Citizen Space

Illustration: Nate Van Dyke

Illustration: Nate Van Dyke

Through the centuries, we’ve been ruled by a love of the stars. Civilizations were built around their movement and meaning, and science is built around their discovery, measurement, and the pursuit of traveling to them. History is bookmarked with seminal moments in astronomy, each renewing our deep desire to climb ever higher in the sky. Falling apples and reflecting telescopes have led to footsteps on the moon, robots on Mars, and probes rushing ever farther past our solar system. Even more ambitious journeys will launch soon.

With the technological foundation firmly formed by giant space agencies and research facilities, powerful tools capable of major discoveries can now be built and accessed by at-home astronomers, garage spacesuit builders, and independent satellite designers everywhere. In this section we celebrate these amateurs and their increasing role in discovering our cosmos, and guide you to ways you can get involved. Take the stars, for they are ours. We are the Space Generation.


More Articles and Projects for Your Citizen Space Program

 

Exploring the World of Pixar, Holographic Cars, Intelligent AI, and More at GTC 2017

Exploring the World of Pixar, Holographic Cars, Intelligent AI, and More at GTC 2017

Nvidia's GTC conference was full of creative minds that were putting different pieces of Nvidia tech through its paces.

Want to Help NASA Make a FabLab in Space?

Want to Help NASA Make a FabLab in Space?

NASA is accepting prototypes and applications from the public to put a makerspace aboard the International Space Station.

I Built My Own Mars Rover in the Spirit of Simplicity

I Built My Own Mars Rover in the Spirit of Simplicity

How I built a Centennial Challenge robot using the cheapest materials I could find.

Compete in “Print the Future” for a Chance to 3D Print Your Item in Space

Compete in “Print the Future” for a Chance to 3D Print Your Item in Space

Your project could be printed aboard the ISS

Monitor Light Pollution with Photodiodes

Monitor Light Pollution with Photodiodes

Create a simple light detector to create a light pollution survey of your town or county to find out where your local dark sites are.

NASA Shapes the Future of Space Design and Exploration with its Mixed Reality Program

NASA Shapes the Future of Space Design and Exploration with its Mixed Reality Program

Nasa's Jet Propulsion Lab gives us a peek into the future of space exploration with their mixed reality tools.

Gaze Across the Solar System with a 3D-Printed, Raspberry Pi Telescope

Gaze Across the Solar System with a 3D-Printed, Raspberry Pi Telescope

The PiKon telescope is an open source, 3D printed, Raspberry Pi telescope supported by a growing community of amateur scientists.

These “Balloongineers” Floated to 31km for the Global Space Ballooning Challenge

These “Balloongineers” Floated to 31km for the Global Space Ballooning Challenge

The Balloongineers had quite the adventure sending up and recovering their high altitude balloon for the Global Space Ballooning Challenge.

Giaco Whatever Builds an Industrial Style Space Lamp

Giaco Whatever Builds an Industrial Style Space Lamp

What's the easiest thing to start making? A Lamp. Giaco Whatever demonstrates with a cool space inspired lamp.

The Miles CubeSat Might Be the Next Satellite Sent to Mars

The Miles CubeSat Might Be the Next Satellite Sent to Mars

When I think of people putting things into orbit, or visiting space, bulky spacesuits and perhaps a gigantic room filled with scientists monitoring an array of screens comes to mind. Things have, however, changed since the 1970s, and though that situation may still exist, smaller entities are now getting into […]

What It's Like in Space: Weird Stories from Those Who've Been

What It’s Like in Space: Weird Stories from Those Who’ve Been

"What It's Like in Space: Stories From Astronauts Who Have Been There" highlights astronaut's most interesting — and often bizarre — stories.

The AstroPi Project Goes Where No Pi Has Gone Before

The AstroPi Project Goes Where No Pi Has Gone Before

The first results from the two Raspberry Pi boards now on board the International Space Station are starting to arrive on the ground, and there is a new competition for British school children to have their code run in space.

Visualize the Scale of the Solar System with Drones and Football Fields

Visualize the Scale of the Solar System with Drones and Football Fields

Our solar system is big and that can make it hard to visualize. In this video Mark Rober uses drones to show the distances involved.

Go Behind the Scenes of Installing an Interactive LED Art Exhibit

Go Behind the Scenes of Installing an Interactive LED Art Exhibit

Nick Squires details his time spent using his maker skills to produce an interactive art installation and performance.

Why It's So Hard to Land a Rocket on Its Tail

Why It’s So Hard to Land a Rocket on Its Tail

On Monday history was made. For the first time ever a rocket stage that delivered a payload to orbit turned around and returned, landing safely on its tail.

Watch Two Raspberry Pi Blast Off to the ISS This Thursday

Watch Two Raspberry Pi Blast Off to the ISS This Thursday

On Thursday the Orb-4 mission to resupply the ISS is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral, and onboard will be two Raspberry Pi boards on their way to the orbital outpost.

Hinge Sky Tracker for Astrophotography

Hinge Sky Tracker for Astrophotography

This sky tracking platform matches the eath's rotation in the simplest way possible. A basic regulator circuit powers a DC gear-head motor, which turns a pair of gears that engage a curved length of threaded rod, and makes the hinge open at the correct speed. You can build it in a weekend about $75 or less.

How to Detect Killer Asteroids

How to Detect Killer Asteroids

Monitor the skies to spot asteroids and help save the Earth from annihilation by interplanetary projectiles.

11 Ways to Build Your Own Space Program

11 Ways to Build Your Own Space Program

Here are a few impressive ways that Makers are building their way to outer space right now — and so can you.

NASA Crowdsources Exploration with Challenges, Grants, and More

NASA Crowdsources Exploration with Challenges, Grants, and More

The Centennial Challenges program is one of NASA’s shining stars, and frequently has incubated the cash-winning contestants into government-contracted entrepreneurs such as the winners of the Astronaut Glove, Lunar Lander, and Power Beaming challenges.

Bill Nye's LightSail: Making Sci-Fi Real

Bill Nye’s LightSail: Making Sci-Fi Real

The quest to solve one of the persistent barriers to citizen space exploration.

Commemorate the Pluto Flyby with This 3D Printable Plaque

Commemorate the Pluto Flyby with This 3D Printable Plaque

Todd Blatt was inspired by the new detailed images of Pluto and decided to make a 3D printable plaque. Download the STL file today!

Build a Backyard Dobsonian Telescope

Build a Backyard Dobsonian Telescope

An amateur telescope builder reveals his process for designing and constructing his own Dobsonian telescope using CAD design and a CNC router.

International Space Station Tracker

Point the Way to the International Space Station with This DIY Orbit Tracker

To keep tabs on the International Space Station's orbital position, Grady Hillhouse shows how he created a an automated tracker.

This New Printer Works in the Lonely Vacuum of Outer Space

This New Printer Works in the Lonely Vacuum of Outer Space

An organization called Made In Space has announced that they've made a breakthrough in 3D printing within a vacuum.

Meet the Tech — And Techies — That Powered a High-Speed Rocket

Meet the Tech — And Techies — That Powered a High-Speed Rocket

A look at the tech inside a mostly successful high-altitude rocket launch

Carbon Origins: From Hobbyist Rockets to a Space Tech Business

Carbon Origins: From Hobbyist Rockets to a Space Tech Business

The founders of Carbon Origins moved to the desert to launch rockets. It was harder than they expected.

Installing a Fiber Optic Starfield Ceiling

Installing a Fiber Optic Starfield Ceiling

For my wife and I, a dream of ours has always been to have a home theater to watch movies with our family. This past winter we’ve finally been able to make it a reality. We had our basement finished and in doing so, I planned a good sized room […]

Falcon 9 Failure Is Second Setback for Unlucky Student Space Scientists

Falcon 9 Failure Is Second Setback for Unlucky Student Space Scientists

While the loss of yesterday's SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket may cause major headaches for NASA, the Dragon also carried other payloads built by numerous high school and middle school students.

Rheoscopic Disc Coffee Table

Rheoscopic Disc Coffee Table

Make this spinning, swirling, self-contained liquid disc and mount it in your table for a gorgeous centerpiece.

Building an Incredibly Detailed Star Trek Galileo Shuttlecraft

Building an Incredibly Detailed Star Trek Galileo Shuttlecraft

I’ve been a lifelong fan of Star Trek and was motivated, like many other students at the time, by the original TV series (as well the amazing space programs at NASA) to pursue a career in engineering. I even wrote a book, Starship Simulation. So, when I heard about the […]

Rockstar Robots: NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover

Rockstar Robots: NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover

Rockstar Robots make up the cream of the crop in the world of robotics. These are the bots that will turn heads with just their name being uttered. Even those who don’t stay on top of who’s making what should recognize a famous robot or two when they see it. […]

Live from MakerCon — An Interview with Sam Ortega

Live from MakerCon — An Interview with Sam Ortega

Talking to Sam Ortega about NASA's Centennial Challenges Program and how the technologies and tools of the Maker Movement are appearing inside NASA.

Live from MakerCon — An Interview with Eben Upton

Live from MakerCon — An Interview with Eben Upton

Talking to Eben Upton about the Raspberry Pi, its origins and success, and the process of onshoring the production of the board back from China to the United Kingdom.

NASA Approves Kicksat's Tiny DIY Satellites for Second Attempt

NASA Approves Kicksat’s Tiny DIY Satellites for Second Attempt

With the recent announcement that the replacement Kicksat has been awarded a launch slot by NASA I sat down and talked to Zac Manchester about the history behind the Kicksat project, and the upcoming launch.

Out of this World: Milling Meteorite Shoes from Aluminum Foam

Out of this World: Milling Meteorite Shoes from Aluminum Foam

Photo: Petr Krejci If you’ve ever wondered how a meteorite might look after being turned into a pair of fashionable shoes, then you’re in luck, because the designers at Studio Swine have illustrated just such a scenario with this spectacular pair of Meteorite Shoes made from aluminum foam lined with […]

Artist Sends Plants to Space for Weirdly Poignant Photos

Artist Sends Plants to Space for Weirdly Poignant Photos

Last year, “plant artist” Azuma Makoto and a team of collaborators created Exobiotanica – Botanical Space Flight, sending a bonsai tree and some floral arrangements to the stratosphere using space balloons. Azuma and his team executed the launch last July in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, reaching an altitude of some […]

Build a Twilight Photometer to Detect Stratospheric Particles

Build a Twilight Photometer to Detect Stratospheric Particles

Have you wondered why some sunsets are so spectacular and others so drab? This ultra-sensitive photometer project will allow you to tease out the secrets of twilight and even do serious science by finding the altitude of the dust, smoke, and air pollution that influence the colors of twilight.

Journey To The Edge Of Space: Take The Global Space Balloon Challenge

Journey To The Edge Of Space: Take The Global Space Balloon Challenge

Registration for this year's Global Space Balloon Challenge has just opened. Do you have what it takes to send a payload into near-space using a high-altitude balloon?

DIY Paper Space Shuttle

DIY Paper Space Shuttle

Do a little exploration of your own space with this ingenious paper space shuttle tutorial by Instructables member pmet!

Makers as Wanderers

Makers as Wanderers

Watch this short film by Erik Wernquist featuring narration by Carl Sagan, including photos and map data of our actual solar system.

Hackaday Prize Winner Announced

Hackaday Prize Winner Announced

The Hackaday prize, where entrants competed to build something awesome that transmits data and is openly documented, has now been won by the satNOGs team led by Pierros Papadeas. The device, or system rather, is a open standard based network of ground stations for tracking and monitoring satellites. As cool […]

2nd Annual Global Space Balloon Challenge

2nd Annual Global Space Balloon Challenge

As part of World Space Week, we are proud to announce the 2nd Annual Global Space Balloon Challenge (GSBC), the world’s largest high altitude balloon event! The challenge is simple – coordinate people around the world to design, build, and fly a high altitude balloon anytime between April 10th and […]

How-To: DIY Constellation Dishes

How-To: DIY Constellation Dishes

Bring your space geek love to the dinner table with this awesome new DIY constellation dishes video tutorial!

Papercraft Stop-Motion Animation in Sci-Fi Music Video

Papercraft Stop-Motion Animation in Sci-Fi Music Video

The new music video from French trio Ödland takes DIY special effects to a whole other world by using elaborately constructed papercraft settings for their cosmic stop-motion animations.

How-To: Galaxy Moon Shirt

How-To: Galaxy Moon Shirt

Turn a boring black tee into a work of space geek art with this galaxy moon t-shirt tutorial!

Making Fun: Kid's Room Spacecraft

Making Fun: Kid’s Room Spacecraft

I built a spaceship for my four-year-old's room. It has a control panel full of interesting displays and whiz-bang space sounds. A joystick controls lights and sounds for the engine and thrusters. The payload bay has a motorized hatch and and contains a robot arm for deploying payloads like toy satellites. Headsets provide an audio link between the spacecraft and the Mission Control desk in the other son's room.

How-To: Doctor Who-Inspired Galaxy Shoes

How-To: Doctor Who-Inspired Galaxy Shoes

Embrace your inner geek craft fashionista with this awesome Doctor Who-Inspired galaxy shoes tutorial!

Want a Free Trip to Orbit With NASA?

Want a Free Trip to Orbit With NASA?

Aimed directly at the 21 “rookie states” that have had no previous CubeSat presence in space, one of the initiatives announced by President Obama today at the White House Maker Faire is an "announcement of opportunity" from NASA for new CubeSat developers.

New Makers Building Parts for the Space Station

New Makers Building Parts for the Space Station

One of the initiatives announced by President Obama today at the White House Maker Faire will allow middle and high school students access to the first 3d printer to be flown aboard the ISS.

How-To: Solar System Necklace

How-To: Solar System Necklace

Attention crafty space geeks: If you haven't already seen this solar system necklace tutorial, you'll definitely want to take a look!

Hand Grinding a Telescope Mirror

Hand Grinding a Telescope Mirror

This is how you make a telescope mirror out of a hunk of glass.

Launching $125,000 into space

Launching $125,000 into space

With three days still left to go on their crowdfunding campaign, the hackers behind the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project who wanted to recover the ISEE-3 spacecraft and return it operations, have passed their funding goal.

Send Your Project into Space

Send Your Project into Space

Space is not just the final frontier. It’s the citizen-science frontier. And it’s getting easier to participate. Edward Wright, the founder and president of the United States Rocket Academy, and project manager of Citizens in Space, came to MakerCon to announce the new Lynx Cub Payload Carrier, which will enable […]

Crowdfunding the Recovery of a Lost Spacecraft

Crowdfunding the Recovery of a Lost Spacecraft

The hackers behind the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project have moved on to a different challenge. Not content with images, this time they want to recover a whole spacecraft. They want to bring the ISEE-3 space probe home to Earth.

Near-Space Balloon Cam with Arduino and APRS Radio

Near-Space Balloon Cam with Arduino and APRS Radio

Build this battle-tested rig to launch, track, and recover a high-altitude balloon that will carry your hacked Canon camera to the stratosphere. With this setup using APRS ham radio and the Trackuino — an Arduino-based communications board — any hobbyist or science class can photograph (and video) the Earth against the blackness of space, and bring these amazing images home to share.

Space Robots, Mars Rovers, and NASA Scientists coming to Maker Faire Bay Area

Space Robots, Mars Rovers, and NASA Scientists coming to Maker Faire Bay Area

Look out for exciting exhibits and presenters focused on our off-world future at Maker Faire Bay Area 2014.

Yuri's Night logo

Yuri’s Night: The DIY Space Holiday

Set up your own party to celebrate space exploration.

We're Starry Eyed in the Maker Shed!

We’re Starry Eyed in the Maker Shed!

We’re pretty grounded folks here in the Maker Shed, but every so often we find our heads in the clouds dreaming of potential kits and projects.  With DIY Space Week upon us, we thought it would be prudent to share some of our favorite space-related goods and why we love […]

Q&A: KickSat's Zac Manchester and Andy Filo

Q&A: KickSat’s Zac Manchester and Andy Filo

Catch up with KickSat's creators before their Monday launch.

LaunchIt Rocket Controller

LaunchIt Rocket Controller

When you launch a rocket, you need that big red button.

Zero Gravity Cocktail Project logo

The Zero Gravity Cocktail Project

How do you pour a drink in space?

Your Own Satellite: 7 Things to Know Before You Go

Your Own Satellite: 7 Things to Know Before You Go

Launching your own satellite is an excellent decision, and easier than you may think. But first, what do you want your satellite to do? Here are 7 key things you need to know before you launch your personal spacecraft into orbit at 17,000 miles an hour.

Mars Rover Art Car: Bringing Space to the Playa

Mars Rover Art Car: Bringing Space to the Playa

How a Burning Man crew brought space to the Playa.

Flight of the Space-Grazing Ping Pong Balls

Flight of the Space-Grazing Ping Pong Balls

Students from all over the world send us their PongSats and we float them to 100,000 feet.

Kerbal Space Program: Now with More Asteroid!

Kerbal Space Program: Now with More Asteroid!

Kerbal Space Program is the closest most of us are going to get to running our own space agency, and now NASA has stepped in and is collaborating with the game's makers to improve it.

Deadly Space Rocks! Help NASA Save the Earth This Weekend

Deadly Space Rocks! Help NASA Save the Earth This Weekend

Does the thought of an asteroid falling out of the sky keep you up at night? Join a Hangout with NASA on Thursday to learn more — then help save the Earth by contributing your ideas to the 2014 International Space Apps Challenge this weekend, April 12–13.

To Mars and Back: Make the Robotic Rockets to Hunt for Life

To Mars and Back: Make the Robotic Rockets to Hunt for Life

NASA is proposing a Centennial Challenge to build robotic rocket sample return systems.

Mars-Bot: Adding Science to Robotics

Mars-Bot: Adding Science to Robotics

A simulated space mission could leverage the popularity of robotics competitions to teach science.

Space Craft: 21 Works of Art Inspired by the Cosmos

Space Craft: 21 Works of Art Inspired by the Cosmos

Whether the medium be welded metal or crocheted yarn, makers are creatively showing their love of outer space.

How to Capture Breathtaking Time-Lapse Photography of the Night Sky

How to Capture Breathtaking Time-Lapse Photography of the Night Sky

Learn how to capture the night sky — in motion! — with this complete tutorial covering camera settings, night shooting tips, image editing, and video production.

5 Cool Participatory Space Projects

5 Cool Participatory Space Projects

From discovering supermassive black holes to saving Earth from deadly asteroids, here are five ways you can make scientific discoveries and actively contribute to space exploration.

Freeze-Dry Your Own Astronaut Ice Cream

Freeze-Dry Your Own Astronaut Ice Cream

Re-create this gift shop novelty food by making a freeze-dryer with parts already lying around your workshop.

SpaceGAMBIT: Open Call for Proposals

SpaceGAMBIT: Open Call for Proposals

Help NASA find all asteroid threats to human populations and know what to do about them.

Makers in Space: What Was Old Is New Again

Makers in Space: What Was Old Is New Again

Setting the record straight on the history of Do-It-Yourself satellites.

Interplanetary Makers: NASA Needs Your Input!

Interplanetary Makers: NASA Needs Your Input!

Put your CubeSat into lunar orbit and see if it can send back data from the farthest reaches of space.

The Pressure Suit Chronicles

The Pressure Suit Chronicles

Meet the man who's building — and testing — his own pressurized space suit.

DIY Satellites: Now and Near Future

DIY Satellites: Now and Near Future

Space is becoming increasingly accessible to more people thanks to plummeting costs, weight, and energy use of the technologies needed for freeflying satellites to sense and direct their orientation, communicate with the ground, and perform complicated computations in real time on orbit. The dawn of this new age of DIY satellite […]

Why Care About DIY Space?

Why Care About DIY Space?

Prepare for lift-off. MAKE's DIY space week launches April 7.

How-To: DIY Glow-in-the-Dark Stars

How-To: DIY Glow-in-the-Dark Stars

Bring some space-inspired fun to your walls and ceilings with this tutorial for making your own DIY glow-in-the-dark stars!

Recipe: Concentric Sphere Planet Layer Cakes

Recipe: Concentric Sphere Planet Layer Cakes

For those of you who've been dreaming of baking an awesome planet-inspired cake of your own, the wait is over: CakeCrumbs has released this step-by-step tutorial for making your own concentric sphere planet layer cake!

How-To: Cardboard Space Shuttle

How-To: Cardboard Space Shuttle

Start saving your paper towel tubes now, because your mini astronauts are definitely going to want to make some awesome cardboard space shuttles!

High School Students Launch Satellite With NASA

High School Students Launch Satellite With NASA

Brace yourselves, history's first high school-built satellite is set for launch! At 7:30PM ET today, TJ3Sat (pronounced TJ-cube-sat) will launch from the Wallops Flight Facility alongside 27 other satellites. Our small, 10cm x 10cm x 11cm satellite will orbit the Earth at 500km and will function as an educational tool for schools and the general public worldwide.

  • Posted by | November 19th, 2013 12:47 PM
How-To: DIY Constellation Flashlight Discs

How-To: DIY Constellation Flashlight Discs

Got space-loving kids? You definitely won't want to miss this awesome tutorial for making your own constellation flashlight discs!

Quilting in Space: Astronaut Karen Nyberg Invites Quilters to Submit Blocks for Star-Themed Quilt

Quilting in Space: Astronaut Karen Nyberg Invites Quilters to Submit Blocks for Star-Themed Quilt

Quilts in spaaaaace! Join astronaut Karen Nyberg's Astronomical Quilts! Block Challenge by sewing your own star-themed quilt block.

Hot Trends in 3D Printing On Display at World Maker Faire

Hot Trends in 3D Printing On Display at World Maker Faire

One of the exciting things about Maker Faire is seeing the technological progress year over year. Case in point, 3D-printers.

NASA Is Taking Off with Makers

NASA Is Taking Off with Makers

We chat with Sam Ortega manager of the Centennial Challenges Program at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center about the program and how makers have participated in the past, and how they might participate in current and future challenges.

Testing Your Big Ideas in Space

Testing Your Big Ideas in Space

How'd you like to get your big idea to make the world a better place studied on the International Space Station?

MapperBot Charts a Simulated Asteroid at World Maker Faire

MapperBot Charts a Simulated Asteroid at World Maker Faire

Gotham Laboratories will be at World Maker Faire next month to show off MapperBot, a drone that demonstrates mapping an asteroid with a plenoptic camera, which they have mounted on a quadcopter which will circumnavigate a 2-3 meter asteroid mockup and map the surface details in real time.

How-To: Tie-Dye Galaxy Shoe

How-To: Tie-Dye Galaxy Shoe

Give your sneakers some serious space geek style with this tie dye galaxy shoe tutorial!

Space Hacker Workshop In Dallas

Space Hacker Workshop In Dallas

A group of space makers and hackers assembled this past weekend in Dallas for the Space Hacker Workshop at the Frontiers of Flight Museum. Doing space on the cheap was the general theme of the event with talks from leaders in the commercial and citizen space industries.

DIY Constellation Votives

DIY Constellation Votives

These DIY constellation votives on Design Sponge are so dreamy.

Getting Crafty on the International Space Station

Getting Crafty on the International Space Station

NASA's Karen Nyberg is representing the USA and the crafters right now in her six-month stint on the International Space Station, and she just might do some quilting while she's there!

Extraterrestrial 3D Printing

Extraterrestrial 3D Printing

In partnership with NASA, Made in Space, Inc. recently announced that they'll be sending one of their custom 3D printers to the International Space Station in August of 2014. The benefits of being able to print in space are clear: envision the potential lowering of NASA's costs by granting crew members the ability to print new tools and replacement parts.

Wrap the Saturn V Moon Rocket in a Crowdsourced Quilt

Wrap the Saturn V Moon Rocket in a Crowdsourced Quilt

The Dream Rocket Project project brings the "A" to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) and celebrates the Saturn V — a crowning achievement of human ingenuity — by wrapping it in a massive crowdsourced quilt made by people from around the world. The project needs funding to help cover design and engineering costs, and you can help by contributing to their Kickstarter campaign.

DIY Space Exploration Takes Flight

DIY Space Exploration Takes Flight

I visited the Citizen Astronaut and Space Hacker Workshop in Silicon Valley this weekend, hosted by Hacker Dojo, to see what’s new and exciting in DIY space stuff. This much is clear after just the first day: If you haven't explored it before, now is the time to start looking in to sending your experiments into the mesosphere (and beyond).

How-To: Moon Phases Wall Art

How-To: Moon Phases Wall Art

Is there a space geek in your life? Whip them up the perfect just-because-you're-awesome gift with this moon phases wall art tutorial!

11 From 11: Apollo Moonshot Tools

11 From 11: Apollo Moonshot Tools

In 1969, human beings first set foot on the moon. The mission was Apollo 11. Here are eleven tools that helped us do it. These are not rockets, spaceships, or robots--though those are certainly "tools," in their own way--but humbler implements, having more in common with the bone club (to use the 2001 metaphor) than the satellite. But that is precisely why they are remarkable.

MAKE Magazine Interviews NASA Administrator Charles Bolden

MAKE Magazine Interviews NASA Administrator Charles Bolden

To showcase NASA's new initiatives in Advanced Manufacturing, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden toured the National Center for Advanced Manufacturing Rapid Prototyping Facility at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL.

Redditor Builds Spaceship for Son from Scrap Broadcast Equipment

Redditor Builds Spaceship for Son from Scrap Broadcast Equipment

Redditor (and father of the year) JeremiahGorman posted these photos of a simulated spaceship he built for his son Finn’s fifth birthday. Assembled with surplus electronic components including a master control board from a television station dumpster, the spaceship’s control panel is mounted below Finn’s newly-lofted bed. Check out the […]

NASA MAKE Challenge 2011 Winner: "Bring It Back" Microgravity Kit

NASA MAKE Challenge 2011 Winner: “Bring It Back” Microgravity Kit

“Bring It Back” Microgravity Kit by Prashant Rao & Subra Sankaran Prashant Rao, Ph.D., Principal Engineer, Barrios/Jacobs/ESCG Subra Sankaran, Ph.D., Senior Thermal Specialist, MEIT/Jacobs/ESCG at NASA JSC, 2224 Bay Area Blvd, Houston TX 77058 Three experiments are described here (with suggestions for additional experiments) that use molten wax in different […]

High-Resolution Spectrograph

High-Resolution Spectrograph

The first spectroscopes used glass prisms to split light into colors, but Fraunhofer found that an array of closely spaced wires had the same effect. Today we call these arrays of tiny slits diffraction gratings.

Balloon Imaging “Satellite”

Balloon Imaging “Satellite”

Snap aerial photos from 300' up by suspending a hacked camera from 3 helium balloons.

  • Posted by | December 18th, 2012 10:35 PM
Nativity in Outer Space

Nativity in Outer Space

Make: Projects user Papydom and his grandkids have an annual tradition of making new scenery for their Christmas Nativity scene. This year, they transported the scene into outer space. Rad!

The Rockwell International Integrated Space Plan

The Rockwell International Integrated Space Plan

I first encountered this amazing infographic hanging on a professor's office wall when I was visiting law schools back in 1999. I've been trying, off and on, to run down my own copy ever since. It's been one of those back-burner projects that I'll poke at when it comes to mind, every now and again, but until quite recently all my leads have come up dry. All I really knew about the poster was that it had been created in the 80s by analysts at Rockwell International and that it was called the "Integrated Space Plan."

How-To: Nebula Pillow

How-To: Nebula Pillow

I love everything about space and that includes this really rad nebula pillow by Rachel Barry on Whimsy Box. You could use the same technique to create a custom galaxy t-shirt or tote bag.  

Homemade Satellites are Just Around the Corner

Homemade Satellites are Just Around the Corner

  As a child, I always looked up at the stars and wondered how I could make it into space. Hopefully, I will live to see that day, but for now, a homemade satellite will have to do. The Nanosatisfi team has made it their mission “to provide affordable space […]

Asteroid-Grabbing Microspines

Asteroid-Grabbing Microspines

NASA JPL researchers present a 250-mm diameter omni-directional anchor that uses an array of claws with suspension flexures, called microspines, designed to grip rocks on the surfaces of asteroids and comets and to grip the cliff faces and lava tubes of Mars. [via Techland; thanks Bigpaws!]

Soldering in Space

Soldering in Space

In July 2004, Astronaut Mike Fincke melted some solder aboard the International Space Station. The behavior of the solder in zero gravity is fascinating to watch.

3D Models of NASA Spacecraft

3D Models of NASA Spacecraft

Among its multitudinous downloadable resources, NASA offers .3DS models of famous and not-so-famous spacecraft, including the NPP climatology satellite to the ISS. [thanks, Gnomic]

3D Printing For CT Scan Analysis, Space Education

3D Printing For CT Scan Analysis, Space Education

Seth Horowitz is a neuroscientist and assistant research professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Brown University as well as a maker and a 3D printing enthusiast. He shares this report on some ways that he has been using his 3D printer, including a new research method. […]

What a Real Spaceship Cockpit Looks Like

What a Real Spaceship Cockpit Looks Like

Sweet find by our own Rachel Hobson over on National Geographic: A zoomable high-resolution panorama of Discovery's flight deck, by photographer Jon Brack. I swear I've found at least one stripped screw head.

International Space Apps Challenge

International Space Apps Challenge

NASA wants your help! They’re hosting the International Space Apps Challenge this weekend at locations across the globe. The international space apps competition is part of NASA’s Open Government Initiative. They’re encouraging participants to contribute to projects in four major areas: 1. Software 2. Open Hardware 3. Citizen Science 4. […]

Happy Yuri's Night!

Happy Yuri’s Night!

Yuri’s Night is an international celebration of the achievement of human spaceflight, named after Yuri Gagarin and in celebration of the 51st anniversary of his flight. Yay Yuri!

Romanian Teenager Puts Space Shuttle Back in Space

Romanian Teenager Puts Space Shuttle Back in Space

On January 5, 2012, Raul Oaida posted the following update to his blog: "On the 31st of December I launched the Black Sky project payload with two HD cameras. I recovered the rig ~240km awaydownrange (320km on the highway) in excellent condition from a hill in a remote area." About a month later, he posted the embedded video to YouTube. The entry on his blog from that date kinda says it all: "This was all done by me."

How-To: Homemade Astronaut Ice Cream

How-To: Homemade Astronaut Ice Cream

Inspired by Chris Gammell’s post about “trickle down techonomy,” Ben Krasnow posted this how-to video on making your own Astronaut Ice Cream. He used a vacuum pump, dry ice, and various hoses and fittings to freeze dry ice cream that can be easily enjoyed any time you’re out in space […]

Scratchbuilt:  The "Swift" from "Space 1999"

Scratchbuilt: The “Swift” from “Space 1999”

Alex Dumas of Sci-High Models took Editor’s Choice in Starship Modeler’s 2010 Just Glue It contest with this 1/87 scale replica of the Swift, a spacecraft from the late-70s British TV series Space: 1999. Do not miss his wonderful work-in-progress shots, one of which I’ve included, below, to show off […]

Nor Cal Mars Rover Project: Jon Cox (video)

Jon Cox shows the Nor Cal Mars Rover Project at Maker Faire Bay Area 2011. This group of enthusiasts is dedicated to furthering the cause of making manned missions to Mars with the possibility of colonization in the future. NASA approached the group to design and build a prototype for a future Mars mission.

PhoneSat Aims to Send a Cellphone into Space (video)

At Maker Faire Bay Area 2011, Ben demonstrates PhoneSat, a project in conjunction with NASA done to prove that a cellphone can serve as a viable CPU in an orbital satellite. The Nexus One on board uses the Android OS and is monitored by an Arduino that also serves as a rebooting device.

Hasselblad's "Astronaut's Photography Manual" for NASA

Hasselblad’s “Astronaut’s Photography Manual” for NASA

Cool find by my old pal Billy Baque. The manual describes the operation of the Hasselblad 500 EL/M, and gives general advice about how to take good photographs in space, should you ever find yourself there. With a camera. As Billy says, "[i]t makes working on the shuttle seem less glamorous and a lot more like hard, hard work."

What a Little Moonlight Can Do

What a Little Moonlight Can Do

Laurent Laveder is a landscape astrophotographer. No, really. That's his job! OK, he's also an astronomy journalist, if that makes you feel any better. But it's his amazing astrophotography, especially his series called Moon Games, that really inspires awe... and lots of FB/G+ reposting.

Needle-Felted Hubble Space Telescope

Needle-Felted Hubble Space Telescope

Astounding needlework by space wonk Jen Scheer, aka @flyingjenny, now up for auction on eBay.

Stephen Colbert in SPAAAAAAAACE

Stephen Colbert in SPAAAAAAAACE

This is so awesome, and so smart of a promotional stunt on MakerBot's part. You know Colbert is likely to put this on the show. It's also cool to see all of the bizarre things that people have been doing with Colbert's head files on Thingiverse.

1st hackerSPACE Workshop Coming in November

1st hackerSPACE Workshop Coming in November

Kris Kimmel of Kentucky Space is organizing the first hackerSPACE Workshop, which provides an opportunity for makers learn about building spacecraft from space professionals and engineers. The focus of the workshop is on the CubeSat satellite platform. The workshop is November 11-12 in Lexington, Kentucky.

Space Shuttle Cake with Ice Cream Tank, Chocolate/Caramel Boosters

Space Shuttle Cake with Ice Cream Tank, Chocolate/Caramel Boosters

Was Googling for interesting stuff made with PVC pipe today and happened upon this impressive theme cake from Craig T. Fifer of Alexandria, Virginia: "The Orbiter is made from brownie covered in fondant; the orange External Tank is made from PVC pipe and holds ice cream; the white Solid Rocket Boosters

How-To: Backyard Astronomical Observatory

How-To: Backyard Astronomical Observatory

Instructables user and aerospace engineer maewert shows us how to turn a backyard shed into a personal astronomical observatory. By modding the roof of a shed so that it can slide off (either manually or driven by a garage door opener), you too can be ready for celestial observation at […]

Robotics in Space

Robotics in Space

I was at Kennedy Space Center last week for the launch of STS-135, and had the opportunity to talk with former astronaut John Grunsfeld about the RRM. It turns out that Grunsfeld is a big fan of MAKE, and he described the RRM as being a very "MAKE" project. He gave me a tour of a full-sized mockup of the RRM in the KSC newsroom...

Last Shuttle Launch as Seen from a Plane Window

Last Shuttle Launch as Seen from a Plane Window

By way of our pals at LaughingSquid comes this amazing window snap of this morning's Atlantis launch. So great! Our very own Rachel Hobson was there with the press and will be filing a report later.

Mini Maker Faire North Carolina Near Space Balloon Launch: Success!

Mini Maker Faire North Carolina Near Space Balloon Launch: Success!

Christopher Gorski wrote in to let us know that NC Near Space Research‘s balloon launch at Mini Maker Faire North Carolina was a success! NSL-6 photos came out great! We only reached about 60 kft, but we got some great space photos and several of other aircraft, which is a […]

Near space balloon launch today at Mini Maker Faire North Carolina

Near space balloon launch today at Mini Maker Faire North Carolina

Today at Mini Maker Faire North Carolina, NC Near Space Research will, weather permitting, launch a near space balloon at 2:30pm Eastern time. You’ll be able to monitor its progress at their web site, and if all goes well, it should reach a height of at least 75,000 feet today. […]

NASA Make: Challenge 2011 Winners

NASA Make: Challenge 2011 Winners

Houston, we have a ... winner!

ISS Lamp Glows When Space Station is Overhead

Nathan Bergey’s ISS Lamp notifies him when the International Space Station is in transit over his location. It acts as a reminder of the wonder of what’s being accomplished by humans in orbit around Earth: The International Space Station (ISS) is a marvel of current technology and humanity. Sadly, we […]

World Map Wall Mural

World Map Wall Mural

I am ALL about transforming your space by creating graphic wall murals. Renters always worry, but as long as you can yank it down and paint it white, you’re good to go. This Cork Board World Map created by K. Faith Morgan for Man Made really caught my eye! This […]

Providence RI's Wooly Fair Seeks Artists to Occupy Space Station Pods

Providence RI’s Wooly Fair Seeks Artists to Occupy Space Station Pods

The Wooly Fair Space Station is the central element for Wooly Fair 2011. The Space Station is a superstructure made up of 21 individual pods that will be joined together for the event to create a massive ring around the grounds of the Steel Yard. Individuals, groups, or entities are invited to propose an installation for each pod that expresses their particular vision of space and/or the future.

For Sale: Full-Scale Saturn V F-1 Engine Model

For Sale: Full-Scale Saturn V F-1 Engine Model

Nineteen feet tall. Twelve feet in diameter. "The F-1 is still the most powerful single-chamber liquid-fueled rocket engine ever put into service. Manufactured by Rocketdyne, five F-1 engines were used in the first stage of each Saturn V rocket, each generating 1.5 million pounds-force of thrust—more than all three Space Shuttle main engines combined."

Project Calliope's Space Music Getting Closer To Reality

Project Calliope’s Space Music Getting Closer To Reality

We covered Sandy Antunes’ Project Calliope last year, and he’s written in to let us know how things are going, how you can stay on top of his progress, and how you can help. Project Calliope is taking sensor readings (magnetic field, temperature, light) and sending it back to Earth […]

NASA Make: Challenge Entry Deadline (4/30/11)

Reminder: This Saturday (April 30) is the deadline for the NASA Make: Challenge! Go here for complete rules and guidelines for submissions. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!   Here’s the archived video of last week’s webcast about the Make: Challenge, hosted by Dale Dougherty, with […]

NASA Maps its Open Gov/Citizen Science Efforts

NASA Maps its Open Gov/Citizen Science Efforts

Our friends at On Orbit posted a link to this NASA poster showing their milestones in creating more open source agency in their agency and providing more tools for citizen science. As part of the NASA Open Government plan released on April 7,201 0, NASA announced more than 150 milestones […]

HacDC Spaceblimp video from latest launch

HacDC Spaceblimp video from latest launch

The folks at HacDC have now done four successful “spaceblimp” launches. The latest took place this past Sunday (April 10) in Maryland. They write: We launched from Breezewood Elementary School? at 1:30 pm, the balloon popped at 2:41 pm at 103,764 ft, and touched back down at 3:09 pm. Again, […]

Tactile Deep-Space Imagery For The Visually Impaired

Tactile Deep-Space Imagery For The Visually Impaired

NASA’s Amazing Space project has a monthly Tactile Astronomy feature that provides public-domain files for printing “feelable” versions of Hubble’s deep space photographs on special printers:

Rachel's "High Texture Hand Embroidery of the Moon" Wins in Etsy Contest

Rachel’s “High Texture Hand Embroidery of the Moon” Wins in Etsy Contest

Over on CRAFT, sister Natalie posted this nifty announcement about CRAFT/MAKE contributor Rachel Hobson: We are extra excited over the recent announcement of the Etsy and NASA Space Craft Contest winners because our own crafty space geek Rachel Hobson won in the 2D Original category for her High Texture Hand […]

NASA Make: Challenge Submission Guidelines

NASA Make: Challenge Submission Guidelines

We’ve published the rules and guidelines for the 2011 NASA Make: Challenge, which invites makers to propose kits that high school students can build in their classrooms to explore a scientific, technical, or math concept by flying the kits on a suborbital rocket flight. Proposals for the NASA Make: Challenge […]

Pssst.  Hey, Buddy, Wanna Buy a Space Shuttle?

Pssst. Hey, Buddy, Wanna Buy a Space Shuttle?

Because, in point of fact, they are. Not counting tax, title, and license, of course, which in the Space Shuttle’s case amount to some $28 million. When Discovery returns from its final mission today, some 21 museums will be waiting in the wings to see which one of will be the lucky recipient of Orbital Vehicle 103, artifact. Atlantis and Endeavour (OVs 4 and 5, respectively), are also up for grabs. Contending institutions include the Johnson Space Center in Houston, the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum in Manhattan, Seattle’s Museum of Flight, Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, and the Smithsonian. More details and used-car metaphors at The New York Times.

2011 NASA Make: Challenge

2011 NASA Make: Challenge

Image of the Noisebridge weather balloon space probe, part of our DIY Space coverage in MAKE Volume 24 I’m excited to announce the launch of the NASA Make Challenge: Experimental Science Kits for Space. Last year, I met with Lynn Harper and Daniel Rasky of the Space Portal at NASA […]

Amazingly well-timed photos of ISS silhouetted against moon, sun

Amazingly well-timed photos of ISS silhouetted against moon, sun

Both these remarkable shots were captured from the ground by French astrophotographer Thierry Legault. The first, showing the ISS passing in front of the full moon, was taken from Avranches, France, at 21:34 UTC on December 20, 2010. The space station, of course, is much closer to the camera than the moon is, and is moving at 7.5 km/s relative to the ground, the upshot of which is that this photograph was only possible for the 0.55 seconds it took the ISS to pass in front of the moon. Monsieur Legault knew that, in advance, planned for it, and got the shot. The second, even more remarkable photograph, shows a double partial eclipse of the sun, most obviously by the moon, to lower left, but also, again, by the ISS. The small dark spot to lower right is a sun spot larger than the Earth itself. This photograph was only possible for a 0.86 second window at 9:09 UTC on on January 4th, 2011, from Muscat, Oman. Again, Legault carefully planned for that moment, traveled to Oman, and got the shot. M. Legault's website is absolutely chock-a-block with stunning astrophotography and is well worth the click. Just be prepared to spend some time gawking. [via Neatorama]

Altitude testing the Nexus S

Field testing gear can be a hoot. Check out this video of Googlers launching Nexus S phones into the upper atmosphere to test on-board sensors.

SpaceX launches commercial space flight

SpaceX launches commercial space flight

Founded by Elon Musk of PayPal and Tesla Motors fame, Space X has become the first company to successfully build and launch a spacecraft into low Earth orbit and have it return safely. Launched from Cape Canaveral, SpaceX's Falcon 9 lifted its Dragon cargo capsule into orbit, performed extensive test maneuvers across two orbits, and splashed down just after 11 a.m. PST on December 8, 2010.

How-To: Make a $20 spectrograph (from MAKE Volume 24)

How-To: Make a $20 spectrograph (from MAKE Volume 24)

Want to discover the chemical make-up of distant stars and planets? Use a spectroscope. It displays a little rainbow of visible-light spectrum that’s emitted by a star (or reflected by a planet). Each element in the periodic table has its own spectral signature — say, bright emission lines in the […]

This month in CubeSats

This month in CubeSats

Rocketman's Flying Coffin of Dead

Rocketman’s Flying Coffin of Dead

Making Your Own Satellites

Making Your Own Satellites

It’s often said that there’s nothing you can’t make at home, and even the final frontier is not too remote from the hands of a well-equipped group of DIYers. You can build and launch your own satellite for as little as $8,000.

Two 1:9th scale Saturn 1B projects!

Two 1:9th scale Saturn 1B projects!

Frontier Prime spacesuit being developed at Eyebeam

Frontier Prime spacesuit being developed at Eyebeam

Ted Southern at Eyebeam is developing a private space suit: The Frontier Prime spacesuit is the first complete pressure garment ever produced at Eyebeam. It features a unique heat sealed bladder and easy to use nylon restraint system. Overall weight is just 13 pounds without life support systems, and it […]

It's World Space Week!

It’s World Space Week!

Teaching kids science and Shanni Prutchi's radio astronomy paper

Teaching kids science and Shanni Prutchi’s radio astronomy paper

We’re getting a nice response from makers who are excited about the upcoming DIY Space issue of MAKE and who want to share their space projects with us. David Prutchi (Voorhees, NJ) writes: We are looking forward to the upcoming issue of MAKE. My daughter Shanni (now 15) and I […]

Team Phoenicia/TechShop Nanosat Launcher Challenge Seminar

Team Phoenicia/TechShop Nanosat Launcher Challenge Seminar

Team Phoenicia, a group of “tech-bend individuals” who are entering the Google Lunar X and Lunar Lander Challenges, and TechShop, are going to host a Nanosatellite Launcher Challenge Seminar on November 6th, 2010 at TechShop, Menlo Park at 1 PM. They’re still firming up the agenda. You can see a […]

DIY Space on Make: Online

DIY Space on Make: Online

The forthcoming issue of MAKE, Volume 24, is the DIY Space issue. It should be making its way to subscribers this week and will be on newsstands by Oct 26. It has all sorts of cool projects and articles related to do-it-yourself and do-it-with-others space exploration, from launching space balloons […]

Homemade Spacecraft

Homemade Spacecraft

The latest high altitude weather balloon video making the rounds is from the father and son team of Luke and Max Geisshuhler of Brooklyn, NY. Their setup included a 19-inch helium balloon with a payload consisting of a camcorder, GPS enabled phone, and a couple of hand warmers inside a styrofoam container.

Science experiments in space

We’ve covered the in-space science experiments of astronaut Dr. Don Pettit before. Here’s a compilation of a number of microgravity experiments he’s conducted while onboard the International Space Station. Saturday Morning Science More: Zero-gravity coffee cup

Maker Faire: Hermes Spacecraft

Maker Faire: Hermes Spacecraft

Maker Faire is a great place to see materialized dreams. Human creativity knows no bounds, and when makers set their sights, big, amazing things happen. A newcomer to Maker Faire Bay Area, taking place on May 22nd and 23rd at the San Mateo Fairgrounds, is Morris Jarvis, maker of the […]

Happy Birthday, Hubble telescope!

Happy Birthday, Hubble telescope!

Hubble turns twenty today. The orbiting space telescopes — they grow up so fast. One day, it can barely focus its little lens, and seemingly, the next, it’s exploring dark energy (let’s call it its Goth phase). Happy birthday, Hubble. Spaceship Earth is so proud of you. NASA writes on […]

ANSR near space balloon launch

ANSR near space balloon launch

Todd Harrison (Mesa, AZ) has a nice post on his blog about a recent ANSR (Arizona Near Space Research) balloon launch, the group’s 55th! Rich Osgood from Heatsynclabs.org and I were invited observers. Our objective was to help track the balloon and locate the landing zone while testing our own […]

Charles Platt at Space Access '10

Charles Platt at Space Access ’10

MAKE Contributing Editor (and author of Make: Electronics) Charles Platt just filed this little report from the commercial space conference he’s covering for us. — Gareth The Lynx suborbital spaceplane from XCOR I’m attending the Space Access ’10 conference in Phoenix, Arizona, with the intention of writing about some particularly […]

How-To:  Build a model Hubble Space Telescope

How-To: Build a model Hubble Space Telescope

Our intrepid space-beat reporter Rachel Hobson spotted these cool model Hubble Telescopes on the Hubble website: There are three versions: a PVC pipe version, a basic paper model version, and an expert paper model version that even includes the internal structure of the telescope. Why not host a little Hubble-building […]

More budget missions to the edge of space

More budget missions to the edge of space

From the Daily Mail article on the flight Another day, another amateur storming heaven with a spacecraft built from pocket change and stuff found laying around the house. Here, British amateur scientist and inventor, Robert Harrison, captures amazing images about 22 miles above sea level. His styro and duct tape […]

Yuri's Night 2010

Yuri’s Night 2010

What could be better than a regular party? A space party, of course!

  • Posted by | March 25th, 2010 1:57 PM
Look, it's Jersey from space!

Look, it’s Jersey from space!

Notice tarp taped to the ground, stocking feet, and cotton gloves, all used to keep the fragile balloon intact. Bright tape on the camera-carrying cooler helped them recover the balloon rig. To the left can (barely) be seen cellphone and handwarmers, to the right (under the bungies) the camera and […]

"Artist in residence from outer space" dies

“Artist in residence from outer space” dies

Images from the McCall Studios website. Sadly, famed science fiction and space exploration artist, Robert McCall, has died. He passed away on Friday, of a heart attack, in his Scottsdale, Arizona home. Anybody who’s paid even passing attention to sci-fi, the space program, or postage stamp art has seen Bob […]

Rachel in Space: Welcome home, Endeavour!

Rachel in Space: Welcome home, Endeavour!

Image courtesy NASA Despite initially “iffy” weather reports, Endevaour was given the all-clear to land at Kennedy Space Center late last night, completing an almost two-week mission to the International Space Station where the crew installed a new node and the Cupola. The impressive seven-window addition has already offered up […]

Announcing Hackerspaces in Space, the space blimp contest

Announcing Hackerspaces in Space, the space blimp contest

Here's an exciting challenge from Workshop 88, called Hackerspaces in Space. It's an inter-hackerspace challenge to send a weather balloon into space, capture some amazing data, and retrieve it.

  • Posted by | February 19th, 2010 12:36 PM
Noisebridge hackers launch balloon to 70K feet

Noisebridge hackers launch balloon to 70K feet

San Francisco hackerspace Noisebridge launched a balloon to the upper atmosphere, capturing numerous excellent photos as well as one super spinny video. Declaring a week’s advance notice of a balloon launch to the edge of space when we hadn’t even bought most of the equipment, let alone built it, was […]

Volkemon in Space: Additional launch pics

Volkemon in Space: Additional launch pics

Our favorite armchair astronaut, Rachel, is sleeping off all the adrenalin and exhaustion of covering the STS-130 shuttle launch for MAKE. (Great job, Rach!) So, we crowd-sourced a few more pictures from Make: Online member Volkemon, who was also on-hand for the big blast. Here are a couple of his […]

Stunning images of space taken from a shed

Stunning images of space taken from a shed

Here's a great story in the Telegraph about an amateur stargazer who tricked out his garden shed in the U.K. and surprised professional astronomers around the world with his top-notch images.

  • Posted by | January 23rd, 2010 12:24 PM

Floating spherical robots dance in space

I just had a major "the future has arrived" moment when I saw this video, taken aboard the ISS, of three spherical robots doing precision formation flying in zero-g. Note that the video embedded above is clearly time-lapsed--they're not actually moving that fast. Here's another video (with inevitable Strauss accompaniment) that shows two of the bots orbiting each other at actual speed. They maneuver using compressed carbon dioxide. It's all part of MIT's SPHERES project. [via BotJunkie]

Handmade telescope

Handmade telescope

I received the most special gift this Christmas. My husband, Chris, was holed up in our garage most nights since November, feverishly working on a secret project for me. He’s never attempted woodworking before, but tackled this project with absolute determination. I’m a huge space geek, and have been fascinated […]

Marvelous night for a (Saturnalian) moon dance

From the International Space Fellowship website: To celebrate the holidays, the Cassini imaging team has created a video collection of “mutual events,” which occur when one moon passes in front of another, as seen from the spacecraft. Imaging scientists use mutual event observations to refine their understanding of the dynamics […]

AXM Paper Space Scale Models

AXM Paper Space Scale Models

Our own Rachel Hobson spotted this awesome collection of papercraft real-life spaceship models from AXM Paper Space Scale Models, which are freely available for download. [via CRAFT]

Eavesdropping on the moon, circa 1969

Eavesdropping on the moon, circa 1969

In July, 1969, a ham radio operator named Larry Baysinger, from Louisville, KY, used a 20-year old radio from an army tank and a homemade folded dipole antenna array to listen to the Apollo 11 astronauts on the moon. This page is an archive with the original newspaper piece, photos, […]

Y-Wing bunk completes a scifi bedroom

Y-Wing bunk completes a scifi bedroom

If the kids aren’t keen on slumbering Empire-style consider this excellent example of Rebel-based bedding. Wow – hard to believe the home its installed in is up for sale! [via Gizmodo] More: Star Wars AT-AT loft bed

Spare parts Enterprise boldy goes ...

Spare parts Enterprise boldy goes …

From the MAKE Flickr pool … where no LED has gone before. Observe the maiden voyage of a tiny space-faring ship. Upon encountering the above-seen “magnetic anomaly” the ship’s onboard magnetic reed switch is activated. Chief engineer Origamiwolf explains the ship’s schematics – A resistor is added to each of […]

Successful amateur EVE space radio bounce

Successful amateur EVE space radio bounce

A group of German amateur radio hobbyists has successfully bounced a radio signal off the planet Venus, over 31 million miles (50 million km) away, and received it back on Earth (Earth-Venus-Earth = EVE). Peter Guelzow (DB2OS), President of AMSAT-DL, writes: On March 25th, 2009, a team from the German […]

Spanish students beat NASA

Spanish students beat NASA

A group of student makers took kite arial photography to a new level: weather balloon photography. They certainly are undercutting NASA’s budget, spending very little on their project, and fabricating most of the structure and electronics themselves. Check out Gareth’s previous entry on the project. Mail Online has a decent […]

The N-Prize, the not-quite-right stuff

The N-Prize, the not-quite-right stuff

Introducing: The N-Prize. The what? “The N-Prize is a challenge to launch an impossibly small satellite into orbit on a ludicrously small budget, for a pitifully small cash prize.” First proposed on Halfbakery, the site for cooking up crazy ideas, the N-Prize has now become a serious endeavor. The prize, […]

Teddies in near space

Teddies in near space

MAKE reader James Coxon emailed to tell us about the recent Cambridge University Spaceflight project that teamed up university students with kids from the SPARKS science club to send four teddy bears aloft via helium filled high altitude balloon. The aim of the experiment was to determine which materials provided […]

Zero-gravity coffee cup

Astronaut Dr. Don Pettit demonstrates what is likely the most convenient method for enjoying a beverage in space – using a simple cup with airplane-wing-like shape which uses a liquid’s surface tension to draw the beverage evenly towards the mouth – When Dr. Don Pettit lived aboard the International Space […]

Sleep well, Phoenix Mars Lander

Sleep well, Phoenix Mars Lander

MarsPhoenix twitter: Take care of that beautiful blue marble out there in space, our home planet. I’ll be keeping an eye from here. Space exploration FTW! about 8 hours ago from web In case we don’t get this chance again, thank you all so much for the questions, comments & […]

Dr. Photon's spacesuit

Dr. Photon’s spacesuit

Flickr member Dr. photon made some excellent deep space exploration gear for use in a short film – check out more pics in his photoset. More: Satellite from a space suit

Microsatellite kits

Microsatellite kits

Many (many) moons ago, I did some pieces for Mondo 2000 magazine and The Millennium Whole Earth Catalog on microsats — basically homebrewed flying PCs and radios in a box that hitched rides on spaceships. I heard amazing stories of literally building these craft on kitchen tables and baking components […]

NASA image web app for iPhone

NASA image web app for iPhone

Todd Barnes at Toughturtle has some interesting web apps for the iPhone, including the often breathtaking Nasa Image of the Day.

Zoomable Coma Cluster

Zoomable Coma Cluster

The Hubble site has just released an incredible zoomable image of the Coma Cluster. (Wow! You can also download images to make a mural!) The entire cluster encompasses a spherical shape more than 20 million light-years in diameter, more than 300 million light-years from Earth in the northern constellation Coma […]

Out of this world partying

Out of this world partying

I love an excuse for a party and I can’t think of a better one than a celebration of humankind’s first climb out of the gravity well. That would be April 12, 1961, when Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space. The event is now celebrated throughout the world […]

DIY planetarium projectors & museum

DIY planetarium projectors & museum

Planetarium makers do awesome work, even building “home-domes” for exhibition – The Home Planetarium Association welcomes all those who build small planetariums for home, school, museum, or other personal use. A quarterly newsletter is produced; This includes collecting toy planetaria, operating older or small professional units, or just fondly remembering […]

Attention DC Dorks!

Attention DC Dorks!

Don’t forget: This Tuesday (tomorrow, Feb 26, 7-9pm) is the next Dorkbot DC. Presenters include Katie Bechtold, a spacecraft flight software developer and controller, talking about the Mercury MESSENGER mission, Justin Sabe on making cheap MIDI controlled instruments from toys, and Alberto Gaitán, presenting Part Two, The Software, of his […]