Amateur Space News Roundup May 23, 2014

Amateurs search for asteroids and meteorites and sign a deal with Nasa to rescue a space probe; high school students test zero-g hardware for Nasa and elementary school students build and launch rockets; Noaa recruits weather-watchers; even scientists want to join Mars One.

See our detailed report on how amateur asteroid-hunters will get help from Nasa and the Slooh telescope network.

Amateur astronomer for remains of Australian fireball, reports the Australian Broadcast Company. Last Thursday a fireball streaked across the skies over Australia. David Finlay, an amateur astronomer in Queensland, is rallying local cattle station owners to search for any meteorites that survived the meteor’s passage through the atmosphere.

Source: Nasa

Source: Nasa

Nasa gives amateurs permission to recover lost space probe. This Daily Mail article describes the agreement between the crowdfunded ISEE-3 Reboot Project and Nasa. The space agency gave the volunteer project permission to contact and try to redirect the space probe into a scientifically useful orbit around the Sun.



Massachusetts high school students take zero-gravity flight for Nasa, the Sun Chronicle reports. Students from the Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School have spent the past two years designing hardware for Nasa as part of the space agency’s Hunch program. The students designed a scale that works in the microgravity environment of space. Without gravity pressing an object down on a scale, the students had to create artificial gravity by spinning the instrument. Researchers are interested in using the student’s design on the International Space Station.

Elementary school student rocket event. Fourth and fifth grade students got hands-on experience with science and engineering by designing their own rockets. The class launched the rockets from the school's playground to see their work in action. (via The Daily Ardmoreite)

Noaa trains volunteer weather-watchers. Massachusetts-area volunteers in Noaa's Skywarn program give meteorologists the context they need to create accurate weather forecasts and warnings. (via CBS)

Mars One News

CBS News interviewed Mars One CEO Bas Lansdorp as well as two American candidates for the one-way mission to Mars. A CBS affiliate interviewed 3 Chicago-area candidates, including one with a PhD in astronomy. Another CBS affiliate interviewed 2 Boston-area scientists who are on the short list. Another Mars One candidate is a Russian scientist at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.