Category Archives: Education

Videos: “Sailing Amongst the Stars” – a new space documentary series

Below are the initial entries in a space documentary series of videos on Youtube:

Dr. Kaii is proud to present a new series where he finally gets to give over all the wonderful ideas, facts and knowledge about the galaxy that are just waiting to blow your minds.

Using the photo-real sandbox tool Space Engine, this is a whole new type of documentary, with the potential for hundreds of effortless episodes, with the ability to demonstrate the size and awe of the universe in ways never seen before.

Subscribe and follow, I can’t imagine any scenario where you’d regret it 😉 

The series is viewer supported:

To keep these videos going, donations would be most gratefully received here:
To keep Space Engine free and continually developed, donate here:…

Download Space Engine and follow along here:…

Satellites deployed into orbit from ISS include Cubesat built by grade school students

The company NanoRacks has a system installed in the Japanese Kibo module on the Int. Space Station that ejects small CubeSat satellites into orbit. Over 100 satellites have now been deployed by NanoRacks. This video shows the deployment of satellites in 2014:

The image below shows two Dove earth observations satellites from the company Planet Labs shooting past the ISS solar panels during their deployment into orbit this week: CubeSats Deployed From the International Space Station – NASA

CubeSats fly free after leaving the NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer on the International Space Station on May 17, 2016. Seen here are two Dove satellites. The satellites are part of a constellation designed, built and operated by Planet Labs Inc. to take images of Earth from space. The images have several humanitarian and environmental applications, from monitoring deforestation and urbanization to improving natural disaster relief and agricultural yields in developing nations. A total of 17 CubeSats have been released since Monday from a small satellite deployer on the outside of the Kibo experiment module’s airlock. CubeSats are a new, low-cost tool for space science missions. Instead of the traditional space science missions that carry a significant number of custom-built, state-of-the-art instruments, CubeSats are designed to take narrowly targeted scientific observations, with only a few instruments, often built from off-the-shelf components.
One of the CubeSats deployed in the past week includes STMSat-1, which was assembled and tested by elementary students at St. Thomas More Cathedral School in Arlington, Virginia: Elementary School Students Make History with Help from Orbital ATK.

St. Thomas More Cathedral School is now the first elementary school in the world to launch a CubeSat into orbit thanks to financial and volunteer support from Orbital ATK’s Space Systems Group. Over the last three years, 400 pre-kindergarten through eighth grade students have participated in all aspects of the project, from design, to construction, to testing.

The CubeSat, officially known as St. Thomas More (STM) Sat-1, will photograph the Earth and transmit images to remote ground stations throughout the country, engaging more than 10,000 grade school students who will participate via Remote Mission Operations Centers.

The CubeSat, STMSat-1(Credit: St. Thomas More Cathedral School)

Joe Pellegrino, Orbital ATK engineer, NASA deputy project manager and a parent at the school, served as the team’s mission manager and led the students through all aspects of getting a mission off the ground.

“Usually these are built by universities or even grad students, so it’s quite remarkable that we’ve been able to do this with grade students,” said Pellegrino. “We taught the students about design philosophy how to do computerized design. The students also helped us with a vibration test. We even did a high altitude test in the parking lot of the school.”

St. Thomas More Cathedral School students gather to watch their CubeSat deploy from the International Space Station. (Credit: St. Thomas More Cathedral School)

The CubeSat is four inches long and weighs close to three pounds. It was carried to space on Orbital ATK’s Cygnus cargo resupply spacecraft as part of NASA’s Education Launch of Nanosatellites IX mission in December of 2015. Along with CubeSats from the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Michigan, STMSat-1 deployed from the NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer on May 16. The students expect to start receiving their first images this week.

STMSat-1 (bottom right) deploys from the International Space Station on May 16, 2016. (Credit: NASA).

Video: ‘Rockets Up, Up and Away!’ – NASA student launch competition

Here is some video of rockets flying at the NASA Student Launch competition, which took place last week:

On April 16, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center hosted the 16th annual Student Launch competition in Huntsville, Alabama. During the event student-designed and built rockets were launched in an effort to reach an altitude of one mile, deploy an automated parachute system, and safely land to be recovered. The competition gives young aspiring engineers a chance to test their high-flying creations and a shot at a $5,000 cash prize. NASA hosts this and other events like it to engage students across the country in the agency’s Journey to Mars through hands-on activities in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

To The Stars – International Quarterly #14

Check out the free January 2016 issue of the To The Stars – International Quarterly #14 (pdf). It is provided by the Moon Society and edited by Peter Kokh.


Here is the Table of Contents:


  • Co-sponsoring Organizations


  • 3-15 Earth Orbit and Mission to Planet Earth
  • 18-17 Space Tourism
  • 18-26 Cislunar Space and the Moon
  • 27-42 Mars
  • 43-46 Asteroids & Comets
  • 47-58 Other Planets & their moons
  • 59-68 Starbound
  • 69 Editor Staff


  • pp 70-82 Are We Alone? Many Answers – Peter Kokh
    Understanding Light-Time – Peter Kokh
  • 71 Multi-Star Empires cannot Exist – Peter Kokh
  • 73 Are we alone in this Galaxy? Now? – Peter Kokh
  • 77 Travel faster than Speed of Light? No way, but – Peter Kokh
  • 79 What’s Going on with the International Lunar Decade? – David Dunlop
  • 83 Comments on International. Lunar Decade Report above – Peter Kokh



Speaking of the Moon Society, check out the recent article by Moon Society president Ken Murphy on his experiences in organizing Moon Day at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas every July 20th: Making Moon Day memorable – The Space Review.

Ken was also recently interview on The Space Show: Tue, 12/22/2015 – 00:00 – Kenneth Murphy.

Listen to the audio (mp3).

2016 children’s artwork calendar – NASA Commercial Crew Program

NASA’s commercial crew transportation program has released a 2016 calendar (pdf) with artwork created by kids: Young Explorers’ Artwork Featured in 2016 Calendar | Commercial Crew Program

Some of the best works of art come from children who are only limited by their imaginations, like the more than 150 young explorers from across the country who submitted artwork depicting human spaceflight as they see it. Sixteen masterpieces were chosen to be included in the Commercial Crew Program’s 2016 Children’s Artwork Calendar, which is now available for download here. We offer a huge “thank you!” to all the explorers, ranging in age from four to 12, who submitted their work and hope that everyone will enjoy and use this calendar next year.