Space Art: History + Galleries of Ron Miller and others


Space artist Ron Miller writes about the history of art inspired by astronomical phenomena and space exploration : The Art of Space, Envisioning the Universe –

Space art can be divided into at least two broadly distinct sub-genres: astronomical painting and hardware art. The former is an extension of landscape painting and continues as an art form that has existed for centuries. Astronomical art has roots in the Pre-Raphaelites ,a school of art that demanded precise observation and depiction of nature, and their scrupulous attention to reproducing nature. It follows many of the same precepts as any successful landscape art. Its outstanding practitioners today include Don Davis, Michael Carroll, David Hardy and William Hartmann.

Here is a gallery of Miller’s art: Out of This World: Ron Miller’s Spectacular Space Art –


And here is a gallery of a wide array of space artists: An Astounding History of Scientific Space Art from the Past 200 Years – io9 –


NASA and SpaceGAMBIT open 10 new public participation projects

An announcement from NASA:

NASA Announces New Opportunities for Public Participation
in Asteroid Grand Challenge

Ten new projects are providing opportunities for the public to participate in NASA’s Asteroid Grand Challenge, which accelerates the agency’s asteroid initiative work through innovative partnerships and collaborations.

Through a Space Act Agreement since April, NASA’s Asteroid Grand Challenge partner SpaceGAMBIT developed ways to connect the Maker community with NASA’s asteroid work, including educational programs and tools to help astronomers and citizen scientists. Makers are creative people with a drive to answer questions and find new ways to do things.

The 10 new projects developed by SpaceGAMBIT were done in partnership with Maui Makers – a group that provides the space and tools to make new things on the island of Maui in Hawaii.

“SpaceGAMBIT and their partners have created an incredibly wide variety of projects that speak to the strong interest in asteroids and passion of the public to participate in space-related activities,” said Jason Kessler, program executive for the Asteroid Grand Challenge. “These projects will inspire NASA audiences and the broader community to learn and get involved.”

The 10 projects are:

  • Asteroid Hackathon: Engage astronomers, space geeks, coders, and interested citizens to help make Earth safer by re-imagining asteroid data. Read more about the Hackathon here:
  • Asteroid Response Center: An interactive multimedia installation focusing on asteroid science and planetary protection. The presentation has been exhibited at Burning Man 2014 and World Maker Faire New York.
  • Ultrascope: An automated robotic observatory that can be laser-cut and 3D printed at home.
  • Black Rock Observatory: A tourist office/welcome center for the rest of the universe.
  • The Wayward Rock: An interactive, space-based adventure where it’s up to you to save the world! Participants will learn about asteroids through extraterrestrial imaging data, discuss their solutions with like-minded students, and build a physical prototype of their own brilliant ideas if they have access to a local makerspace or fab lab.
  • Cosmosium: Browser game built to inspire and educate the general population using asteroid data from NASA.
  • Light Sight: An open-source system for the fabrication of extremely low cost parabolic mirrors for the use in amateur telescopes.
  • Central Spark: Software that simplifies, automates, and speeds up submission of astronomical sightings and discoveries to central object databases, social media feeds, and “Internet of Things” cloud services.
  • DIY Space Exploration: Create engaging content that will inspire the general public to support and participate in space exploration.
  • Curiosity Hacked Space Badges: Earn badges by exploring space-related and space technology concepts and skills.

“The dinosaurs never had their own space program, nor a maker movement — and look where it got them,” said Alex Cureton-Griffiths of SpaceGAMBIT. “Defending the Earth is a big job, and makers are stepping up to the plate to help humanity take that one giant leap and survive as species.”

NASA is counting on Maker communities to be a part of the solution to asteroid threats. In addition to the 10 new projects with SpaceGAMBIT, NASA is offering a variety of other opportunities for Makers around the country to connect directly with NASA. This includes events like the World Maker Faire and opportunities to solve tough problems through NASA Solve — a program of challenges, prize competitions, and crowdsourcing activities.

Through NASA’s asteroid initiative, the agency seeks to enhance its ongoing work in the identification and characterization of near-Earth objects for further scientific investigation. This work includes locating potentially hazardous asteroids and identifying those viable for redirection to a stable lunar orbit for future exploration by astronauts. The Asteroid Grand Challenge, one part of the asteroid initiative, expands the agency’s efforts beyond traditional boundaries and encourages partnerships and collaboration with a variety of organizations.

For more detail about the 10 projects associated with the Asteroid Grand Challenge, visit:

For more information on the Asteroid Grand Challenge, visit:

Kickstarter for “High Frontier” space colony sim nears goal

The crowd-funding campaign in support of development of the High Frontier space settlement simulator (see earlier post here), is just $1.5k short of reaching its $10K goal by Nov.26th : High Frontier by Joe Strout — Kickstarter.

The Space Frontier Foundation has endorsed the campaign: Space Frontier Foundation Endorses “High Frontier” Video Game Kickstarter — Space Frontier Foundation.

The goals of the High Frontier project are such a perfect fit with Space Frontier Foundation’s objectives, that SFF is offering a free membership to everyone who pledges $25 or more to the project.  Existing members are also strongly encouraged to help, as the success of High Frontier will directly support SFF’s mission of opening the space frontier for all.

And here is an article about the sim: Blasting Off From Colorado, High Frontier Aims to Be the Most Realistic Space Game Ever – Denver Westword –

Players in High Frontier begin by designing their colonies piece by piece, adding living spaces, solar generators, communications arrays and other components together into a single station. Then they sit back and watch as new residents arrive and populate the colony, gauging their reactions to their new home via messages on a Twitter-like network called Squawker.

The game gives players almost-total control over the parameters of their colony — its shape, the soil depth, the thickness of the radiation shielding — and every detail makes a difference. Make it rotate too slowly, and residents will become weak from the low gravity; neglect to put in enough radiators, and they’ll complain about the stifling heat. Botch the geometry of the colony, and it will spin wildly, throwing everything inside out of whack.

Here is the Kickstarter video again: