Say ‘I love you’ with a personal satellite

Forget flowers. A Japanese company is offering people the chance to say “I love you” with a personal satellite.

Astro Research Corp. will launch a small satellite with a payload of your choice and then track it for you as it orbits the earth. The compact satellite, which measures 25 centimeters along each side of its cubic body, has a 10cm box for a cargo of the customer’s choice.

That could include letters, photos, rings and other sentimental items, said Ted Mitsuteru Sugiki, president of Astro Research. “We would like to introduce space to anyone who would like to use it,” he said.

The MySat-1 satellites will take up a low-earth orbit (LEO) between 600 kilometers and 800 kilometers above the earth. That means their position in the sky will constantly change relative to the ground. Although they won’t be visible to the naked eye, a beacon on each satellite will allow Astro Research to track them and let customers know where they are and at what time they’ll pass overhead each day.

Each satellite will be guaranteed to stay in orbit for two to three years, but Astro Research estimates the actual lifetime will be closer to 20 or 30 years. When they reach the end of their life the satellites will be guided down into the earth’s atmosphere to burn-up so they don’t become space junk, said Sugiki. That also means you’ll never get a chance to retrieve whatever is placed in the box.

Launching your love into orbit doesn’t come cheap. The price for the satellite and launch is

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