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Want to operate a satellite? All you need is Alibaba’s Taobao!

(People's Daily Online)    17:35, May 18, 2018

Alibaba’s Taobao marketplace will auction various rights to buyers who wish to get close to the world’s first manmade interactive satellite, iwshang.com reported.

The platform’s first auction of a manmade satellite will take place on May 19, with a starting bid of 10,000 yuan ($1,570). In addition, bidders have to pay a 1,000 yuan deposit for the auction.

The winning bidder will be invited to the launch ceremony later this year at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, and will be given access to operate and interact with the satellite.

The lucky winner will be invited to the launch center to operate the satellite for 95 minutes, the time it takes the satellite to complete one full orbit of the Earth.

He or she will be entitled to broadcast the launch via a live streaming platform. After the experience, they will also receive a “space license” from the auctioneer.

The satellite, weighing a mere 8 kilograms, was developed by two commercial spaceflight startups LaserFleet and Spacety.

The satellite will be visible to the naked human eye, according to Pan Yunbin, the person in charge of LaserFleet.

Its main mission will be to test laser communication links with the ground.

An enterprise buyer will have more rights, such as naming brands after the satellite, taking their products into space and conducting space experiments via the satellite.

A manager of a technology company described what a fantastic opportunity it would be to bear his company's logo or stock code on the satellite.

His vision could be realized by using laser technology to engrave company information on the surface of the satellite, Pan said.

Yang Feng, CEO of Spacety, said designers have left enough room for the satellite to perform other functions than what was originally planned. He further explained that in the future, commercial satellites could be used in artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, unmanned driving, entertainment and even new energy resources. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Hongyu)

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