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Who says romance is dead?

'I love you' satellite launched

Nothing beats that feeling of getting a bunch of flowers from someone who's gone out of their way to show you they care. Well, stuff that. I want my own 'I love you' satellite.

Japanese company Astro Research will launch a diddy 25cm satellite, which can hold letters, photos and other sentimental bits, up into space on behalf of your loved one. Each little love bomb is guaranteed to stay in the air for a minimum of two to three years, while the soppy souls at Astro Research track its orbit and inform you what time it will be swinging by each day. You can then gaze longingly up into the sky as your partner gleefully rubs his hands together at the prospect of what could be up to 30 years' worth of brownie points.

Unfortunately, at $855,000 (almost £470,000) a pop, I don't think my boyfriend will be affording one any time soon. While it comes with a trip to the Russian launch site and your very own model version, I'd much rather a house, or a collection of sports cars, or both. Okay, so it's cheap as far as your own satellite launch goes, but that's because it uses cheap components and hitches a ride with the larger satellites.

While they might seem destined for enjoyment only by the rich and famous, Astro Research has kept aside five satellites to be used for research purposes. Universities and research institutes with tight budgets will benefit from the ability to launch projects into space for just $1m (£547,000), compared with the usual $50m (£27m).

And when it's all over, the satellite is guided back down through the earth's atmosphere, as it and all its contents are burnt to a crisp in a bid to prevent space junk. Perhaps this is when romance will be pronounced dead.

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