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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.
July 2013
Space Hobbies & Activities in the Spotlight

Planetary Resources exceeds $1.5M for Arkyd
space telescope Kickstarter

The Planetary Resources Kickstarter campaign to fund the ARKYD public space telescope ended [on June 30th] with 17,612 backers pledging $1,505,276 towards the original goal of $1,000,000. Richard Branson is adding another $100k. Congratulations to the PRI team on a very […] Read the rest of this entry…

The Next-Gen Teachers in Space

Ed Wright of Citizens in Space gives the background to various programs aimed at sending teachers and other educators into space and lays out his organization’s plans for the future: Teachers in Space: The Next Generation – Citizens in [...] Read the rest of this entry...

Lone Signal – using a big dish to
broadcast messages to ET

The LONE SIGNAL project, which officially opens on June 18th, wants to send messages to an extraterrestrial intelligence (METI) using a former NASA radio dish near Carmel, California : Lone Signal: METI Teams Up With Citizen Science To Try And […] Read the rest of this entry…

NASA “passport” gives discounts at NASA
centers and Shuttle museums

The Passport to Explore Space card gives you benefits at multiple space museums and exhibitions across the country: Passport to Explore Space holders receive special savings on admission, tours, food and retail at each location. Visit all 14 Visitor Center […] Read the rest of this entry…

Space Art Spotlight

Spaceshown - TDSII by Carsten Brandt
Splashdown TDSII

HEAT1600/TDSII on Launch Pad by Carsten Brandt
HEAT 1600/TDSII on Launch Pad

HEAT/1600 Copenhagen Suborbitals by Carsten Brandt
HEAT 1600 Copenhagen Suborbitals

Space Station Layouts - Chase Ace by Carsten Brandt
Space Station Layouts - Chase Ace

Carsten Brandt
More space art...

Space News from Virtual Amanda Bush

Here is the July 2013 episode of The Virtual SpaceTV 3D show with Amanda Bush. Amanda reports on the successful conclusion of the Planetary Resources Kickstarter campaign, the initial launch of the O3B Networks constellation of broadband satellites for "the other 3 billion", and the UP Aerospace rocket launch at New Mexico's Spaceport America with government, educational, and commercial payloads.


Other Virtual SpaceTV 3D shows are available on the HobbySpace Youtube Channel.

The Virtual SpaceTV 3D shows are created by BINARY SPACE ( with story content from These videos are intended as demonstrations of an experimental technique for generating animated presentations. The show was generated autonomously by software according to a text script. The project is described in the Virtual Producer whitepaper (pdf). For further information contact

Here are the previous two shows in the Virtual SpaceTV 3D series:

Virtual SpaceTV 3D - June 2013
Virtual SpaceTV 3D - February 2013
Space Music Video of the Month


A Tribute To Carl Sagan with music from SPHERES by Daniel Hope.
Video space imagery assembled by Brittany Manning.

It's a Whole New Outer Space Out There

The SpaceX Grasshopper Jumps Even Higher

As mentioned in the January, and April NewSpace Spotlights, the company SpaceX is developing a fully and rapidly reusable launch vehicle based on its Falcon 9 rocket. If successful, such a reusable system would drastically lower the cost of getting to orbit.

Last fall they began testing a prototype first stage reusable booster called Grasshopper. It takes off and lands vertically. In June 2013 the Grasshopper reached a new record altitude:


Grasshopper 325m Test with Single Camera View from Hexacopter

In this test the Grasshopper for the first time

made use of its full navigation sensor suite with the F9-R closed loop control flight algorithms to accomplish a precision landing. Most rockets are equipped with sensors to determine position, but these sensors are generally not accurate enough to accomplish the type of precision landing necessary with Grasshopper.

Previous Grasshopper tests relied on the other rocket sensors but for this test, an additional, higher accuracy sensor was in the control loop. In other words, SpaceX was directly controlling the vehicle based on new sensor readings, adding a new level of accuracy in sensing the distance between Grasshopper and the ground, enabling a more precise landing.

Tests of the Grasshopper will move this autumn to Spaceport America in New Mexico where it will be allowed to go to much higher altitudes than at the Texas site.

Also, during upcoming satellite launches with the new Falcon 9-R rocket, which uses the improved Merlin 1-D engine, SpaceX will attempt to return the the first stage to a hover landing above the water rather than simply crashing the first stage into the ocean as in previous flights. Once these hover tests are successfully demonstrated, they will in subsequent launches attempt to fly the booster back to the launch site.

Check for the latest in leading edge rocket and space travel projects on the
Space Transport News Blog
Satellite Tracking at HobbySpace
Satellite tracks
Satellite track display

3-D viewing option
Run the Satellite Tracking Tool from BINARY SPACE right here at HobbySpace in your browser. The program allows you to track a large set of satellites in both low earth and geostationary orbits. (Note: the program requires Microsoft Silverlight, Version 5 or higher, as well as the latest version of your browser. Currently the program works on the Microsoft® Windows® platform only.) The Satellite Observing section provides additional information and web resources about the hobby of satellite tracking and watching.
Real-Time Space Viewers
Sun & Space Weather Data
Sun and Space Weather
Real time images, charts and data displays

Aurora, Meteors & Fireballs Data
Aurora, Meteors & Fireballs
Real time images, charts and data displays

See the archive of previous HobbySpace homepage Spotlight items ...
May/June 13 - August 13

HobbySpace has been providing thousands of space links, news and information daily since

January 1999.

The Art of C. Sergent Lindsey
NewSpace Watch at NSG


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