Amateur Space News Roundup May 24, 2014

Today’s amateur space headlines include astronomy tourism at Lake Tahoe, the inside story of a Nasa student rocket contest, progress in crowdsourced hurricane research, STEM rocketry in Bimidji, and another Mars One candidate profile.


Tourists visiting Lake Tahoe can take advantage of the dark skies by joining Tahoe Star Tours, reports the Tahoe Daily Tribune. The company, run by local amateur astronomer Tony Berendsen, conducts regular star tours and viewing sessions from the Dark Sky Cosmoarium near the northern California town of Truckee.


Source: MSFC/Dusty Hood

Source: MSFC/Dusty Hood

Nasa traded in Huntsville, Alabama, for the dry lake beds of Utah for its Student Launch rocket contest, AL.com reports. In its original form the contest required college students to design rockets that could reach about 1.6 kilometer altitudes. The new version of Student Launch sets a 6.7 kilometer target, but FAA restrictions make that impossible due to the relatively dense population around Huntsville. The empty desert around Bonneville Salt Flats, however, leaves the student rocketeers free to aim high.


Source: Cyclone Center

Source: Cyclone Center

In the latest Cyclone Center blog post over 15,000 people have analyzed almost 50,000 images of hurricanes. The crowdsourced science project relies on volunteers to analyze Noaa’s four decade archive of hurricane satellite images. The amateurs’ work will let meteorologists study how these storms develop. 


Elementary school students launch rockets over Bimidji. The Boys & Girls Club of the Bemidji Area sponsored the event, reports the Bemidji Pioneer.