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Ed Wright, Monday, 4-29-13 April 30, 2013

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Ed Wright, Monday, 4-29-13


Guest:  Ed Wright.  Topics:  Citizens in Space update & information on the upcoming Space Hackers Workshop in Mountain View, CA.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information.

We welcomed Ed Wright back to the program for updates regarding Citizens in Space (www.citizensinspace.org) and the upcoming Space Hackers Workshop to be held in Mountain View, CA from May 4-5.  You can visit the Space Hackers Workshop website through the Citizens in Space website or by going to http://spacehacker.eventbrite.com for details, registration, etc.  During the first part of our 90 minute program, Ed updated us on how Citizens in Space has evolved, their training program, the broadening of citizen scientists, the use of the XCOR Lynx vehicle, and much more.  I believe that after you hear how the program has evolved and progressed, you will agree with me that this is an outstanding program, both for citizen science and enabling people to go to space and do more than just be a passenger.  During this first section, we covered the program, goals, the changes, and the desired outcomes in detail.

In our second segment, we switched to focus on the Space Hackers Workshop in Silicon Valley, Mountain View, CA from May 4-5.  If you register online, there is a savings so if you are going, online registration is your best bet.  This workshop, the first of many to be held around the country, will feature advanced technology, hardware, and hands on instructional opportunities regarding building your own space science experiment.  Ed talked extensively about the quality of cameras now available at very affordable costs and the Beagle Board Black control board (http://beagleboard.org).  I suggest this workshop for anyone interested in technology, building hardware, doing space projects, and more.

Ed detailed the workshop in our discussion but if you have questions for him, you can email him through me or by using edward.v.wright@rocketacademy.org. Also, if you attend the workshop, I want to hear from you about it on The Space Show.  Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.


1. rocketscirick - May 1, 2013

In my mind, this incarnation of the Space Hacker Workshop is the best deal that anyone has come up with for this type of material. (We’ve been trying to plan one for a while.) We’re fortunate to be able to schedule it at the Hacker Dojo (http://hackerdojo.com), one of the hotbeds of start-up activity in Silicon Valley. Unless another likeminded non-profit group is willing to offer their space for next to nothing, I don’t know if this cost structure can be duplicated anywhere else. In this case, the local sponsoring group at the Dojo is the Silicon Valley Space Center (SVSC). In fact, much of the agenda and hands-on activity have been arranged through SVSC.

I don’t recall if Ed mentioned this, but the primary hands-on activity will be with the ArduLab, a module that was prepared for NanoRacks on the ISS. The BeagleBone Black is not quite available yet, but should be out soon. I do not expect the BB Black to replace the Arduino in the ArduLab. I expect that the BB Black consumes more power, but has much more capability. (As you increase mission complexity or add autonomous processes, the difference and trade-off should be come apparent.)

A number of us have been experimenting with earlier versions of the BeagleBoard. Experience with and software on those should be almost directly transferrable to the BB Black. I saw the BB Black for the first time myself a couple of weeks ago. It is *really* small. For the capability it has at $45 (to use an over-used phrase), this feels like a “game changer”.

At the workshop, we’re hoping to see people form teams that will converge on payload ideas, which can translate into hardware which will fly with Citizens in Space (CiS) on the Lynx. As far as I can tell, this is the lowest cost path for developing a payload for space. I am stunned that CiS and SVSC have been able to pull this off.

–Rick Kwan, AIAA SF and SVSC

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