CubeSats & PongSats - Easy & Cheap Space Access
CubeSats & PongSats are all the rage!
The CubeSats are tiny satellites that measure just 10 centimeters cubed and weigh no more than 1 kilogram and have become popular with the Do-It-Yourself crowd as well as sophisticated NASA and industry payloads.
The PongSat is exactly what is sounds like - a payload that has to fit into the fixed dimensions of a traditional ping-pong ball. These are popular as student projects as they are hoisted aloft to near-space by high-altitude balloons or are launched as payload on powerful sounding rockets. In many cases, these PongSats reach altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet.
Sacramento based JP Aerospace has conducted many of these PongSat flights as an easy and inexpensive way to get students excited about space and science.
Photo credit: JP Aerospace