How to Build a Basic Satellite

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Building a Basic Satellite

Do you want to launch your first permanent, sustainable satellite? Are you bored and want to litter space with a billion small objects? Do you just want to practice deploying payloads into orbit? This is for you!


  • Length: 5–15 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy (Requires knowledge of orbital mechanics)
  • For version: Every version


Step 1 - Build your satellite

First, you'll need to actually make your satellite. Take the most advanced probe you have- it should be a HECS type. Check to see if it has a reaction wheel- you'll need one if you want to move it. If it doesn't have one, add one. Next, add some batteries- it doesn't matter which type, as long as it fits- and a few solar panels. If you want to be fancy, add a thermal control system and/or some scientific equipment. To finish, add an antenna- a Communitron 16 or two should do. Next, put a decoupler or seperater below that, and a fairing below that- make sure to have it cover the whole satellite! Build a rocket, of your choice, that can get into orbit below it.

Step 2 - Launch your satellite into orbit

Launch your satellite in the traditional way- straight up, then a gravity turn. Once you pass 70,000 meters, deploy the fairing and extend the antennae. You should know how to get into an orbit by now. Circularize at or above 75,000 meters.

Step 3 - Finishing

Decouple the satellite from the final stage. Extend all your antennae/solar panels/thermal control systems and admire your glorious creation!

Finishing word

Congratulations! You've built a small satellite. You can launch more, or save time and credits by doing something worthwhile.