To those of you who have seen Steph from Citizen Inventor talking at TEDxEastEnd a few week's back at the end of Jan (photos here, video later), here is your next chance to get hands on with the spacecrafts that has been waved around on stage (courtesy of Pocket Spacecraft). And of course, curiosity is all you need - so come along to tour around and have a play with spacecrafts. Sign up here: http://www.meetup.com/CitizenInventor/events/149322422/
We shall be heading off to Bristol to Pocket Spacecraft's home on the 23 Feb, where you'd be able to see the facilities for manufacturing one of the spacecrafts that has been waved on stage. You'll be surprised to see the facilities (it's friendlier than you ever imagined) and you will have your hands on the spacecrafts! We'll announce the exact plan closer to date. But to ensure you got the date saved and train ticket booked: We will start the day at 11am and the event is expected to last for most of the day, pub to follow in our usual tradition, of course.
While we are at it, February certainly seems a busy month - we've just announced another two more events organised by our friends as well. If you have any citizen science related project, event, articles - feel free to keep them coming!
Remember, let curiosity take you to places you have never imagined.
Our magazine has arrived! Issue One is, guess what, "Space - Exploration by Citizens".
Issue One will track Space exploration and technology developments with citizen participation, mainly covering open sourced, crowd sourced, hands on Space projects and some articles on citizen as astronauts and a hint of space tourism - some pointers to the possibility for us, the citizens, to participate in Space.
Unlike a traditional magazine, this online magazine would be updated as time goes on - subscribe to this issue (button on the front page) and get updates for all things "Space - Exploration by Citizens". Or if you've got news to add, let us know (yea, collaborative effort - without you, we won't be as open)!
Our plan is to keep releasing magazines on all topics citizen science, so stay tuned via twitter @citizeninventor or via rss.
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!