March 13, 2014

The Coming Revolution in Orbit

Zach Rosenberg, Foreign Policy

The Associated Press

Until recently, orbital space was an exclusive club. The Soviet Union and Russia, the United States, certain European nations, Japan, and China were the only builders of large satellites, and they controlled the only rockets capable of actually putting a heavy payload into orbit. Everyone else who wanted to send a package (or a person) whizzing around the planet had to deal with them. But the club's membership is expanding. In the past three years, Bolivia, Hungary, Belarus, and Lithuania -- countries not known for their technological prowess, let alone their space-faring experience -- have placed their first satellites in orbit, as have dozens of obscure universities, scientific research institutions, and start-up companies. TJ3Sat was the first high school–built satellite, but...

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TAGGED: Space Exploration