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Tiny Satellites Are Changing The Space Landscape, Come With Their Share Of Risks

Though spaceflights involve large rockets with several types of technology now engineers have developed and tested small satellites that are just 1.3 inches across. These tiny satellites provide potential to produce and launch hordes of them which would reduce cost as instead of producing a large one several smaller once can be made. Breakthrough Starshot’s Pete Klupar says that though these tiny satellites appear like toys now they can turn into useful tools with a little more effort. There is always potential to send credit-card sized satellite to solar systems closest to earth at incredibly fast speeds with right amount of reliability and technology.

He announced that his firm is also pursuing tiny satellite technology and expects more companies to follow suit in the field. The chief deterrent for most satellite makers is prohibitive cost of fuel needed to move it from earth into space so if they are small the fuel required would be lesser. When large quantities are involved it drives down prices so small satellites requires a shift in thought process from individual to constellation of satellites that would reduce risks as then mission is not dependent on single device.

This kind of thinking process for space goals could be a good change as large individual space-crafts are expensive and cannot be replaced easily. In recent years small satellites have been used only close to the earth and they can also be used for travel to Jupiter and Saturn in the form of small low-mass products. But these tiny satellites offer both threats and opportunities as there is plenty of space junk comprising of former satellites remains and the radar systems in that range can only see objects that are 4 inches or above so tiny satellites can remain undetected and hit other large satellites without warning. When swarms of tiny satellites go about their business in that region it could lead to several potential collisions.

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