Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
SUNDAY, 20 APR 2014
07:03 AM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
21 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Science
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Homemade Korean satellite to go boldly into space
Reuters
Song Ho-Jun shows his satellite during an interview with Reuters at his house in Seoul July 10, 2012. Song, a 34-year old media artist with a background in engineering, says he wanted to show people that "anything could be made by ordinary people with the help of internet and social platforms". There's a long history of do-it-yourself satellites being launched by universities and scientific groups around the world, as well as amateur radio clubs, but Song said his cubical OpenSat is the first tr
Song Ho-Jun shows his satellite during an interview with Reuters at his house in Seoul July 10, 2012. Song, a 34-year old media artist with a background in engineering, says he wanted to show people that "anything could be made by ordinary people with the help of internet and social platforms". There's a long history of do-it-yourself satellites being launched by universities and scientific groups around the world, as well as amateur radio clubs, but Song said his cubical OpenSat is the first tr
A+ A-

SEOUL: Years of rummaging through back-alley electronics stores will pay off later this year for a South Korean artist when he fulfills his dream of launching a homemade, basement-built satellite into space.

"Making a satellite is no more difficult than making a cellphone," said Song Hojun, 34, who said he built the $500 OpenSat to show people they could achieve their dreams.

"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."

There's a long history of do-it-yourself satellites being launched by universities and scientific groups around the world, as well as amateur radio clubs, but Song said his is the first truly personal satellite designed and financed by an individual.

An engineering student at university, Song regularly incorporated technology into his art pieces. In a work called Apple he used light bulbs that would "ripen" -- change colour from green to red when people take photos of it with flashes.

After working as an intern at a private satellite company, he came up with the idea for his "Open Satellite Initiative," which in turn led him to contact space professionals from Slovenia to Paris.

"I'm just an individual, not someone working for big universities, corporations or armies, so they open up to me and easily give out information," said Song.

The bespectacled Song spent nearly six years combing through academic papers, shopping online at sites that specialise in components that can be used for space projects, and rummaging through electronic stores hidden in the back alleys of Seoul.

He ran a small electronics business to support himself, but the bulk of his funds came from his parents.

The cubical OpenSat weighs 1 kg (2.2 lbs) and measures 10 cubic centimeters. It will transmit information about the working status of its battery, the temperature and rotation speed of the satellite's solar panel.

Radio operators will be able to communicate with the satellite. If all goes well, it will repeat a message in Morse code using its LED lights at a set time and location.

The components cost only 500,000 won ($440). But the cost for launching it hit 120 million won after Song signed a contract with NovaNano, a French technology company, which acted as a broker to arrange the launch, including submitting paperwork and finding a rocket.

The satellite will be launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in December with another satellite.

Song has been invited to talk at international universities and organizations including MIT Media Lab and CalArts, both in the United States, and the Royal College of Art in London.

"The reason why technology or science is talked about is not because it is an absolute truth, but rather because it generates interesting stories," he said. ($1 = 1146.9500 Korean won)

 
Home Science
 
     
 
South Korea
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Saturday April 19, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Why Israeli-Palestinian talks fail
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Echoes of 1914 characterize the Ukraine crisis
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS