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What's missing for everyday people to be able to launch his own satellite (or any other space objects) into space? I mean, I know that mostly money and technology, but what does it actually mean?

What kind of equipment should I have to be able to launch something into orbit?

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Actually, the threshold to getting your own cubesat in orbit is much much lower than what Deer Hunter lists below. I don't know the complete set of prerequisites, but I know cubesats are popular as student projects nowadays. – SF. Feb 5 '14 at 7:37
Gravity... I think – Everyone Feb 5 '14 at 12:32
Related: Could I build my own spaceship? – Michael Kjörling Feb 5 '14 at 14:52
@MichaelKjörling Yes, I really like this question because it is focused on unmanned where my question was focused on manned. – called2voyage Feb 5 '14 at 16:42
@called2voyage Yes, that's why I didn't suggest this was a duplicate. – Michael Kjörling Feb 5 '14 at 20:42
up vote 8 down vote accepted

The infrastructure you are missing is a-plentyful:

  • A launch range and vast swaths of land/sea for the spent stages to fall (unless you are using a SSTO/reusable craft). Unless you have lots of money or the right of eminent domain, this is going to be prohibitive.
  • A satellite control center (can be rented/outsourced, though).
  • Assigned frequencies for uplink/downlink, telemetry and commands.
  • Ground crew (to assemble/service launchers, mate with spacecraft, supervise and conduct actual launches).
  • A license from a government authority.
  • Insurance coverage.

Actual launchers might be easier to come by especially if you are launching a small payload. DARPA/US Army/etc. have made great progress in the "Operationally Responsive Space" program; other countries may be willing to take your payloads on surplus ballistic missiles.

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With respect to "assigned frequencies" would 'radio piracy' be possible/practical (ignoring morality) in international waters (or perhaps even in a country without strong enforcement of such laws)? (A similar exception might apply to "a license" and presumably "insurance coverage".) – Paul A. Clayton Feb 5 '14 at 23:59
@PaulA.Clayton - if you are a citizen of some state, this state will have the right to prosecute you for not adhering to regulations. Insurance will be useful to cover claims after a failed launch/mishap. – Deer Hunter Feb 6 '14 at 5:28

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