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Welcome to HobbySpace. the site that will prove to you that everyone can participate in space exploration and development in one way or another.
December 2008
Recent Blog Postings
HobbySpace Log:
RLV & Space Transport News:
Recent Features
Falcon 1 launch
Review of NewSpace in 2008
A compilation of significant events and developments in the NewSpace movement during 2008.
NG-LLC 2008
Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge
Compilation of blog postings, articles, photos and videos concerning this event in October 2008.
Bigelow Genesis II

Int. Sym. on Personal and Commercial Spaceflight
NewSpace 2008
ISDC 2008 & Space Investment Summit
Reviews and compilation of blog postings, articles, photos and videos concerning these events in 2008.

More Interviews, Articles, and Special Topics.
Space Art Spotlight
Rocketship M-X by Edward Rowles
Rocketship M-X
Night Fueling by Edward Rowles
Night Fueling

Luna 1 by Edward Rowles
Luna 1

To the Stars by Edward Rowles
To the Stars

Space station in orbit by Edward Rowles
Space Station in Orbit

Edward Rowles

More space art...
Space Music Video of the Month
Space Hobbies & Activities in the Spotlight
Searching for Exo-Planets

Artist's impression of the planet OGLE-TR-L9b.
This is an artist's impression of the planet OGLE-TR-L9b,
which was discovered by students in the Netherlands.

One of the greatest intellectual developments of our time is the discovery of planets around other stars. Over 300 planets so far have been found since the early 1990s. Techniques have involved data and images from the great telescope observatories and analysis with sophisticated methods developed by scientists at the leading edge. However, gradually it is becoming possible for students and amateur astronomers to join in to help with this great effort. See, for example, this article, which describes how three undergraduate students discovered a large planet orbiting a fast-rotating star.

Here are a couple of exoplanet searching projects in which you might get involved:

  • PlanetQuest
    This educational program gets students involved in planetary searches via computer analysis.

    "The PlanetQuest Collaboratory will turn your computer (Mac, PC, Linux, and others) into a virtual astronomical observatory that you can use to make and share real scientific discoveries. You can classify stars no one has cataloged before, use the Collaboratory to do your own research, and maybe even find a new planet!"

    This program involves amateur astronomers in the monitoring of a star for the slight diminution in brightness when one of its planets crosses between the star and our line of sight.

    " the past decade has seen the introduction of highly affordable small telescopes equipped with sensitive CCD detectors. Many amateur astronomers own observatories which, when properly configured, are capable of reliably detecting the periodic dimming that occurs when a close-in giant planet passes in front of its parent star as seen from Earth. This technique has been used by amateurs worldwide to detect planetary transits. In 2007, participants discovered that the planet HD 17156 b transits its parent star. This planet has a three-week orbital period, and is by far the longest-period transiting planet discovered to date."
It's a Whole New Outer Space Out There

Space Diving

Space Diving represents the ultimate in sky diving experiences. In 1959-1960 the US Air Force carried out a series of tests called Project Excelsior in which Captan Joseph Kittinger dived from balloon gondolas at increasing altitudes, the highest at 31km. During the fall he nearly reached supersonic speed before releasing the initial parachute of a his multi-parachute system. He was testing whether pilots of high altitude aircraft like the U2 spyplane could survive if they had to bail out.

The space suit company Orbital Outfitters is working with Armadillo Aerospace and others on its Project: SpaceDiver in which they plan to develop technologies and techniques to allow for emergency egress and safe return from suborbital space vehicles, which will go to 100km or higher. See this Popular Science article about Orbital Outfitters and their space diving research.

When space diving capabilities are proven, then it is very likely that some adventurous thrill seekers will dive from space just for fun. See the video below for one such scenario.

Created by Kyle Botha, this video depicts a space diver using a vehicle similar to Pixel,
which Armadilllo Aerospace entered in the Lunar Lander Challenge. (Not depicted in the video,
the vehicle would return for a safe landing.) See this video illustrating some of the
CGI techniques used in the project. .

Check for the latest in leading edge rocket projects on the Space Transport News blog.

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and spysat images.
Space Weather Viewer
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Space Explorer Viewer
Space Explorers
Images and data from
deep space probes.

See the archive of previous HobbySpace homepage Spotlight items ...
November 08 - January 09

HobbySpace provides over 15,000 space links and
has delivered over
20, 463,000 page views since
January 1999.

The Art of C. Sergent Lindsey
NewSpace Watch at NSG


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