Embedded Systems.... In Space!
With apologies to the pigs in space, who doesn't want to fly some hardware or software in outer space? Although I've consulted to NASA a few times over my career, only two pieces of my software ever got to actually fly and they were both minor. The rest of my code was either ground-bound or were parts of projects that got the budget ax.
However, if I wanted to fly something myself, I could just finance it myself, right? You don't have to be Bill Gates or Richard Branson to afford a do it yourself satellite. Interorbital is offering a "TubeSat" kit. For about US$8000 you get enough material and plans to build a small satellite. That might seem steep, but included in the price is the actual launch to low Earth orbit! Its actually a bargain.
While US$8000 is a little out of my disposable income range, it isn't hard to image coming up with an idea that would warrant that investment or getting a small group of people together to finance it.
Although the space environment can be harsh, low Earth orbit isn't so bad when it comes to radiation effects and I would think building hardware for a TubeSat is well within the range of many small companies and sophisticated experimenters.
What would you launch? Leave a comment and share your ideas.