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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.
February-March 2014
Space Hobbies & Activities in the Spotlight

Name a Mars Crater at Uwingu

Uwingu announces the Mars Crater Naming campaign in which you can offer a name for one of the 500,000 craters found so far on the Red Planet, most all of which have no names. Uwingu has created a dynamic, on line map that will continually update with the latest names. The goal is to raise $10M for space science projects from the fees for posting a name ... Read the rest of this entry...

31 student teams to compete in Mars Society’s
University Rover Challenge

The registration for the University Rover Contest, sponsored by the Mars Society, sets a new record with 31 Student Teams Set to Compete. The student teams come from six countries and four continents … Read the rest of this entry…

Zooniverse passes one million
citizen science volunteers

Congratulations to Zooniverse on gaining their one millionth volunteer for their many citizen science projects after starting seven years ago... This map shows the global distribution of volunteers. ... Read the rest of this entry...

JP Aerospace sale on flights of
MiniCubes to NearSpace

John Powell of JP Aerospace sends me a notice of their sale on flights of the Minicubes to high altitudes on their balloon and airship missions. A MiniCube is a payload container for people to fly their projects on our high altitude balloons and airship missions. MiniCubes can be used for research, commercial applications, art, inspiration or anything you can imagine ... Read the rest of this entry…

The Astronomy Legacy Project – digitizing more
than a century of astronomical photos

The Astronomy Legacy Project, supported by the nonprofit Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI), has opened an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise $60,000 to finance their program of digitizing stellar photographic films and plates: Before the invention of digital cameras in the 1990's, and for ... Read the rest of this entry…

Global Space Balloon Challenge

Here’s an announcement from the Stanford Student Space Initiative: Global Space Balloon Challenge Ever wanted to build something and send it to space? The Stanford Student Space Initiative and the Michigan Balloon Recovery and Satellite Testbed team invite you to the Global Space Balloon Challenge (GSBC)! The GSBC is an international ... Read the rest of this entry…

Disk Detective: Search for star systems with planet-forming debris

Zooniverse has opened a new citizen science program called Disk Detective: Scientists are combing our galaxy looking for stars that could be harbouring planet-forming disks. They need your help to explain this puzzling part of stellar evolution! What is WISE looking for?... Read the rest of this entry…

Space Art Spotlight

Cabernet Sauvignon by Steve Gildea
Cabernet Sauvignon

Green Neptune by Steve Gildea
Green Neptune
Local Library (detail) by Steve Gildea
Local Library (detail)

Carnations by Steve Gildea

Hypermodern Chess by Steve Gildea
Hypermodern Chess
Planetary Suite by Steve Gildea
Planetary Suite

Steve Gildea
More space art...
Space News from Virtual Amanda Bush

Here is the February 2014 episode of The Virtual SpaceTV 3D show with Amanda Bush. She reports on the deployment of satellites from the International Space Station by NanoRacks including the 28 spacecraft of the Planet Labs Flock 1. She also reports on other new earth observation systems in space, on rumors of a satellite constellation coming from Google, on the latest news about Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin rocket company, and on the latest regarding China's lander/rover on the Moon and of the American rovers on Mars.


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 -January 2014
Virtual SpaceTV 3D -Dec-Nov 2013
Space Music Video of the Month


Peformed by Iron Horse
Music and lyrics by Elton John/Bernie Taupin.

It's a Whole New Outer Space Out There

Student, Research and Commercial Nano-Satellites Ejected
into Orbit from the International Space Station

Below is a great picture posted by NASA of a recent ejection of nanosats into orbit from the International Space Station. The company NanoRacks developed the deployer and installed it on the ISS with their own funds. They made a deal with the Japanese space agency to have their astronauts carry out the deployments from the Japanese ISS module with the use of the station’s robotic arm.

Two nanosats deployed from the ISS
Two cubesats (in 3U config 10cmx10cmx30cm) ejected from the NanoRacks
deployer at the end of the ISS robotic arm under the control of Japanese astronauts.
Click for larger image.

There were 33 nanosats delivered in January to the station for NanoRacks on the Orbital Sciences Cygnus cargo module in January. The big batch of satellites included 28 earth observation satellites owned by the startup company Planet Labs.

There was also a NanoSatisfi Ardusat, two university satellites from Lithuania, and two university satellites from Peru. The deployments started in early February and finished by February 28th. (For details of the five sats see More Amateur Radio CubeSats Released into Orbit from ISS, Launched from Japan - ARRL)

Japances astronaut Koichi Wakata prepares
Japances astronaut Koichi Wakata prepares the NanoRacks CubeSat deployer.
More info at NASA.

Close up of two satellites as they are ejected from the NanoRacks deployer, which
holds eight tubes, each with up to six standard cubesats or, in the above case,
two 3U cubesats.

NanoRacks is getting so many orders, they are working to increase launch capacity from the ISS: Demand for CubeSat Deployments Nearing Space Station Limit – Via Satellite.

There are many innovative low-cost commercial space activities like these that are in operation or moving quickly towards implementation.

Follow the latest developments in this NewSpace era with a subscription to NewSpace Watch.

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 ...
January 2014 - April 2014

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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