》报道,近日英国一家公司推出了一种迷你卫星,消费者仅需花费1.2万英镑(约合人民币11.7万元)就可制造自己的卫星。

Rise of the DIY satellite: Company launches initiative allowing ANYONE to send a probe into space  -  but it'll cost you £12,000

Space exploration is no longer the preserve of huge agencies who can spend up to £280 million on a single satellite launch.Now amateur engineers - working in bedrooms, basements and garages - have the chance to launch their probes into space for just £12,000.For the price of a car, anyone who can send a tiny 5cm cube satellite into orbit to take pictures of Earth and perform cosmic experiments.

This has all been made possible by Glasgow-based start-up Alba Orbital who has recently begun creating and selling the building blocks for tiny satellites named ‘PocketQubes’.Founder Tom Walkinshaw told MailOnline that he was inspired to launch the company after being rejected for a job at local company, Clyde Space.‘My skillset at the time didn't meet what they needed so I had to essentially create a company if I wanted to be involved in the industry,’ he said.

Clyde Space supplies CubeSats- a type of miniaturised satellite for space research that usually has a volume of exactly one litre and a mass of no more than 1.33 kilograms.Despite CubeSats' small size, they can still cost more than $100,000 (£62,300) to launch, compared to the £12,000 it costs to launch a PocketQube satellite.

The smaller size of Walkinshaw’s PocketQube has driven down the cost of launch, and elements of a PocketQube can be stacked up to create a larger satellite.‘We believe small satellites are on the cusp of a major breakthrough much the like personal computers were in the late 70's/early 80's,’ the company said on its website.While space research is currently dominated by large agencies, the ability to launch satellites on the cheap could open up a host of opportunities for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).‘Small companies have short chains of commands, ideas can be implemented straight away and there is less bureaucracy and schedule slips,’ Walkinshaw said.

‘They also have the freedom to try new things. Agencies may tend to stick to the popular choices as opposed to try something high risk with a low chance of success.’

PocketQube even helps find a launch vehicle. The group has teamed up with an Italian company called GAUSS which has brokered launch opportunities with a Russian rocket called Dnepr.This wasn’t what Walkinshaw initially set out to do when he started a company.Alba Orbital wanted to sell people the opportunity to have a space burial, with capsules of cremated ash being launched into orbit aboard a satellite.But they had to change course due to some legal challenges with the UK Space Agency.

‘We have a really difficult environment for space startups to succeed in the UK which has forced us to change the plan more than once,’ he said.‘Startups in general have lots of challenges and it is a constant battle to raise funds and sell products, hence why we are focused on this Kickstarter.’The company, who is based in a MakLab in Glasgow, has developed a number of prototypes and is looking for Kickstarter funding to develop commercial structures that people can buy.A number of satellites built to the PocketQube standard will be launched in November. These include Morehead State University's BearkerSat and the University of Maryland's QubeScout-S1.(Mailonline)

新闻快讯:

据英国《每日邮报》报道,近日英国一家公司推出了一种迷你卫星,消费者仅需花费1.2万英镑(约合人民币11.7万元)就可制造自己的卫星。

这种卫星为长5厘米的正方体,因为小到可以装进口袋而被称为“口袋卫星”。卫星可以发射到太空以拍摄地球照片或进行宇宙实验。

该卫星是由格拉斯哥的一家新兴公司阿尔巴轨道(Alba Orbital )公司推出,公司制造并出售小卫星的部件。同时,该公司也帮消费者找到相应的发射火箭。公司近日就与意大利的一家名为GAUSS的公司展开合作,帮助人们将卫星搭载在俄罗斯的第聂伯号运载火箭(Dnepr)上升空。
据公司的创始人汤姆?沃金肖称,“口袋卫星”将为中小企业提供很多机会,使它们将想法立即付诸实践、省去政策上的麻烦、同时也可以尝试新的东西。

但公司最早的计划却是帮助人们实现太空安葬,即将装有骨灰的太空船通过卫星送上太空,但该计划因为不符英国宇航署的法律规定而被迫放弃。

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