DIY Space: Predict The Future of Space Exploration

DIY Space: Predict The Future of Space Exploration

Rendering of OSIRIS-REx. Image from NASA.

Do you have a penchant for prophecy?  Do your officemates hang on every word when you dole out the divination?  Is your casting Kung Fu strong?  Then maybe this will be an easy DIY for you.

The folks at OSIRIS-REx (Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification and Security-Regolith Explorer) are asking for the public to come forecast the future…

View On WordPress

When I’m Not Writing…

When I’m Not Writing…

This post I’ve written for isn’t space-related, except for the fact it’s to do with me.  But it gives a decent accounting of what I do to stay happy and busy since I don’t have steady work currently.  If you’re interested in how an unemployed person stays busy throughout the day, please read my post on  Strategies for Coping With Unemployment.  If you’re…

View On WordPress

SPHERE Fishing for Space Debris

SPHERE Fishing for Space Debris

Behold! The SPHERES. Image from DARPA.

The International Space Station (ISS) sure could use some help, and eventually might get it if people buy off on this latest idea.  If you weren’t aware, the ISS has three robot test satellites aboard, called SPHERES.  SPHERES have been highlighted on this sitebefore for a different project, so here’s what they’re used for just in case you missed it:  the…

View On WordPress

Healing Robot Arms from Space

Healing Robot Arms from Space

The Kidsarm in the future? JK. Farrah doesn’t look too shabby though. Image from Pinterest.

Fox News recently reported about the Canadian Space Agency’s contributions to medicine with Canadarm.  Canadarm 2 is a robotic and remote controlled arm mounted on the International Space Station (ISS).  The original Canadarm was mounted on the space shuttle.  Both robotic arms were designed to do work…

View On WordPress

The Mad Spaceball turned 1 today!  Um—whee??!

The Mad Spaceball turned 1 today!  Um—whee??!

Groovy Man! Satellite Helps with Earthquake

Groovy Man! Satellite Helps with Earthquake

Haight-Ashbury comes to mind for some reason…Image from ESA.

The European Space Agency (ESA) announced the results of a decision to use California’s Napa Valley earthquake as an opportunity to show how satellites might be able to provide information.  In this case, the ESA tasked their low earth orbiting (LEO) Sentinel-1 satellite‘s Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry payload to take a look…

View On WordPress

Space Launcher Fires Unexpectedly (AGAIN!!??)

Space Launcher Fires Unexpectedly (AGAIN!!??)

Orbital Deployer

Whoopsies!  Or perhaps a more intense, colorful yet NSFW word went through the minds of the astronauts inhabiting the International Space Station (ISS) due to events last Thursday, Sept 4, 2014.  Because that’s when one of the astronauts noticed the Pod Bay, erm, I mean the ISS’ Cubesat launcher doors were open.  The actual name of the cubesat launcher is the JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer

View On WordPress

DIY Space: DIY Satellite Ground Station

DIY Space: DIY Satellite Ground Station

Yes, ground station charts typically look very boring. Nature of the beast, I’m afraid. Image from

Anyone who has been following this site knows that satellites are in many different roles, accomplishing many things beneficial to humanity.  But none this really matters without a way to communicate with them.  If a satellite takes a picture, how does that picture make its way to…

View On WordPress

The Safe Way to Observe a Volcano

The Safe Way to Observe a Volcano

Image of Bardarbunga volcano from NASA’s Earth Observatory pages.

I suppose it isn’t ironic to anyone that Iceland is home to some hot attractions, such as volcanoes.  On August 28, 2014, their Bardarbunga (sounds like something out of Ninja Turtles) volcano erupted a bit.  All sorts of tools have been used to observe the angry mountain:  webcams, helicopters, cars, and planes.  Of course, most…

View On WordPress

A Few More Years of Satellite Highlights

A Few More Years of Satellite Highlights

Hey–it’s a lot of satellites, so of course it’s going to be long.  Image created and hosted by

A little birdie let me know last week that has created a new poster (pictured above) illustrating satellite highlights of the last thirty or so years.  Okay, okay–sure this is their way of getting their name out there, but with this poster it’s an interesting…

View On WordPress