DIY Space: Launchbox Kits


For this particular kit we’re heading to Australia.  Launchbox wants to “build and launch an Australian satellite.”  A way the start-up is trying to do this is by providing rocket payload kits for people and schools to buy.  You could hop on the STEM bandwagon by buying one of the kits, and feel as if you’ve contributed greatly to Australian society.

The kits are, I think, $1489 Australian.  It’s unclear, because the site only shows the “Early Bird” price of $989 Australian, noting $500 was saved if people ordered before April 30, 2014.  There aren’t any price updates since then.  To me, it’s never a good sign, though, if the website isn’t updated with the most current information–even if there are more important things to do.

I do admit this kit’s price is a little high, but it does come with the following items:  Launchbox frame, GPS tracker, balloon and parachute, GoPro Hero3 Camera, Educational package for schools (so a package within this package), and launch authorization.  You can just go to the order site, here, for more details.

I don’t think these kits are actually meant to go into orbit.  I believe they will be launched with smaller rockets for short flights up and down–hence only the camera, a tracker (to find the thing when it comes back down), and balloons/parachutes.  So, while this kit is a “payload” it’s not one that’s designed as being meant for a satellite.  Perhaps Launchbox views this as a step towards designing a satellite payload.

One more thing about this kit and Launchbox:  you could win $5,000 Australian for you or your school.  If you come up with an idea for a payload for the small satellite that Launchbox deems is the “best idea,” then Launchbox will give you $5,000 Australian.  The winner will also be able to help build and launch Launchbox’s own satellite.


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