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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.
March 2013
Space for All Blog NewSpace Watch Blog
Space Hobbies & Activities in the Spotlight

Join MoonZoo to Explore the Lunar Surface

The Moon Zoo citizen science program seeks members of the public

to study the lunar surface in unprecedented detail. Thanks to the help of the Moon Zoo community we have already visually classified 3,492,841 images from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).

Read more about the LRO and Moon Zoo or learn how to take part.

Other tasks include looking for the source of a mysterious flash seen on the lunar surface in 1953: Looking for the lunar crater created by Stuart’s Flare.

Operation Moonwatch - Early Citizen Science

At the start of the Space Age in the 1950s, a program was formed to organize amateur astronomers in the US to tracka nd monitor satellites.

Read about it at Operation Moonwatch – volunteers monitored early satellites.

Space Art Spotlight

Fuel Harvestor -  Bryan Versteeg
Fuel Harvestor Concept - DSI

Wheel Constructiont -  Bryan Versteeg
Wheel Construction- DSI

Dragonfly Concept -  Bryan Versteeg
Dragonfly Concept - DSI

Fuel Harvestor Concept-  Bryan Versteeg
Fuel Harvestor Concept - DSI
Firefly Concept -  Bryan Versteeg
Firefly Concept - DSI
Microgravity Foundry-  Bryan Versteeg
Microgravity Foundry- DSI

Bryan Versteeg
See galleries at Space Habs and
Deep Space Mining Industries
More space art...

Space News from Virtual Amanda Bush

In the February 2013 Virtual SpaceTV 3D show, Amanda Bush and James C. Birk report on the flyby of asteroid 2012 DA14 and the meteor fireball over Russia, on the debut of the Deep Space Industries asteroid mining company (see below), on the planned Bigelow Aerospace module to be docked with the International Space Station, and on the recent drilling activity of the Curiosity rover, :


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 preceding two shows in the Virtual SpaceTV 3D series:

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


Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield on the International Space Station
did this live performance with The Chieftans on stage in Houston, Texas
of the Van Morrison song Moondance:
Previous space music in spotlight

It's a Whole New Outer Space Out There

Inspiration Mars Aims to Send a Couple around Mars and Back

In April of 2001, Dennis Tito became the first person to pay his own way to space when he rode a Soyuz capsule to the International Space Station, where he spent a week in orbit. On February 27th, Tito announced the goal for another major milestone in private spaceflight: a two person flyby mission of Mars with liftoff in 2018.

The non-profit project is called Inspiration Mars (IM) and has the goal of inspiring the US public, particularly young people, to be excited about space, science, and engineering. The team includes leaders in those fields and they believe the 501 day mission is doable.

A schematic of the Inspiration Mars transport system shows the conical crew capsule
in the middle, propulsion and service module to the left, solar panels top and bottom,
and an expandable habitation model to the right.

About every 15 years there is an alignment that allows for the shortest trajectory to and from Mars for a single engine boost. The next opportunity for this opens in January 2018. The IM spacecraft would fire its engines to leave low earth orbit and need no further major propulsion firings to reach Mars, fly within 160 km of the surface and return to earth.

The hardware configuration is not yet settled but the generic plan involves a launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket with an upgraded SpaceX Dragon capsule, a propulsion and service module, plus an expandable Bigelow Aerospace type of habitat for the living quarters.

The hardware looks to be the most straightforward aspect of the plan. SpaceX currently gives a price of $80M for a FH launch of 53 metric tons to low earth orbit. (It will be the lowest cost per kg launcher ever developed.) SpaceX expects to fly crews on a Dragon by 2015 as part of NASA Commercial Crew Program. The return speed into the earth's atmosphere would be considerably higher than for the Apollo missions but current thermal protection technology look sufficient to protect the crew during reentry.

The most difficult aspect of the mission involves crew health issues (also referred to as human factors). The crew needs food and water for 501 days. They must be protected from solar and cosmic radiation. They must maintain their physical health in microgravity. And the crew must deal with the psychological stress of being in a small volume together for such a long time.

The press briefing in fact focused on human factors and, besides Tito, included Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum of Paragon Space Development Corporation, which makes life support systems (LSS), and Dr. Jonathan B. Clark, a well respected expert in spaceflight medicine. They believe a robust and reliable LSS can be provided for the trip, that exercise regimes developed on the ISS will maintain the bones and muscles of the crew, and that using water, food, waste, and other materials to surround the living quarters can provide enough shielding to allow for an acceptable level of radiation exposure.

The plan is to recruit a middle aged couple as the crew. They will have shown themselves to be very comparable with each other and able to deal with the stresses of a long difficult mission.

Inspiration Mars would be one of the greatest achievements in space history if not human history. Tito strongly believes it is doable. He also believes it is affordable by combining his own money with contributions from other private individuals and organizations.

Here is a video of the IM debut press briefing:


Find more about the Inspiration Mars project in these documents:

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 ...
February 13 - April 13

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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