We've seen many efforts in bringing the world closer to space, all from a plethora of multi-billion pound companies. But imagine a mission to the stars ran by four guys in a garage and, possibly, you. Introducing WREN: the first satellite you can fly.
The team based in Aachen, Germany, have created a 5x5x5cm miniature satellite (roughly the size of a tennis ball), which contains tiny thrusters and a camera for any bidder of £100 or over to take remote control of. It will be released into space at the end of this year in a UNISAT-5 deployer, launched in a DNEPR Rocket in Russia.
They write in their Kickstarter project: "It will race around the globe every 98 minutes, passing every point of the earth during each day, seven days a week, just waiting for the command to be remotely flown by you."
To aid in user navigation of this satellite, WREN has been fitted with a camera, a gyro and a magnetic field sensor, providing an adaptive feedback system. It's easily maneuvered using the built-in microthrusters, and the camera's image processing system automatically finds the position of the Earth and Sun.
Plus if you're feeling particularly confident about finding life in the stars, you can transmit a message into deep space. Well worth a look!