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The Poor Man’s Space Program
October 29, 2003 — 6:00 pm

Now, this is what I’m talking about!

About 100 amateurs in a dozen groups across the United States are designing and launching “near spacecraft”. These groups do not let the high cost of spacecraft construction and launch deter them. Instead, by using off-the-shelf components and simple machining techniques, these amateurs operate their own space program. Altitudes in excess of 30 kilometers are possible on these amateur near-space flights. While the costs of materials and launch are kept low, the results returned are priceless. Where else can one return images of the inky blackness of space and the curvature of the Earth’s horizon at a thousandth the cost of launching a comparable satellite into Earth orbit?

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— Justin M. StoddardComments (0)

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