The Idea: Smaller is better
Stage: Getting cheaper all the time
As satellites get smaller, the costs of launching them get lower. That's the major limiting factor. Nanosatellites and the even-smaller picosatellites can be packed with all sorts of useful equipment that have business applications. "The types of nanosatellites and microsatellites that can be built by small companies and universities will become more robust," says Peter H. Diamandis, a pioneer in the field of commerical space flight. "We're heading in a direction where small teams and small companies will be able to do far more in smaller packages."