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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.
October 2012
Space for All Blog NewSpace Watch Blog
Space Hobbies & Activities in the Spotlight
Citizen Science Ice Hunters Bag One

The New Horizons spacecraft is currently traveling towards the dwarf planet Pluto and will pass it in Aprli 2015. The main goal is, of course, the study of Pluto and its moons but if there is sufficient funding they hope to study other objects in the Kuiper belt, which extends far beyond Pluto.

However, they need to find something interesting that will come close enough to the spacecraft to do useful observations. The citizen science program Ice Hunters was started to get the public to help in finding such objects:

After passing Pluto and Charon, pending NASA approval of an extended mission, the spacecraft can retarget itself for an encounter with a KBO. The KBO target will not be selected until shortly before the Pluto encounter, but scientists hope to find one or more that the spacecraft can reach that are at least 30 miles (about 50 kilometers) across. This encounter would be similar to the Pluto-Charon encounter; the spacecraft would map the KBO with high resolution images, investigate its composition using infrared spectroscopy and four-color maps, and look for an atmosphere and moons.

This is where you come in. To find these icy KBO targets we need your help poring over thousands of ground based images, taken specially for this purpose using giant telescopes. Hiding within these images are undiscovered slow-moving Kuiper Belt Objects, asteroids zipping through the foreground, and millions of background stars.

The Ice Hunters have now made their first find: Citizen "Ice Hunters" help find a Neptune Trojan target for New Horizons - The Planetary Society.

Space Art Spotlight

First Steps - by Frank Hettick - 2008
First Steps (2008)

Jupiter and Beyond - by Frank Hettick - 2005
Jupiter and Beyond(2005)

Fun in Orbit - by Frank Hettick - 2008
Fun in Orbit (2008)

Jupiter and IO from Europa - by Frank Hettick - 2008
Jupiter and IO from Europa (2008)

Ice Lakes of Triton - by Frank Hettick - 2006
Ice Lakes of Triton(2006)

Frank Hettick
More space art...
Space News from Virtual Amanda Bush

Here is the third episode of a Virtual SpaceTV 3D series on the feasibility of interstellar travel. Virtual host Amanda Bush describes one theoretical means of travel that is similar to the way a popular TV starship gets around the galaxy. The series was created by BINARY SPACE and follows the Warp Drive, When? material at NASA Glenn Research Center.


Other 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

Here are the two previous shows in the Interstellar Travel series:

Episode II: Interstellar travel with existing technologies
Episode I: Interstellar travel is tough!
Space Music Video of the Month
It's a Whole New Outer Space Out There

SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches Dragon for Cargo Delivery to the ISS

Last May SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket with a Dragon capsule on top. The Dragon went on to a sucessful docking with the ISS, followed a few days later by a return to earth with a sea landing off the coast of California. That flight was a test of the Falcon 9/Dragon cargo delivery service for NASA. SpaceX has a contract with NASA to provide 12 cargo delivery flights over the next few years. The first such regular cargo deliver mission began on October 7th when a Falcon 9 lifted off from Cape Canaveral.

The launch of the Falcon 9/Dragon on Oct.7, 2012 from Cape Canaveral
Credits SpaceX.

One of the nine engines on the first stage failed early in the flight but the redundancy of the system allowed for the Dragon to reach its proper orbit nevertheless. (A secondary prototype satellite from Orbcomm, however, could not be put into its target orbit.)

A couple of days later Dragon made a successful rendezvous and approach to the ISS. Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide then used the station's Canadian-built robotic arm to grab the Dragon. Expedition 33 Commander Sunita Williams later carried out the berthing, i.e. attaching, of the Dragon to the station.


Here is an update (Oct. 22, 2012) from SpaceX on the Dragon's stay at the ISS.


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
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and spysat images.
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Images and data from
deep space probes.

See the archive of previous HobbySpace homepage Spotlight items ...
September 12 - November 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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