South Korean artist Song Hojun has created his own DIY satellite from scratch – and he’s planning to launch it into space this coming December. Song created the satellite from assorted junk he found in back-alley electronics stores in his home town of Seoul, and over the course of six years he has finally managed to complete his space-bound project. Due of the recycled nature of the products he used Song’s satellite cost just over $400 to make, however the cost of launching it to space is going to be a lot, lot more – over $100,000!
Song is a cutting-edge, tech-obsessed Korean artist who is famous for “breaking boundaries with his passion for telling stories through technology”. Hojun uses his engineering background to project meditations on society via his tactile installations. For his satellite project, he sold a bunch of T-shirts and DIY manuals in order to pay for the materials, but admits that most of the funding came from his parents.
The final creation – dubbed ‘OpenSat’ – weighs just over 1 kg and according to Song, was “no more difficult than making a cellphone. My mission was to make a satellite as useless as possible from a scientific perspective,” said Song speaking to The Creators Project. “I wanted to make something for myself and explain that satellites are not only for science, but also for the arts… for someone’s dream. Just like how we listen to music and involve cultural activities—they are not really functional. But we value them very much.”
Song hopes the satellite will be used for human to human contact while it orbits in space and he has installed LEDs on it in order to flash messages in Morse Code. “People can make a reservation for the LED (Light-emitting diode) message, ” Song told reporters. “If he or she makes a booking for a message, such as ‘I love you,’ the satellite will flash the light in Morse Code using the LED lights in space, at a certain time. People will be able to see the blinking lights with the naked eye or through a telescope.”