‘Homemade’ is something that you usually associate with cakes, or bread or even ‘Goat Man’ suits, but proving that it isn’t just baked goods or costumes that can be made in the abode, South Korean Song Hojun, 34, has built his own satellite.
Hojun said that he built the $500 satellite, to prove to other people that they could achieve their dreams, even those as seemingly far-fetched as building a machine that can go into space!
He told Reuters: “I believe that not just a satellite, but anything can be made with the help of the Internet and social platforms. I chose a satellite to show that symbolically.”
Over the years several non-space agency types like universities or scientific research groups have made and launched satellites, but it is believed that Hojun’s OpenSat is the first one to be made and financed entirely by an individual!
Hojun has always had an avid interest in technology and is constantly modifying and tinkering with everyday gadgets. It was whilst working as an intern with a private satellite company that he was struck with the idea to build his own satellite. He contacted space professionals from all around the world, asking for information and advice and set to work building his satellite in the basement!
It took him nearly 6 years to build the OpenSat which weighs just 1kg (2.2lbs) and measures 10 cubic centimeters. The majority of the funding for the satellite came from Hojun’s parents.
The OpenSat can transmit information about its battery life, the temperature and rotation speed of its solar panel. It can communicate with radio operators using its LED lighting.
The components for the open sat cost 500,000 Korean won ($440) but launching it was slightly more expensive – hitting nearly 120 won. Hojun signed a contract with French Technology agency NovaNano who brokered the deal to launch the satellite and if all goes according to plan, Hojun’s OpenSat will go into space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan this December!
Since creating his homemade satellite, Hojun has been invited to talk at several universities and organizations around the world.