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):
- Help organising a World Space Week event or a Yuri's night in 2015 - drop @ProfChrisWelch or us a line
- Help make an orientation thruster (think: rocket gears) - drop us a line
- Make a cubesat which will be going into the air via balloon and rain down some space invaders (in augmented reality?) - join here
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.