Frequently Asked Questions

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Plus Why would anyone want to utilize a satellite that remains in orbit for such a short period of time?

ThumbSats deliberately don't linger in orbit because we don't want to contribute to the problem of space junk. In fact, we have some pretty clever ways to reduce the issue of debris in Low Earth Orbit. But back to the question - you can do a lot of science or grab a lot of beautiful images in just a few weeks in orbit.

There have been many innovations throughout history that people initially asked: "Why?" and very frequently it was not the inventor or designer that developed the useful application, but the users.

The modern binary number system was invented by Gottfried Leibniz in 1679 , but was of little practical value until modern computers. A recent example of a small, very low cost device that has had huge success is the Raspberry Pi microcomputer or Arduino system. Yet, a search for projects that utilize these devices will return many thousands of pages that discuss a nearly endless spectrum of ideas and creativity.

Visit the Mission Builder page and see what options are available to you and what creative uses of ThumbSat you can think of!

Plus What can you do with a ThumbSat?

How long have you got to read our answer?!

You can do lots and lots with a ThumbSat, and the best way to find out is to take a look at our Mission Builder page or read some of the documents in our Virtual Classroom.

What excites us most is that we believe that the user community will identify countless uses for the ThumbSats in areas that we haven't even thought of yet!

Plus Is there any way to accelerate the schedule and get my experiment launched sooner?

The timescale for getting a ThumbSat into orbit is already amazingly short (weeks to months instead of years), but if you're really keen to do an experiment in orbit very quickly, yes, there is an expedited launch option available on the Mission Builder page.

Plus Do I have to handle the launch paperwork myself?


We strongly believe that your time is best spent developing your experiment and not the legal challenges of acquiring a permit for communication or launch.

ThumbSat provides a nearly turn-key solution for getting your experiment or project into Earth Orbit. This includes the required paperwork.

Plus Do I have to have a radio broadcast license to talk to my experiment?


ThumbSat will hold all the licenses required to communicate with the satellite and download the data from each mission.

This will allow you to focus on what is important: The mission experiment! Not the boring, "behind the scenes" stuff.

Plus Who is designing your hardware?

The ThumbSat team is designing our own hardware. Our engineering team has been working on the base ThumbSat modules for more than two years and has optimized all components to achieve the lowest possible mass and volume with the highest quality components.

If you have a special experiment need that cannot be met with our current designs, let us know, and we'll be more than happy to design something to your requirements.