Aerospace researcher Dennis Wingo of the SkyCorp company in Huntsville, AL, wants an astronaut to hurl a specially modified G4 Cube computer into orbit from the International Space Station.
Through his company, SkyCorp, he plans to build a 544-satellite constellation to provide earthbound Web hosting and e-mail, according to a
Business Week Online
article. The constellation would be powered entirely by standard Macs floating in space and using a modified version of the Apple Airport wireless-data device to transmit info to earthbound users.
If Wingo’s plans come to fruition, his first Cube satellite will actually be assembled in space — an approach that reflects his belief that engineers spend too much money protecting satellites from the thermal stresses and G-forces experienced during launches. SkyCorp will use lightweight materials and as much off-the-shelf equipment as possible, according to Business Week Online.
“The initial project should cost less than $10 million — magnitudes cheaper than standard satellite launches, which often range into the hundreds of millions of dollars,” reads the article. “To connect with the zero-G Macs, Wingo says his customers will use proprietary wireless modems and software to access the 120-pound orbiting satellite powered by a 500-megahertz Mac server. The first satellite will serve as a beta tester to prove Wingo’s concept.”
Check out the entire article to read more of Wingo’s plans, potential obstacles, and the researcher’s background with Macs. And if Dennis Wingo is reading this, I hope he drops me an e-mail at
firstname.lastname@example.org. I live just down the road in Nashville, TN, and would love to see his work up close and personal.