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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.
May 2012
Space for All Blog Space Transport News Blog
Special Features
NewSpace Log 2011
The NewSpace Log 2012
This section holds links to blog posts, articles, pictures, etc. about events and developments this year in NewSpace. See also NewSpace Log 2011.
NewSpace 2011 Conference
Space Access 12 Conference Review
A report on the annual Space Access Society's annual conference in Phoenix, Arizona. The focus, as always, was on efforts by entrepreneurial companies to achieve dramatically lower costs for getting to space..
Space Access 2011
NewSpace 2011 Conference Review
A report on the annual Space Frontier Foundation's conference held at NASA Ames in Mountain View, California. Topics of discussion ranged from entrepreneurial space businesses to lunar miing to fully reusable suborbital space vehicles.

More Interviews, Articles, and Special Topics.
Space Art Spotlight

Big Tent 01 by Ludovic Celle
Big Tent 01

Sheffield and the space elevator  by Ludovic Celle
Sheffield and the space elevator

A mohole behind the horizon 01 by Ludovic Celle
A mohole behind the horizon 01
Down in Noctis Labyrinthusby Ludovic Celle
Down in Noctis Labyrinthus
Olympus Mons from orbit by Ludovic Celle
Olympus Mons from orbit
Images du film Mission to Mars by Ludovic Celle
Images du film Mission to Mars
Rovers au bord d'un cratère by Ludovic Celle
Rovers au bord d'un cratère

Ludovic Celle
More space art...
Space News from Virtual Amanda Bush

Here is the latest Virtual SpaceTV 3D show, which was created by BINARY SPACE with story content from HobbySpace. Virtual presenter Amanda Bush devotes her program to a recounting of the successful SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon mission to the International Space Station. This was the first time a commercially designed, built and operated spacecraft berthed to an orbiting station. The Dragon delivered several hundred kilograms of supplies and also returned safely with cargo from the station to a splashdown off the coast of California. The Virtual SpaceTV program ends with spaceweather-man James C. Birk reporting on the annular eclipse in May and the June 5th Venus transit.


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

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 (Note that the virtual voices continue to move towards a more natural sound.)

Space Music Video of the Month


Rocket Man
Elton John performs his famous song 40 years after its first release.
Previous space music in spotlight

Space Hobbies & Activities in the Spotlight
Amateur Astronomy Group Maps the Sky for Variable Stars

Amateur make up the bulk of the membership of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO). The goal of the organization is to study variable stars. According to the AAVSO:

Professional astronomers have neither the time nor the telescopes needed to gather data on the brightness changes of thousands of variables, and amateurs make a real and useful contribution to science by observing variable stars and submitting their observations to the AAVSO International Database.

This week the AAVSO released the results of AAVSO Photometric All-Sky Survey (APASS) that has been underway since 2009. The group operates one observing station in Chile and the other in Mexico and so can see both hemispheres of the sky. They are halfway through the project and have collected date for "42 million objects in about 95% of the sky".

In the on-going project, the two AVSO observatories each night to measure the intensity
of the light in about 60 small patches or fields of the sky with a set of five different filters.
These photometry measurements will show whether a star's brightness is varying over time.
In the past two years, 95% of the sky has been observed twice and the remainder once.
The goal in the remaining two years is to cover the entire sky with at least 4 visits for
each field.
(Credit: E. Los)

It's a Whole New Outer Space Out There

SpaceX Launches Falcon 9 with Dragon Spacecraft
Dragon Berths to the International Space Station

The young company SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral on May 22nd. It carried the firm's Dragon spacecraft on a test flight to the International Space Station. The mission was to demonstrate that SpaceX can begin regular deliveries of cargo to the station.


A crowd of SpaceX employees watched the launch from the company's headquarters in Hawthorne, California. They make a big cheer when the first and second stages separate successfully:


After reaching orbit, Dragon began a two day journey to the station in which it carried out a number tests and maneuvers to demonstrate that all systems were working properly.

On May 25th, the Dragon approached the station in a series of carefully planned steps to prove that it could stop and reverse its movement at any time via commands from the ground as well as from the crew on the station. Eventually it reached the point where the crew could use the robotic arm on the station to grapple the Dragon and bring it in for docking to the station.

This video displays a compilation of videos of Dragon taken by the crew as it neared the station and was captured and docked:


On May 26th the crew opened the hatch and began unloading the craft. They also loaded it with materials to return to earth. Currently, Dragon is the only vehicle available to bring substantial amounts of materials safetly back from the station.

More videos can be found at SpaceX on Vimeo.

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

Tutorial videos
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
Earth Viewer
Weather maps, remote sensing
and spysat images.
Space Weather Viewer
Space Weather
Sun, solar wind, aurora images
and the latest data

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

See the archive of previous HobbySpace homepage Spotlight items ...
April 12 - June 12

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

January 1999.

The Art of C. Sergent Lindsey

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