The idea that it is now possible for individuals and small organizations (like Karkhana) to design and send their own satellites into space was lingering somewhere in my awareness for at least a year. I am not sure about the exact moment it grew into an obsession… but for last 3 months or so I have been totally consumed by this idea. So I have been doing a lot of research, talking to anyone who will listen about it and tinkering a bit of with the technology needed. Thought I would share some of the reading material, links, interviews etc I found though a series of blog posts. Today’s post is about books!

DISCLAIMER: I have not read all these books as yet. I have read a few and liked them, others I have skimmed and decided were worth reading, yet others have been put on the list because they sounded cool. If you do read them and have an opinion, do write to us at info at karkhana dot asia telling us what you think.


Down To Earth looks at the behind the scenes of the satellite industry including geopolitics etc.  Culture of Orbit by the same author looks at how satellites are shaping culture.  Eying the Red Storm is the story of the first spy satellites from the US perspective. Something New Under The Sun is a history of satellites that also looks at their use.

Satellite Basics and It’s Only Rocket Science appear to be non-technical guides to satellites and the rockets that get them up there respectively. Small Satellites does a scan of various small satellites and what they might be used for. Whereas Small Satellites: Regulatory Challenges looks at the laws and treaties that might apply to launching small satellites.


Sandy Antunes 4 books for O’Reilly media – DIY Satellite Platforms, DIY Comms and Controls for Space,Surviving Orbit the DIY Way, and DIY Instrument for Space might be a good place to start.

AMSAT: Getting started with Amature Satellite: look like a great guide for the radio part of the operation. Also there is a good for beginners series of articles on the website. Peter Basset’s Spotting Satellites seems to be some kind of manual for identifying satellites, but I have no clue on what basis.


Superstructures in Space sounds really cool, it is a survey of the kinds of man-made structures that now populate space. Whereas Rocket Manual: 1942 onwards looks at the development of rockets, which also sounds fascinating, but I imagine I would be overwhelmed if I tried to learn about satellites AND rockets at the same time. I definitely do not have the energy or inclination for this right now, but I imagine if I got really REALLY obsessed with space this 1000 page Space Weather and Its Impact On Human Activity would be a fun read.