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
If you love rockets, you can’t help but notice that real space launch vehicles lift off the pad slowly,but model rockets zip up like darts. That’s how I became obsessed with using thrust vector control (TVC) — gimbaling the rocket motor — instead of fins to keep model rockets upright, so they can launch, and […]
We have entered an era of accessible space. Space that is accessible to life-long learners, makers, and students. Getting tools and experiences into the hands of curious explorers today is not only fun and engaging, it will make for a better world tomorrow as we face significant challenges on our Earth habitat. A lot […]
- Posted by Mike Senese | October 21st, 2019 6:00 AM
When China’s Tiangong-1 burned up last year, it left the International Space Station (ISS) as humanity’s sole outpost in space. Today six astronauts live aboard the ISS, performing spacewalks and science experiments, filming scenes for an upcoming virtual-reality series, and unloading cargo deliveries from capsules like Northrop’s Cygnus and SpaceX’s Dragon. These brave astronauts orbit […]
- Posted by Keith Hammond | October 14th, 2019 6:00 AM
In 2015 my colleagues and I founded SEArch+ (Space Exploration Architecture), with a mission to conceive, investigate, and develop innovative “human-centered” designs enabling human beings not only to live, but to thrive in space environments beyond Earth. We are a collective of designers, architects, technologists, and researchers that integrate design thinking with traditional engineering workflows […]
- Posted by Melodie Yashar | October 4th, 2019 6:00 AM
On the morning of April 20th, a caravan of cars packed to the brim with more than 100 college rocket enthusiasts will make its way to Spaceport America and attempt to make history. The USC Rocket Propulsion Lab’s fourth space shot, Traveler IV, would be the first student-engineered-and-built rocket to pass the Karman Line, the […]
- Posted by Chris Cheshire | April 18th, 2019 6:00 AM
The band OK Go is known for their amazing music videos. From elaborate chain reactions to using a car to create music, their work is always audaciously experimental. As a teacher, I love finding ways to incorporate their videos into my lessons. So when a chance meeting led to the possibility of OK Go and […]
- Posted by AnnMarie Thomas | March 7th, 2019 5:28 AM
Maria Cianfanelli is a Roman artist who makes beautiful renditions of the Earth, its moon, and the other planets in our solar system.
- Posted by Caleb Kraft | February 2nd, 2018 6:00 AM
Not many people know of Félicette, and you could change that.
- Posted by Caleb Kraft | November 15th, 2017 6:05 AM
If you can find the exact layout of stars for a special night, you can make a pretty cool present: a glowing LED model of the night sky
- Posted by Joe Spanier | November 3rd, 2017 6:45 AM
Locate the sun on overcast days with this ingenious Viking invention.
- Posted by William Gurstelle | October 25th, 2017 5:00 AM
This week, learn how to give your iPhone 7 a headphone jack, help NASA 3D print homes for space travel, or do some Lego building.
- Posted by Jordan Ramée | September 10th, 2017 6:00 AM
I convinced my wife we should go on a nice 3-day road trip to see the eclipse in totality. Of course, the best laid plans often go awry.
- Posted by Chad Etzel | August 31st, 2017 7:00 AM
Part-time screen printer Barry Abrams created a print of Mars that is made out of selectively rusted sheet metal and black ink.
- Posted by Jeremy S Cook | August 22nd, 2017 5:00 AM
Don't worry if you've waited until the last minute on finding a safe way to see the eclipse. You can 3D print, order, or quickly build a way!
- Posted by Hep Svadja | August 18th, 2017 6:00 AM
The Telescope Makers’ Workshop is an informal gathering where you can learn how to grind and polish your own Newtonian telescope mirror.
- Posted by Richard Ozer | July 27th, 2017 5:00 AM
Alex Pietrow customized a Nintendo Game Boy Advance's camera so that it could take pictures of celestial objects.
- Posted by Jeremy S Cook | July 12th, 2017 7:00 AM
Pete Dearing went to infinity and beyond for his kids, making them a spaceship bunk bed with a fully interactive cockpit.
- Posted by Sarah Vitak | July 5th, 2017 5:00 AM
Nvidia's GTC conference was full of creative minds that were putting different pieces of Nvidia tech through its paces.
- Posted by Jordan Ramée | May 12th, 2017 11:47 AM
How I built a Centennial Challenge robot using the cheapest materials I could find.
- Posted by Erica Tiberia | January 17th, 2017 6:00 AM
Your project could be printed aboard the ISS
- Posted by Caleb Kraft | October 12th, 2016 12:30 PM
Nasa's Jet Propulsion Lab gives us a peek into the future of space exploration with their mixed reality tools.
- Posted by Mike Senese | July 19th, 2016 5:00 AM
The PiKon telescope is an open source, 3D printed, Raspberry Pi telescope supported by a growing community of amateur scientists.
The Balloongineers had quite the adventure sending up and recovering their high altitude balloon for the Global Space Ballooning Challenge.
- Posted by Lisa Martin | June 10th, 2016 5:00 AM
What's the easiest thing to start making? A Lamp. Giaco Whatever demonstrates with a cool space inspired lamp.
- Posted by GIACO WHATEVER | June 8th, 2016 5:00 AM
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 the space race. One way […]
- Posted by Jeremy S Cook | June 1st, 2016 5:30 AM
"What It's Like in Space: Stories From Astronauts Who Have Been There" highlights astronaut's most interesting — and often bizarre — stories.
- Posted by Mike Senese | May 21st, 2016 11:23 AM
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.
- Posted by Alasdair Allan | March 14th, 2016 5:45 AM
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.
- Posted by Caleb Kraft | March 14th, 2016 5:00 AM
Nick Squires details his time spent using his maker skills to produce an interactive art installation and performance.
- Posted by Nicholas Squires | March 3rd, 2016 5:00 AM
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.
- Posted by Alasdair Allan | December 1st, 2015 11:19 AM
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.
- Posted by Gary Seronik | October 13th, 2015 11:00 AM
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.
- Posted by Matthew Reyes | October 6th, 2015 10:30 AM
Todd Blatt was inspired by the new detailed images of Pluto and decided to make a 3D printable plaque. Download the STL file today!
- Posted by Leia Gatch | August 30th, 2015 8:00 AM
To keep tabs on the International Space Station's orbital position, Grady Hillhouse shows how he created a an automated tracker.
- Posted by Grady Hillhouse | August 26th, 2015 8:00 AM
An organization called Made In Space has announced that they've made a breakthrough in 3D printing within a vacuum.
- Posted by Caleb Kraft | August 12th, 2015 10:10 AM
A look at the tech inside a mostly successful high-altitude rocket launch
- Posted by Nathan Hurst | July 29th, 2015 5:30 AM
The founders of Carbon Origins moved to the desert to launch rockets. It was harder than they expected.
- Posted by Nathan Hurst | July 21st, 2015 7:00 AM
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 to be our home theater. […]
- Posted by Aron Hoekstra | July 16th, 2015 7:30 AM
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.
- Posted by Alasdair Allan | June 30th, 2015 8:03 AM
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 restoration project by Adam & Leslie […]
- Posted by Roger Garrett | June 17th, 2015 6:30 AM
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. For the month of May, […]
- Posted by Cabe Atwell | May 25th, 2015 6:30 AM
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.
- Posted by Alasdair Allan | April 13th, 2015 10:02 AM
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 soft Italian leather! The shoes […]
- Posted by Andrew Salomone | March 23rd, 2015 11:41 AM
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 30,000 meters (or just under […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | March 20th, 2015 6:30 AM
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.
- Posted by Forrest M. Mims III | March 10th, 2015 2:37 PM
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?
- Posted by Alasdair Allan | February 1st, 2015 9:01 AM
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 as that is, the prize, […]
- Posted by Jeremy S Cook | November 24th, 2014 4:51 AM
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 April 27th, 2015. In our […]
- Posted by Global Space Balloon Challenge Team | October 8th, 2014 1:01 PM
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.
- Posted by Andrew Salomone | September 8th, 2014 5:01 AM
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.
- Posted by Jeff Highsmith | June 26th, 2014 11:48 AM
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.
- Posted by Alasdair Allan | June 18th, 2014 2:35 PM
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.
- Posted by Alasdair Allan | May 16th, 2014 12:38 PM
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 more citizen scientists to send […]
- Posted by DC Denison | May 14th, 2014 3:30 PM
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.
- Posted by Alasdair Allan | April 24th, 2014 9:13 AM
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.
- Posted by Dan Rasmussen | April 12th, 2014 11:07 AM
Look out for exciting exhibits and presenters focused on our off-world future at Maker Faire Bay Area 2014.
- Posted by Craig Couden | April 12th, 2014 8:00 AM
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 them. Our space wares range […]
- Posted by Natalie Wiersma | April 11th, 2014 4:30 PM
Launching your own satellite is easier than you think. Here are 7 things you need to know before launching that personal spacecraft into orbit.
- Posted by Sandy Antunes | April 11th, 2014 5:09 AM
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.
- Posted by Matthew Reyes | April 9th, 2014 1:00 PM
NASA is proposing a Centennial Challenge to build robotic rocket sample return systems.
- Posted by Matthew Reyes | April 9th, 2014 11:00 AM
Whether the medium be welded metal or crocheted yarn, makers are creatively showing their love of outer space.
- Posted by Goli Mohammadi | April 9th, 2014 5:00 AM
Learn how to capture the night sky — in motion! — with this complete tutorial covering camera settings, night shooting tips, image editing, and video production.
- Posted by Ron Risman | April 8th, 2014 1:00 PM
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. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mrOmjFrEPE&w=420&h=315] The dawn of this new age of DIY satellite making is in no […]
- Posted by Matthew Reyes | April 7th, 2014 1:00 AM
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!
- Posted by Haley Pierson-Cox | March 31st, 2014 11:00 AM
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 Adam Kemp | November 19th, 2013 12:47 PM
Quilts in spaaaaace! Join astronaut Karen Nyberg's Astronomical Quilts! Block Challenge by sewing your own star-themed quilt block.
- Posted by Haley Pierson-Cox | November 4th, 2013 9:00 AM
One of the exciting things about Maker Faire is seeing the technological progress year over year. Case in point, 3D-printers.
- Posted by John Baichtal | September 17th, 2013 6:00 AM
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.
- Posted by Alasdair Allan | September 17th, 2013 5:30 AM
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.
- Posted by John Baichtal | August 31st, 2013 6:00 AM
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.
- Posted by AntonOlsen | July 23rd, 2013 10:39 AM
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.
- Posted by Eric Weinhoffer | June 6th, 2013 9:00 AM
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.
- Posted by Laura Cochrane | June 3rd, 2013 1:15 PM
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).
- Posted by Sam Freeman | May 6th, 2013 11:16 AM
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.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | March 19th, 2013 7:14 AM
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.
- Posted by Matthew Reyes | March 8th, 2013 6:49 PM
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 gallery below for photos of […]
- Posted by Matt Richardson | December 23rd, 2012 9:00 AM
“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 setups to demonstrate important principles […]
- Posted by Prashant Rao | December 18th, 2012 10:42 PM
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.
- Posted by Simon Quellen Field | December 18th, 2012 10:42 PM
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."
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | September 13th, 2012 5:00 PM
[youtube=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBi5ytndlRk”] 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 exploration for everyone!,” and […]
- Posted by Tyler Moskowite | June 21st, 2012 4:00 PM
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!]
- Posted by John Baichtal | May 31st, 2012 7:00 AM
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. Three years ago I had […]
- Posted by Paul Spinrad | May 1st, 2012 10:00 AM
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.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | April 20th, 2012 9:00 AM
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. Data Visualization So far, there […]
- Posted by David Lang | April 16th, 2012 10:30 PM
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."
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | March 8th, 2012 6:21 AM
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 or even on terra firma. […]
- Posted by Matt Richardson | February 5th, 2012 6:00 AM
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 the remarkable patience and skill […]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | October 24th, 2011 9:00 AM
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.
- Posted by Michael Colombo | October 11th, 2011 10:00 AM
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.
- Posted by Michael Colombo | October 4th, 2011 10:00 AM
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."
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | September 12th, 2011 1:00 PM
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.
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | September 7th, 2011 9:00 PM
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.
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | August 16th, 2011 2:15 PM
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.
- Posted by Dale Dougherty | August 10th, 2011 3:31 PM
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
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | August 9th, 2011 2:46 PM
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 a moment’s notice.
- Posted by Matt Richardson | August 8th, 2011 4:00 AM
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...
- Posted by Rachel Hobson | July 13th, 2011 2:30 PM
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 first for us. … NSL-6 […]
- Posted by Brian Jepson | July 2nd, 2011 6:30 AM
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. After they recover the payload, […]
- Posted by Brian Jepson | June 18th, 2011 8:30 AM
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 often forget it’s there. This […]
- Posted by Matt Richardson | June 12th, 2011 6:00 AM
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 would be a rad way […]
- Posted by Meg Allan Cole | May 26th, 2011 4:00 PM
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.
- Posted by Brian Jepson | May 11th, 2011 11:00 PM
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."
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | April 28th, 2011 1:00 PM
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 encoded as MIDI data. Here’s […]
- Posted by Brian Jepson | April 28th, 2011 5:00 AM
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 folks from Kentucky Science and […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | April 27th, 2011 3:03 PM
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 related to integrating Open Government […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | April 18th, 2011 9:07 PM
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Cz4s8potWE&w=600&h=368] 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, we were exceptionally […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | April 14th, 2011 2:01 PM
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:
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | April 6th, 2011 1:11 PM
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 Embroidery of the Moon. Rachel’s […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | March 23rd, 2011 9:13 PM
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 should be submitted electronically to […]
- Posted by Dale Dougherty | March 21st, 2011 12:30 PM
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.
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | March 9th, 2011 6:02 AM
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 Ames to talk about ideas […]
- Posted by Dale Dougherty | March 1st, 2011 2:00 PM
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]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | January 5th, 2011 4:14 AM
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.
- Posted by Adam Flaherty | December 9th, 2010 3:41 AM
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 red band, or dark absorption […]
- Posted by Keith Hammond | November 17th, 2010 2:53 PM
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.
- Posted by Chris Boshuizen | October 26th, 2010 4:02 PM
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 is designed to be adjustable […]
- Posted by Becky Stern | October 13th, 2010 7:51 AM
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 are avid science buffs, and […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | October 5th, 2010 10:37 PM
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 draft agenda here. Organizations that […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | October 5th, 2010 4:44 PM
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 to building amateur satellites to […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | October 5th, 2010 3:17 PM
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.
- Posted by Adam Flaherty | October 4th, 2010 2:55 AM
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
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | September 16th, 2010 11:14 PM
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 Hermes Spacecraft (pictured above). When […]
- Posted by Goli Mohammadi | May 13th, 2010 12:51 PM
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 its Hubble page: Space shuttle […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | April 24th, 2010 3:52 PM
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 radio balloon tracking equipment. I’m […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | April 12th, 2010 2:26 PM
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 exciting ventures for a future […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | April 10th, 2010 2:30 PM
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 party with some friends and […]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | April 1st, 2010 10:52 AM
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 “craft” houses a digital camera, […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | March 25th, 2010 8:34 PM
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 handwarmers. The warmers are used […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | March 19th, 2010 7:00 PM
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 McCall’s work. He painted the […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | February 28th, 2010 1:00 PM
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 stunning pictures of earth. Image […]
- Posted by Rachel Hobson | February 22nd, 2010 12:17 PM
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 Matt Mets | February 19th, 2010 12:36 PM
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 probably an act of pique, […]
- Posted by John Baichtal | February 11th, 2010 12:55 PM
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 pics (that’s him and his […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | February 8th, 2010 8:30 PM
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]
- Posted by Sean Michael Ragan | January 21st, 2010 8:21 AM
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 with the night sky almost […]
- Posted by Rachel Hobson | December 27th, 2009 8:19 PM
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 of Saturn’s moons. Digital image […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | December 27th, 2009 4:49 PM
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, PDFs of a couple of […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | November 3rd, 2009 1:47 PM
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
- Posted by Collin Cunningham | August 12th, 2009 5:47 AM
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 the red LED branches; this […]
- Posted by Collin Cunningham | May 13th, 2009 1:02 AM
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 space organisation AMSAT-DL reached another […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | March 29th, 2009 4:52 PM
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 writeup. Nice of them to […]
- Posted by Chris Connors | March 23rd, 2009 9:13 AM
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, of Â£9,999.99 sterling cash, will […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | March 18th, 2009 8:54 PM
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 the best insulation against the […]
- Posted by Patti Schiendelman | December 4th, 2008 9:54 AM
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 Station in 2002, he became […]
- Posted by Collin Cunningham | November 26th, 2008 3:57 AM
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 & good wishes over the mission. […]
- Posted by Patti Schiendelman | October 30th, 2008 9:13 PM
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 (i.e. curing them) in home […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | August 25th, 2008 12:18 PM
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 Berenices. Hubble’s mega-view takes in […]
- Posted by Patti Schiendelman | June 10th, 2008 4:35 PM
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 each year (on April 12th) […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | March 28th, 2008 1:01 PM
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 childhood trips to planetariums around […]
- Posted by Collin Cunningham | March 18th, 2008 12:23 PM
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 GaitÃ¡n, presenting Part Two, The Software, of his talk on Remembrancer, the amazing […]
- Posted by Gareth Branwyn | February 25th, 2008 11:00 AM