This year we are teaming up with Create Space London to celebrate human spaceflight (of Yuri Gargarin, the first human in space) at the worldwide Yuri's night. It's the only London event on the night so far, don't miss the celebration! And we are going to do it in style.
What should I expect?
Do you have a telescope? Or some other space related creation, anything from a scarf of galaxy print to a satellite that you have been keep safe in your drawers? Bring them along! Or dress up in your astronaut outfit or your favourite space character outfit! Tweet to us @citizeninventor and let's experiment with de-centralised organisation of a Yuri's night party (use hashtag #yurisnightLDN).
We will have a night sky projector (just to be prudent, in case of cloud) so we can count some stars, even if the telescope can't see any. Create Space London is going to put up some space tunes. What could that be? There's only one way to find out... Click the button below to go to the event page:
Wait, what is Yuri's night again?
Mother Nature Network has described it very well, so we are going to point you at their article. But in short, it's an evening where us space curious finds the excuse to throw a space themed party (whilst we wait for the next Galactic Fete)! It's a worldwide thing for sure, and even at a fair bit above the ground - check out last year's greetings from astronaut Samantha from International Space Station:
In our last post, we've mentioned games were played whilst we wait for everyone to arrive at Space Town Hall - what was it?
On the 5 Oct 2015, Space Town Hall celebrated its one year old! It happened to be on the UN declared World Space Week too. It was a feast for our ears, eyes and having the pleasure to hold a spacecraft in our hand, plus beer, games and cakes!
We started with a game over networking and went into the most accessible content at Space Town Hall to date. The content we have at our birthday clearly illustrated the way we would like to go forward going: more diversity where space is part of every profession! Take a look at Minna Nygren explaining the process of translating scientific photos to graphic score:
Not only that we get to understand the process of composing a graphical music score, we also get to hear a full playback of Charon and Pluto, a Planetary Waltz, a very beautiful piece by Catherine Kontz and Minna Nygren. The piece was commissioned by the Center of Planetary Science, the new work received its premiere on the 24th of June 2015 at An Evening with the Planets event at UCL by pianists Valentina Pravodelov and Kerry Yong. All that, plus a tale of collaboration between two accomplished contemporary classical music composers in the world where superstar-ness is valued above all. After enjoying the beautiful music, we dialed our our guest from San Francisco in for a chat: Ryan Holmes, CEO of SpaceVR, a recently successfully funded kickstarter project to bring space experience to everyone to the ground, using virtual reality! See what I mean? Space is not always about going out there, it's also about bringing the experience in! Many congratulations again Ryan, looking forward to seeing your cameras off into International Space Station and beyond.
On the note of sending things into space, we also have Rob Karpinski, a committed maker who DIY'ed many things electronics including an open-sourced satellite! Rob is also our regular participant at DIY Spacecraft Controls and a member of Cambridge Makerspace. We had a very accessible history lesson on satellites, specifically on their sizes. Look at this satellite, it's 5 cm widel:
All photos by Daniel Elson.
Presentation from Rob can be found here.
Missed it? Sign up here and keep an ear on our next event.
(We are more than low volume in our communications, so watch out or you might miss it again)
Finally, thanks to our venue sponsor Impact Hub Westminster and their very friendly and professional team for hosting us, Citizen Inventor for sponsoring the food and drink, a special thanks to Daniel for photography.
See you next time for more space inspiration.
All of those will be at Space Town Hall on 5 Oct in London! Space is a diverse topic, as this pop up Space Town Hall event illustrates. More over, space curious, enthusiast and technologist, the floor is open for you there too.
Celebrate diversity in citizen space projects/enterprise with us Space Town Hall's one year old birthday at the World Space Week 2015:
We have a lot to celebrate, so come and join us in central London at Impact Hub Westminster:
To get a feel for things, check out our logbook here - but we are always experimenting, so expect something different again! Space Town Hall is a global common place for citizens, regardless of background, to join up and co-develop your space inspired projects/ideas. Space Town Hall pops up as regularly as it's demanded and outside of pop up events, there's a continued presence online at www.spacetownhall.com.
Space Town Hall will be one year old in the World Space Week 2015!
Image Credit - NASA
The first ever Space Town Hall event was at World Space Week 2014 at Hub Westminster, London and we are going to have our one year old Space Town Hall event at World Space Week 2015 at Hub Westminster too!
Space Town Hall is a community programme for all space curious, enthusiasts and makers to come together, physically in London and earth-wide online.
Why Space Town Hall?
Citizen Inventor's space related activities has pre-date Space Town Hall where we have been to European Space Agency's Technology Center at Noordwijk and hanging out (G+) with NASA discussing about interplanetary internet. Space Town Hall was set up last year as a programme that is dedicated to space and space only matters. Space Town Hall is a community programme for all space curious, enthusiasts and makers to come together, physically in London and earth-wide online. Space is a borderless place and we want to see every citizen space project and authentic mission to be successful. Part of our goal is to help space projects to be discovered and to find their contributors - at our town hall events. The other part of our goal, is to learn and develop our space tech skills, regardless of background - at our co-learn events - where we hack our way to space! Not only that, we threw together a fete in the summer to have some fun and celebrated a great multidisciplinary mix that extends far and wide: the Galactic Fete!
Now, imagine we are all on the same spaceship.
What worked well for you last year? What else would you want to see happening? Tell us:
(if the embedded form below doesn't work, please tell us here)
Pssst, want to be part of our crew and fly this space-ship with us?
So, we've just taken down the bunting, it's actually rather emotional to take it down. Thank you all for making it a fun weekend, organisers, volunteers, workshop leaders and visitors! Have you taken some photos for the day? Share with us, add it to the album.
Want it again next year? Show us some love on this tweet (we'll count the love and rehash the plans):
We're big on giving credits when credit's due - here goes our hi-five's (you get a glimpse of the festival too):
Nick, Create Space London resident, thank you for doing the hardwork of the screen printing our t-shirts for all volunteers, good luck with your t-shirt business!
Viv Schwarz, you are just amazing for turning everyone into space cats (and well impressed with the maker spirit of all your DIY pens, especially the one that's made out of beer can), and still amazing even when you are taking a nap like a cat. More illustration and children's books of cats please!
Nicola and Jairo for your super professional otherworldly screenprinting workshop and the OT after doors closed. Your dedication is just admirable! Beauty, as we observed, has a never ending demand, regardless of where you are in your life journey.
Minna Orvokki Nygren and Catherine Kontz for being so amazingly organised at supporting us so elegantly whilst having to be all over the place physically. You are so much appreciated that, Mike from Create Space London has made some badges for you, out of your score!
Mike and Adam (co-founder) of Create Space London, who I never catch the full name of... You know you are so well loved by the kids, that they even made an enterprise out of your badge press to buy your laser cut space badges. Give yourself a very good pat on the back for inspiring the next generation entrepreneurs! Because of you, they've developed an appetite for new businesses.
Of course, to our engineering headlines: Ray Brainbrige from Tranquility Aerospace for being our first and ongoing co-mastery tutor and leading us to learn, hands on, about the controls of spacecraft orientation thrusters using Arduinos - this time, with the added rocket model. Chris Brunskill from Satellite Applications Catapult for the demo on a Pocketqube implementation of nano-satellite - a palm sized satellite.
To Wil Selwood, our on site astronomer for being so cool about driving the telescope 50 something miles to the festival and set that up for star party at all sessions, even though the only predictable thing about the weather in the UK is the clouds! The sun, is such a warm fuzzy orange thing when you do get a chance to see it.
And to Julie Fernandes, for our amazing logo:
Last but not least, to all those who bought ticket, donated, brought along friends/family, and/or given us feedback, thank you. We've been counting on you to make or break the event!
We are most grateful to our partner in action, Create Space London, without them, we'd not have t-shirts, venue, workshop equipment, all the helpful people from Create Space London - running or participating in workshops.
In fact, it would not be possible to make Galactic Fête happen in 21 days, from concept to close, counting only on ticket sales as the only budget without ALL of you. Thank you.
Please, share the moments you've captured with us at our album - did you make something, take a selfie with that and tweet to us @CitizenInventor #GalacticFête and/or sign up to be the first to hear about, if ever, the next #GalacticFête. Got some suggestions of activities or sponsorship for the next one? Tell us.
So the DIY spacecraft control that happens roughly one Saturday per month has been extended into a full festival - the Galactic Fête! Headlined by our 2 spacecraft learning FREE event, we've decided to extend the weekend to more friends, family and more creative people with a relaxed, summer festival spirit. Thanks to Create Space London for being extremely supportive and receptive to this massive extension to the original plan of the 2 spacecraft learning events - not only that we get to use the usual venue at Wembley Point, we are also getting to have a star party and crash over in their new building nearer to Wembley Park and a lot of exciting makerspace workshop from Create Space London's in house experts too!
So what is it?
It's started unconventionally and it is going to be an otherworldly fête! Galactic Fête is the first summer festival celebrating the mix of space, art and maker culture. It's all about creativity! 18/19 July LONDON. It is a bit short noticed but let's face it, there's never a perfect time to do things in life, so we cracked on. We hope you will take the action too and come and enjoy a day or two at the weekend festival.
The common thing about space, art and maker culture is inspiration. Who doesn't want to have some inspiration in a relaxed, merry, summer weekend?!
With inspiration comes creativity. Ever had the trouble of not knowing where to start implementing with your new idea or think that you are not in a place to do so? Creation, needs skills, at least a rough idea of. Here's where the maker culture helps - with its focus on using and learning practical skills and applying them. Now, that sounds like hard work, too much hard work for the weekend, at least.
Or is it?
At Galactic Fête, we will break it down and provide that a gentle starting point to creativity by giving you a variety of experiences in bite-sized hands-on workshops, smoothed by the refreshments and games. There will be a spectrum of activities ranging from getting yourself transformed into a space cat on portrait, to screen-printing, laser cutting your own space themed masterpiece, to hands on learning to build spacecrafts. We have something for you regardless of where you are on your journey. On Saturday evening, we'll have a star party - where you can observe the sky, top up with more food and enjoy one of the many crafty things of the weekend: craft beer. All that, at an unbelievably affordable price.
You, your family (children too) and friends are invited to come relaxed and celebrate creativity in action, at this art/space merry. You are more creative than you think!
Time: 18 Jul 10:30 - 19 Jul 17:00
Venue: Create Space London (Nearest station: Stonebridge Park, or a 20 minutes walk from Wembley Park)
Here's our new logo!
Having stumble on @cleversomeday's super neat blog on creating fonts using Inkscape (the free alternative of Adobe Illustrator), Steph had a go at creating Space Town Hall font. It's a minimally viable font... ahem, the font was enough to type SPACE TOWN HALL and no more (if anyone is interested in completing the font, get in touch). What else to do but to apply the new learning to our shared journey to space?
The next co-learning session on DIY Orientation Thruster #5 is coming up fast (next Saturday) - we better get going with blogging up on the last one! We are looking forward to working better with you on sharing the lessons more widely - oh yes, there has been some filming going on in DIY Orientation Thruster #4, we're looking forward to video blogging volunteering efforts. We have also been taking feedback in the meantime and have noticed that it "Orientation Thruster" might not be clear, so we have renamed the forward going sessions to "DIY Spacecraft Controls" - it is the same series but hopefully a more self explanatory name. Keep the feedback coming!
Now, so you said, tell me what happened in DIY Spacecraft Controls #4 already. It had a clash of date with Maker Faire which had made it a tough choice for our usual makers, despite of that we had some new faces and new slides - a flying start! As we go on in the series, makers are getting more comfortable coming in and getting going before the presentation, we love seeing that ad-hoc-ness in ways of working. Yes, things in life does not always have a restart or a proper start, why should learning be, go citizens!
We have been gearing up new makers, people who have no programming experience at all, in this sessions. Hats off to Faraz for being a great co-learner (we would strongly recommend that you go to his Arduino nights too) - thank you Faraz. One wonders why he is not yet a professor in Arduino by now! It is amazing to see Lukas too, our GPS expert going from no experience in Arduino/Github to a regular contributor to the code base.
It's not all electronics and software like we have always stressed, if you can name your role, you have it! Great progress on the mechanical harness from design to prototyping on materials has been made by Rich, using the laser cutter at Create Space London:
So what's missing? Some design element perhaps on data visualisation/ simulation/ control interfaces? Is that you?
If you missed the previous one(s), don't miss this class! In fact, class might even sound too formal, see it for yourselves:
PS: bring laptop, tablet, sketchbook, etc whatever helps you to research and learn on your own after co-learners has giving you the tips ;)
Third time lucky - there's no challenge to getting here this time. No marching horses and bands, no adverse weather - just our determination to pursue discovery based learning, hands on, towards a DIY orientation thruster.
Coming through the W gate into CreateSpace, starting the day with a cup of tea and simple breakfast, pain au chocolate if you're early! We started, as usual, with a brief introduction from Ray at Tranquility Aerospace on the design and the driver behind the rocket. This time we have mostly familiar faces, so we adjusted to the flow and discussed all the savvy technical details of the orientation thrusters and space hardware design in general. But if you are not technical savvy, read on, we've got industrial design (mechanical harness) and UX design and graphics design (much needed) in the mix!
Although we always seem to start with a familar presentation, it seems like we always manage to have a different conversation, which is great. And it is a great refresher for Steph and Rory, the facilitators, too as they usually only catch parts of the talk and of course, great introduction for new faces and refresher for you if you haven't been for a while.
We'd like to point out that this is done with Create Space's new projector at the lounge area - new facilities shows up all the time, definitely impressed with the speed Rory drives CreateSpace at!
We bashed away independently at times and work together too, whatever is more natural to make things work together and each time, it might be different. Here are some group activities we do: (including Tranquility Aerospace sponsored pizza, thanks!)
But of course, we need to move fire the solenoid in a controlled manner if it were to be a real orientation thruster, so whilst it's not as easy to visualize, the radio communication link between the Arduino on harness and the Arduino that receives all the sensor input is just as important for this project and once again Rob has got things going (github) ! We are one step closer to integration. And even then, if we don't understand what input we are getting, we cannot use it to control, so we also worked on getting parameters for a user interface for mission control!
But it doesn't stop there, Steph thinks we need a way to explain rockets in a more visual way, so graphics designers, you are wanted!
We are always looking to try something new or do things differently, we are always listening, just speak to us or drop us a line if you think we can make this more useful/fun for you - spending a moment on our survey (https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NCWS59H) would really help us to make it a super day out for you (Steph just cannot speak to each of your enough).
Finally, please don't forget to bring your sketchbook, laptop, Arduino and sensors if you have one (can't hurt to have more) to the next one - whatever you planned to do! Otherwise just bring yourself if you do not have a specific plan but are willing to learn, on the 25th April:
Remember, you don't have to be in the previous days to join this upcoming one. This is under our co-learning scheme and we would like to make the learning work for all levels regardless of where your joining point or background are (Steph will a whirlwind version of Arduino 101 if there's a need for it) - only you are holding yourself back!
If you are a video person and think there's no place for you - we NEED you! Get in touch.
And of course, feel free to blog about your experience with us - we've love to hear it first if it's something we can address!
Our flagship get-together, Space Town Hall, made a return after the launch! Thanks to the number of citizens who has been showing their support by their presence, sponsorship and volunteering effort, crew. We say this every time, this time too, this event has been successful because of your support. Thank you.
Space is a really wide topic, once again we covered everything from the engineering work on Earth's surface to the concepts of law and colony in the galaxy, from redeveloping heritage space colony studies to 3D printing telescope for a gamified astronomy vision. All with actions to follow and sign ups, as usual.
We kicked off the evening with space colony research at the BIS (The SPACE project), lead by Jerry Stone FBIS, who is also a presenter on astronomy and space exploration since 45 years ago whilst still at school!
There's so much research done by the BIS team, in 30 minutes, Jerry has summarised the study thus far and presented several colony design with latest feasibility analysis and a modern updates to these designs based on these studies, with a great level of technical details too. Bringing space colonies "from imagination to reality", true to BIS's tag line.
That lead us nicely into the topic of Space Law!
"Space law is of crucial importance because as well as the constraints of physics and engineering, any activities in space are always going to be governed by the law. Space development isn't going to take place in a wild, chaotic place without legal rules! " - Adam Manning
Policies has always been like a maze, a maze as vast as space, we feel. As citizen of Earth and of the wider Space, knowing our rights, or lack of, is surely essential but few of us would want to read through the original text of the law, the statutes or treaties themselves. Adam Manning, our speaker of the law, has taught himself space law and has been sharing his learning and research to the BIS Space Colony project and the wider audience in the open internet at his blog @ProjIon. In this event, we were given a digested understanding of Outer Space Treaty and Moon Treaty (also known as Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies), working things out from the ground up - from the Common Laws. Feeling like following up from the presentation? Here is a more detailed examination of the law of Outer Space from the context of private and commercial space development from Adam.
After working things out at space, Jon Rushton from Open Space Agency brought us back looking up to Space from Earth's surface and talked us through the design and development of Ultrascope - a kit-set telescope that would reduce the cost of pro-level astronomy by an order of magnitude, provides the maker/astronomy community with a solid starting point to build and adapt a telescope. The design of Ultrascope focused on rapid manufacture technologies such as 3D printing and laser cutting to bridge the skill gap required for machining high tolerance components. The main goal of this project is to increase the number of astronomers. Open Space Agency believes that with the development of technology and the open source movement we will eventually be able to reduce the barrier to entry for owning a telescope powerful enough for performing follow up observations on asteroids. So, beta testing sign up is on - happy start gazing! The presentation is available here: http://prezi.com/8hvfyy67allh/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share.
With that, we moved over to a quick summary from Stephanie Pau @citizeninventor on our co-learning on DIY Orientation Thruster and follow up space discussions with some more inspiration from more beers - thanks to International Space University for it's generous sponsorship and Hub Westminster for keeping its door open to us till late!
We had people from space and non space related industry, professionals and students, policy, research, business, technical and creative expertise in one room. It was a truly multi-disciplinary mix of people and we are very pleased to see the great mix of people in the room. It has been a special evening to have Fabian joining us from BBC world service technology programme on the evening.
Are you a space journalist/science communicator? Can you record our events? We're on the look out for crew! Drop us a line:
If you are ready to take the next one on,
We've moved from East London's Fab Lab London to West London's Create Space London, not only that we are learning about building orientation thruster hands on, we are also showcasing maker spaces while we are at it. We are definitely on a trip of exploration!
Create Space (to be precise, Wembly Point) has quite an entrance, we can easily imagine it being the entrance to some hi-tech organisation with eccentric scientist and engineers in the building. Get the lighting right, we could be in a sci-fi movie! That aside... It turns out, it's not an evil enterprise but the most multidisciplinary maker space we have seen so far. Everything ranging from printmaking, ceremics (with 4 kilns!), woodworking, lazer cutting, electronics to everything else including tenants making Robots, 3D printing lampshades...
We started off with Ray Bainbridge from Tranquility Aerospace giving us an overview of Devon one, a proposed single-stage reusable vertical take-off vertical landing vehicle with a kerosene/HTP engine and a 30-40kg payload and sharing some system diagram. Ray also cover wider topics on how he has started from a non-space background for additional inspiration.
This room might look small but this is one of the 10+ rooms in Create Space and it certainly had everything we need. We had a few Arduino Mega but everyone was great and many has brought along their own kit. There was no lack of Arduino Uno, Yun and Adafruit's Trinket look-alike-s on the table that emerged from their bags and boxes in the electronics workshop in Create Space. As the day went on, there was even a tank of pressurised gas when we needed it for air flow test. Carl has been extremely entrepreneurial and made great use of the lift for testing the pressure sensor code he was writing (we were at the 11th floor, we planned it, oh no we haven't)!
And here we are firing the solenoid valves, with a modified version of Arduino's blink script:
Just before you think everyone is Arduino pro, and worry that you won't fit into the next class... The point of co-learning is we help each other out, so Steph ran an Arduino 101 at the beginning to help those who have not been exposed to Arduino and Robert has been chipping in too! It's a really friendly atmosphere and everyone tries to contribute and share what they know and help making things work. We've got to thank Faraz, the Create Space Arduino pro for helping us out - you know what, we thought if you need extra Arduino after-class, check their open night out! I'm sure you'll meet Rich there too, he'd make a very good mechanical engineer, and a very helpful one!
Hats off to Lucaz who has been getting up at 4-ish in the morning making his way from Nottingham in a mildly snowy day! In the UK, this translates to a very adventurous travel arrangement for the train can easily fail at times like this... He definitely showed that it is possible to go from attending Arduino 101 to programming the GPS module and has even continued on after everyone has packed up! It has been an amazing effort and the code base has grown significantly in this one day! There's even a new repo on radio comms, thanks Robert. https://github.com/TranquilityAerospace
Finally, we owe Rory a lot for him generously giving us the space when we called out to the community for help. Go, community spirit!
Ah, did we forget to mention the breakfast Steph brought in and the Pizza sponsored by Tranquility Aerospace? Well, we were too focused on taking notes on the Orientation Thruster... well, next time we will try to remember taking photo of the energy sources too. Till then.
The first 2 speakers of the Space Town Hall #2 (unveiled in earlier posts here and here) definitely has the galatic impact on their focus! Our third speaker will bring us back to Earth and take is through building telesope using 3D printing etc, the rapid designer-prototyper: Jon Rushton.
Jon Rushton is a Brunel Industrial design graduate. Project Ultrascope is Jon's handy work! The main goal of this project is to increase the number of astronomers by the development of open source technology, reducing the barrier to entry for owning a telescope powerful enough for performing follow up observations on asteroids.
"The scope we are building at the moment is not at this level (yet) but we are making progress on reducing the barrier to entry by releasing the free plans and instructions to download and build an ultrascope in the near future. The manufacture methods also reduce the skill required by the maker as it uses ever developing rapid manufacture techniques such as 3D printing and laser cutting for the bulk of the components (as well as bought in components).
We believe that the unique points of interest for this project are the freedom to customise and improve on the design, access to an open community of maker astronomers (of which there is already a budding number) from a great starting point and its strong cross subject (science and Design & Technology) in school project applications.
The project so far has been a great success and we have 1,600 sign ups in the wings to build the scope when it is released."
Want to hear more or have a burning question to ask? RSVP now and join us on Space Town Hall #2, 10 Feb evening at Hub Westminister.
The Space Colony project that Jerry Stone will be presenting covers everything from civilization, biodiversity and technology, but with any civilization, there's etiquette and Adam Manning would fill in our knowledge gap on that!
Adam is the founder of two local environmental groups. In his spare time, he helps clearing up rubbish on a beautiful beach in sunny Southampton. Working as a Litigation Solicitor with a passion for space development, he research and taught himself space law. Whilst he's at it, he shares his learning through his blog - gold star for being a good citizen! As part of the work carried out for Project SPACE, the British Interplanetary Society's study project on space colonization, he has been focusing on analysing the laws of Outer Space as they apply to the utilization of the resources of space and ultimately the settlement of space, if you'd like to do some prep before the Space Town Hall #2, check out his post here: http://projection3.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/legal-issues-in-space-settlement.html
RSVP to Space Town Hall #2 here: http://www.meetup.com/CitizenInventor/events/212269332/
Don't miss your chance to raise your hand and ask questions re Space Law!
Finally! The long awaited Space Town Hall #2 is coming up on the 10 Feb at our usual place Westminster Hub. This time, we are going to continue on our broad and multidisciplinary approach to our shared journey to space!
For the futurist, and in fact, any citizen, here is your chance to shape the future! It's been said that "The future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow", well, how about we try to join one of our speaker and create that future on the 10 Feb?
Talking space colony
Jerry Stone FBIS is a freelance presenter on astronomy and space exploration. He gave his first talk on space over 45 years ago whilst still at school. Now he runs Spaceflight UK and speaks all over the UK and abroad, and also presents space workshops in schools. He is the leader of the British Interplanetary Society's SPACE Project.
Back in the 1970s, plans were developed for large-scale space colonies that could house upwards of 10,000 people. Establishing these habitats could help solve many of the problems that are still with us today down on Earth. The SPACE Project (Study Project Advancing Colony Engineering) aims to update those plans in light of the advances in technology over the last 40 years. This is a very wide-ranging project, including town planning, ecology, etc, as well as the engineering aspects. Would you like to help plan mankind’s future in space?
Don't miss your chance to make a GALATIC impact
More Speakers to unveil... yes, the universe is full of mysteries!
We'll post more detail closer to date.
At Space Town Hall, we promise you will have the chances to join hands on projects.
RSVP here: http://www.meetup.com/CitizenInventor/events/212269332/
PS: Would anyone be able to help us to film the event?
Did we all spot a wine box there? Oh yes, it does hold something as pleasurable as wine. Electronics!
Earlier this month, we had our launch of the co-learning initiative by actually running the first learning "moudule" - learning about orientation thruster, hands on. It was not a high profile launch, unlike the main Space Town Hall (our mothership!) launch, but we felt it was important to let action speak for itself. And so it did: It happens to be the Lord Mayor Show in London and despite it said the show will start at Mansion House, it occurred to be rather close to FabLab London, our venue, at Bank! And so, we began our new learning initiative with test #1, unannounced - participants was challenged to cross the paths of marching horses and carriages in wind and rain, showing dedication, determination and intelligence (to work round traffic and reroute rearrangement) to reach the destination.
The tutor/lead of this module is Ray Bainbridge from Tranquility Aerospace. Ray provided an overview of the way Tranquility Aerospace works with communities and universities to develop projects, explained the basics of the orientation thruster and moved on to walk through the system diagram of the design:
After Ray explained the basics, we took the Arduino, sensor and electronics out from the box and split into 2 working groups. One of the sensor and one on controlling the actuator (solenoid valves). Afterall we have such strong focus on being hands on, it just natural that much of the day was tinkering with electronics and software (hang in there, non-technical types, we have something for you). It was kind of like a hack day but with minimal theory to supplementing the learning and unlimited scope to go down rabbit holes! The greatest thing is we co-learned (more about co-learning here) - we helped each other to learn about building stuff, right from the beginning of installing the Arduino IDE. Had we have more designer type, no doubt we would also have another working group for designing conceptual interfaces (hint hint, come to our next one, design types). This module will continue as long as the group wants to and we are ear-marking the next one in Jan 2015.
A few words must be said about our venue sponsor which we are very excited about! FabLab London is one of the 400+ Fab Labs around the world, everything you'd expect from a Fab Lab is there - lazer cutter, 3D printer... And we are so lucky, thanks to Jana for the tip, to be hosted at Fab Lab London shortly after it opened its doors to the public. Andy at Fab Lab London has been amazing at helping to make this happen - coffee, soldering iron, you name it, he has it. A big thank you! Not to forget to mention, everything has been run on volunteer's effort, yes, tutor included! Thank you, Ray. What can you do to help? How about start by joining us and co-learn space technology and exploration, come and help teach each other a skill/topic while picking up another.
Remember, don't worry about what you don't know or don't think is relevant, come and find a way to join the dots! Check out our "crew wanted" - We are hoping to run more modules in the future, but we rely on you to help. Tip us, do you know a space buff around you? Point them at us! The co-learning model is not about one authoritative all-knowing figure, it's about sharing what you already know and seeing it complimented by someone else in the "lesson" to help each other accelerate and solve problems/bounce ideas.
Ray from Tranquility Aerospace has announced this project at the launch of Space Town Hall and we are getting going with it sharpish. We've been sold out on our very first co-learning initiative and a few spaces has been release, so if you are looking for some exciting space DIY fun to do on 8 Nov 2014, RSVP to [Learn] DIY orientation thruster.
On top of exchanging ideas with regards to space technology development and exploration, we really would like to emphasis our focus on doing things hands on. So after having a 30 minutes talk on Orientation Thurster at Tranquility Aerospace, you can now join us to get hands on with making one and learn as you do. The day will not be made up of any major chunks of theory session, because we believe in just in time learning it's driven by practical sessions. Think of this as part of a series of hack days that eventually builds up to a working orientation thruster and the learning of theories happens as you need to read about them.
What to bring?
In order to share the joy of writing lines of code, doing researches and modelling and rendering visualisations, we strongly recommend bringing a laptop. But if you are one of those walking encyclopaedia or is very good at computing without laptop, you probably don't need to bring one anyways!
Did we say we are all about diversity?
Did we say stop worrying about what you don't have?
Indeed, if you don't have a laptop and is not a walking computer, we still need you. Come and help create some concepts and ideas for the controlling interface! We'd love to see creatives and techies in the mix creating the next amazing vision together while the engineers learn and carry out the amazing implementations but then again there's no reason why you cannot be a real mix of the two and do more than one thing at a time!
Whatever you choose to do, have loads of fun! Hopefully we will see you there.
PS: we are really excited about checking out @fablablondon - a brand new Fab Lab in London, our generous sponsor for venue!
PPS: Here are some of the toys that will be around for the day, with their datasheets, of course!
Space Town Hall launched during World Space Week 2014 on 6 Oct 2014. Headlined by our 3 space speakers: Chris Welch from International Space University, Ray Bainbridge from Tranquility Aerospace and Radim Badsi from Open Cube Project, supported by the generous sponsorship from Hub Westminster (venue) and International Space University (beer and pizza), we had a successful lift off together with a diverse community of around 40.
Space exploration often sounds very technical but the diversity in skills and people required is often much wider than what we usually associate with. Steph mentioned the need for fashion designer and material scientist in an open source space suit project (EXOSKN) at the intro talk and Chris has illustrated the diversity at the international Space University: lawyers and engineers from different cultures worked closely together to make space projects happen.
We've opened with Professor Chris Welch, Head of the Space Mafia (and the Director of MSc Programs at the International Space University). Our first ever talk covered so many projects and initiatives from sci-fi to reality that is just not possible to take enough notes of. From International Space University on Earth, the Space Elevator and ArduSAT that its graduates went onto create, all the way to an interstellar worldship team project and space events that you can help with: World Space Week, SpaceUP:UK, Yuri's night... Chris asked what we can we all do today and in the near future to plant the seeds to enable such a future. From then, we went very hands on in technical terms and the embedded developers (Arduino and Beaglebone) are in for a treat, in fact, two treats. Ray Bainbridge, the founder and CEO of Tranquility Aerospace talked about the development of Devon One, a vertical take off/landing reusable sub-orbital launcher and opened up the study of controlling such system using open source hardware (watch this space, this will be the first of a very exciting initiative). How many times in your life do you get to learn about launch equipment designs, hands on?! Last but not least, Radim Badsi, an entrepreneur and the project manager for Open Cube Project gave an overview of cubesat, the nanosatellites that have attracted increasing interest from the research community and the commercial space industry in recent years and invited the community to review the project and contribute enhancements and fixes. Radim has also announced the opportunity to learn to build cubesats, hands on, through a new project initiative: Space Invader Cube. Mixing games and cubesat learning experience, delicious.
On top of exchanging ideas with regards to space technology development and exploration, we really would like to emphasis our focus on doing things hands on. To this end, all of our speakers at the launch has each talked about a different space topic and also offered an opportunity to sign up to space project on the spot! If you have missed it, you can still sign up to those hands on projects (your curiosity and a willing pair of hands is all it takes):
After all there's no boundary lines drawn in space, so let's not impose such things in the Space Town Hall. If you belong to other space organisations, do not be shy, Space Town Hall is open to all. It is in fact all the better that the Space Town Hall includes every open minded citizen! So bring your community. open projects, half baked idea along and let's start forming a Town Hall for all - regardless of what skills you think you don't have! Not to forget to mention that Chris is normally based in Strasbourg and Radim in Berlin, all of our speakers has travel from a distance to join us at the event. We'd love to hear from you wherever you are.
We are earmarking January 2015 for the next one, stay tuned!
PS: Did I hear you say there's a lack of photos? Well let us know if you've taken some - in fact, even better, just add them here.
Space Town Hall is an initiative by Citizen Inventor to create an channel for citizens of space to come together and help make space development and exploration a community thing. We recognized that being a virtual community is not enough, and Space Town Hall is a regular get-together for as long as the interest of the community last
You've waited all these time and finally we are letting it out. Our space speakers and talks at the Launch:
Chris Welch @ProfChrisWelch from ISU @ISUnet
Although we cannot do it yet, one day we may wish to send humans out to the stars. This talk will outline ISU and its interstellar worldship team project and ask what we can we all do today and in the near future to plant the seeds to enable such a future?
About the speaker: Chris Welch is professor of spacecraft engineering at the International Space University in Strasbourg, France. He is also Vice President of the British Interplanetary Society and deputy Chair of the Institute for Interstellar Studies' Advisory Council.
Ray Bainbridge @TranquilityAero
How often do you get to see the thrusters parts and landing gear of a spacecraft launcher?! Ray will be offering the chance to write C++ for Tranquility Aerospace's thruster array and landing gear, which will be present at the event too!
About the speaker: Ray is a prolific entrepreneur with investments in several emerging technologies companies within the UK and Europe and is the CEO of Tranquility Aerospace. Ray has 38 years engineering experience and for the past 13 years has also acts as a manufacture and design consultant in cutting edge technologies. Tranquility Aerospace Ltd is currently developing its own vertical take-off, vertical landing, reusable rocket for the launching of payloads both suborbital and LEO from the UK.
Radim Badsi at OpenCubeProject
Radim will present an overview of recent technology developments and advances in the nanosatellite sector. Current trends, insights, future opportunities and challenges will be discussed. He will introduce the OpenCube Project, a collaborative, community-driven effort to develop an open-source CubeSat platform.
About the speaker: Radim is an entrepreneur, engineer and space enthusiast. His company, Innoflair, is specialised in research and development of innovative ground segment technologies, including efficient spacecraft telemetry archival and anomaly detection. He is the project manager of an open source project developing a plug-and-play CubeSat platform called OpenCube.