On the 28 August 2013, we've had our second event on space: "Getting Going with Space, hands on"! The British Interplanetary Society generously hosted the event. We have the great pleasure of meeting the Chairman of the BIS: Alistair. Alistair has kindly showed us around the library of the BIS just before the talk begin - a reward to all those who arrived early!
Open source is a familiar term for those who are used to working in the software industry, but hang on, did we hear "open source space program"? Yes, that's what Alex from SpaceGambit UK spoke about. It's enabled by makerspaces/ hackerspaces x open source hardware x open source software. All these openness helps to advance our curiosity and technology. Open hardware like Arduino is cheap, like 30GBP. The wiring diagram is open to public, so you can make your own if you wish. More importantly because the schematics are open, it makes it easier for people to create an enhanced version, or other breakout boards (think of plug-ins) based on this. And what is an Arduino anyways? As we later hear, "it's like an electronic cellotape", said Laurence, referring to it being something that gets thrown at any problem without putting in a huge investment.
Space Gambit is looking to promote space through in education, challenges (working with NASA - NASA Asteroid Grand Challenge) and funding projects. The project funded by Space Gambit under the space habitat theme included bio-reactors and Mars spacesuit (the glove - we all have to start somewhere). A list of all project funded can be found on their recent announcement: http://www.spacegambit.org/spacegambit-announces-project-funding-for-hackerspace-space-program/
Watch out for future rounds of funding in 2014 from Space Gambit, with each project getting up to $20000. [Slides for this will be uploaded shortly.]
Laurence, a physicist working on the software of a Sprite - a spacecraft from the KickSAT project - has convinced us on citizen contribution to a space project. Writing code for Arduino in SPAAAAAACE! An amazing retrospective on the KickSAT project. He also covered the the topic of small satellites and how it helped us to kick start the personal space age. The slides can be found here: http://prezi.com/tmzdf0zawh-d/kickstarting-the-personal-space-revolution/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy
Laurence introducing the dev team behind the BIS backed KickSAT Sprites.
The British Interplanetary Society has backed a fleet of Sprites of the KickSAT project and Laurence has been working on the software of this fleet. He showed us the code that would be loaded onto the spacecraft on one page, all written in the familiar Arduino IDE (Energia).
We've completely packed the house at the British Interplanetary Society. We've also occupied the entire length of tables right in front of the bar (if anyone has got a photo of that to share, send it over)!
Alex spoke about putting the inventor back to Citizen Inventor! We hope you are now really convinced to go ahead and get hands on - start a project, contribute ideas, update our wiki with useful resources: http://citizeninventor.wikia.com/wiki/CitizenInventor_Wiki, share your project http://www.citizeninventor.com/submit-to-showcase.html, tweet to us.... the list goes on!
You've heard of Movember, do you know about Maptember? Nop, Maptember has got nothing to do with growing mustache, it's all about mapping! Three of the greatest geographic and mapping meetings is happening all on one piece of land - UK, this year. But that's not it, there're a lot of related events - check out http://www.maptember.org/.
If you haven't already book yourself into State Of The Map 2013 when we last posted about early bird tickets, you can still get tickets before 5 Sept - it's not too late yet.
Have you missed the Pocket Spacecraft's mission to moon on Kickstarter (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1677943140/send-your-own-pocket-spacecraft-on-a-mission-to-th)? It has ended, but it is now funded as well (yes, just not totally by the crowd!). Ok, before it all started to sound confusing, that project is still going ahead outside of kickstarter, but all the rewards and schedule is still happening as per the Kickstarter page. 399GBP will get you two that you can write some software for (one to land in the earth, one to the moon) - but there are plenty of options from 1GBP as you can see on the Kickstarter page. Choice ranges from just having your picture on a spacecraft to having your hardware and software on board - there's something for everyone.
Here is your last chance!
Pocket Spacecaft is offering Citizen Inventor members a last chance to pledge to this project (via paypal this time) by 6Sept, from which point, rewards will start to ship! Michael Johnson spoke to us on our first Citizen Inventor event, so he should be familiar - he is also the co-creator of KickSAT! Check out our earlier post for an example of the spacecraft (yes, the thin film that looked like the tax disc - the real thing will have printed electronics instead!).
All you have to do is to is:
1) Make sure you have a membership with Citizen Inventor - sign up at: http://www.meetup.com/CitizenInventor/
2) Go to http://pocketspacecraft.com/ - click the green button to join the mission, make sure you select "Citizen Inventor" as your society, select the "reward" (detail as per kickstarter page) before you submit.
There you go, you are now part of the crowd that funded a space mission!
You've heard about the official UK funding and opportunities by Satellite Application Catapult and a couple of entrepreneurial activities in the space industry on KickStarter in our last meetup, first hand at the Open Data Institute. And you've had the chance to be in an extended session of Q&A at the Pub with our entrepreneurial speakers, who has been telling you how do-able space is! It was a great success with synergies between the speakers, community and the venue and we hope lots comes out of it.
This time we will be at the well established British Interplanetary Society talking about funding for even the widest space project and a hands on developer's perspective of a spacecraft, as part of a crowd funded open sourced space project (kickSAT), which will be launching at the end of 2013. For those of you who are interested in open hardware, software and sensors, that's what the Sprites are made of. Do you think some space project belongs only to the sci-fi world - come along and discover how you can make it real!
Curiosity is all you need. Come along!
Ticket for our second space talk is on sale now:
Citizen Inventor has its first ever event yesterday. Of all sciences and engineering disciplines, we have decided to head straight to Space for our first event! With an unmissable line-up and the generous sponsor on venue by The Open Data Institute.
Our first ever speaker is Dr Sam Adlen from the Satellite Application Catapult, who studied water on Mars in his PhD! It was great to hear the encouraging words on the government's new investments in the UK space industry, thus the opportunities. We've also heard many initiatives the Satellite Application Catapult have to lower the barrier of entry and facilitate technology innovation, for the Space industry and for the downstream satellite applications. One of them is to get data on earth observation arriving at our finger tips more seamlessly from the growing number of satellites and constellations that are to be launched. We also had a glimpse on the future (10+ years) missions related technologies. And, of course, we got loads of tips on who to go to for support and funding! And thanks Sam for presenting the TechDemoSAT to us on request.
Then we have Michael Johnson, a physicists heavily involved in two of the highest profile Kickstarter space project - the founder of Pocket Spacecraft and the co-creator of KickSAT. Pocket Spacecraft is the the first interplanetary citizen space exploration mission. Their goal is "to provide generic tools for space exploration and science, accessible enough for non-technical and technical people to use, for fun or serious science". This personal space age is facilitated by the Open Source Space System - so global community of engineers and hobbyists would be able to contribute to an extensive open source open access library of tools and techniques. It couldn't be more excited for the makers amongst us to hear that plans are to print spacecrafts in space with Prepositioned Orbiting Printers! Michael also shared his invaluable experiences and tips on how to fly things into space practically. We also had the great pleasure to have a detailed look on all the chips that was passed around:
Last but not least, thanks to all those who have made it to the event in this glorious summer day. It surely was refreshing to have a pint, or two, or three, where we had our Q&A session with both speakers! There is so much to talk about regarding space - some of us only started making our way home as the pub encouraged us to do so by locking up... Without you, there's no community.
It's always good to have some actions after being in a room, so here are some suggestions:
- Save the date: 19/20 Oct. Satellite Applications Catapult Hackathon is on!
- Interested in having your spacecraft for the price of a PC? Get yours on Kickstarter before too late (by 26 Aug).
- Come to the next meetup, spread the love to like minded people and get hands on!
With just under a week to go, we are starting to count down to our first event on the 24th July, in London. We are very excited about the line up, come and learn about how you can participate in space technology, science - no, it's not that far away. Moreover, we do use satellite data a lot: weather, GPS, terrain images, etc - it's more relevant than what we think!
Curiosity is all you need, we mean it. We would like to open up science for citizen to participate in, come hear about it to believe in (even better, get going with) it.
Get your ticket before they run out! Join us at http://www.meetup.com/CitizenInventor.
The World Space Week as declared by the UN is going to be in October, it's a while away but a week full of space event is happening in just under 2 week's time in UK:
Don't miss them!
State of the Map
Open Street Map user already or to-be? Interested in GIS?
"The very first State of the Map was held in Manchester in 2007. Since then it has been to Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, Colorado and Japan." And this year, it's back in UK - the convention will be in Birmingham, UK on 6-8 Sept (Hurry, early bird prices ends before June!). If you are already an OSM user and have something to share, the call for presentation for this convention is ongoing until 10 June. check out: http://2013.stateofthemap.org/
Across the pond, there's a state of the map event in San Franscisco very soon - on 6-9 June at the Mission Bay Conference Center: http://stateofthemap.us/
Why Tinker with Satellite?
UK government is investing a lot of money in satellite, Harwell is going to get busy and ESA is going to move in (http://www.esa.int/About_Us/Welcome_to_ESA/ECSAT). Eventually there will be accessible testing and launching facility too for micro satellites and the like! Nothing is missing in your plans now, only action.
If you are not prepared to launch satellites, are you prepare to invent using the data from it? UK European Satellite Navigation Competition (http://ukesnc.com/) is open until 30 June. It's a competition where you are encouraged to submit proposal for the application that uses satellite data. Check out the previous winner section.
We are on!
Some of you have probably heard about Citizen Inventor earlier in May at the EMF. It has been a bit quiet but things are happening. We are on!
Twitter handler @CitizenInventor has also been setup. Feel free to share info here on the projects page or just tweet news to us, Any comments, feedback, suggestions are all welcome from the community - there's the email button at the top right of this site.
Join us at http://www.meetup.com/CitizenInventor/