It’s a business idea that seems out-of-this-world...
A pair of enterprising Sheffield students are about to launch a firm allowing people to create their very own do-it-yourself space mission.
It allows people to send their messages or objects around the globe and up to 23 miles into space.
Space fanatic Chris Rose, who is behind the business with fellow medical engineering student Alex Baker, said: “We are providing the kit to non-specialists for their own space mission.
“The set-up is very intuitive and easy to understand.
“We sent a cake into space to celebrate a web design company’s tenth anniversary, so anything can be attached to the aircraft if it is light enough.
“The highest we have reached so far is 23 miles, but with technology advancing we are hoping to get higher and higher as time goes on.”
Alex, aged 28, and 27-year-old Chris came up with the venture after sending their first homemade device, a styrofoam box containing a cheap camera and lifted by a helium balloon, into space from Derbyshire.
The University of Sheffield PhD students tracked its progress on a GPS device – which responded to a phone call by texting back its coordinates.
It reached a height of 37km before popping and returning with pictures of earth.
Alex and Chris have now decided to turn their £350 experiment into a business.
They have fine-tuned their design to allow people to send their own messages into orbit and capture their own images.
And the business, called SentIntoSpace.com, is expected to get off the ground at the start of October.
A standard set of kit costs £350 and users can also install their own video camera.
Customers can send anything, from messages to loved ones to advertising.