Amateur Space News May 7, 2014

Space based video dominated this week’s headlines with several projects streaming video from the International Space Station. Other reports include public sightings of a fireball over Ontario confirmed, radio amateurs spotting tornados, crowdsourcing hurricane analysis, a high school rocket team, the struggles of a crowdfunded satellite, and more Mars One coverage.

UrtheCast is revolutionizing remote sensing. In an interview with the Midas Letter, CEO Larson explains how attaching their cameras to the International Space Station lets the Canadian company keep costs much lower than traditional satellite-based remote sensing companies. He also talks about UrtheCast’s free service for the public - a free live HD video stream of Earth’s surface.

Information Week reported on the International Space Station’s video experiment built by high school students. High Schools United with Nasa to Create Hardware helped build the test of commercial video cameras. Nasa will stream the video feed but they must resolve some technical glitches first.

Red Orbit reported on the new digital amateur television system on the International Space Station. The system broadcasts line-of-sight video signals. Receivers on the ground can pick up the signal for the 20 minutes that the space station is over head. Ariss-EU, the European branch of the amateur radio and space outreach organization, worked with the European Space Agency to install the video system in the station’s Colombia module. Schools participating in Ariss global STEM education programs will now see the astronauts while speaking with them over amateur radio.

Sunday’s fireball over Ontario, Canada, confirmed. Meteor experts at Western University told the CBC that the object was probably a meter in diameter based on the shockwave that shook houses under its path. Universe Today summarized public reports of the meteor to the American Meteor Society as well as social media postings of dashcam videos and smartphone pictures. Waterloo’s The Record and Globalnews had more coverage.

American Profile wrote about the role amateur radio operators play during extreme weather events like the deadly 2011 tornado in Joplin, Missouri. Ham radio operators donate their time and effort to groups like the Amateur Radio Emergency Service and Noaa’s SkyWarn program to report extreme weather and provide communications during emergencies. (Via Leavenworth Times)

Amateurs contributed over 7,000 classifications to the Cyclone Center crowdsourcing project last month. Scientists are using the project to analyze tropical storms that appear in four decades of Noaa satellite images.

Oregon high school students heading for rocket championships. A report and video from OregonLive featured the five student rocketeers from Portland’s David Douglas High School. They will compete with 700 other rocket teams in this weekend’s Team America Rocketry Challenge.

The Register and the Huffington Post covered the KickSat project’s troubles in space.

New Science looked at the remaining Mars One candidates. Most of the 705 candidates have college degrees while some have advanced degrees. Arabian Business reviewed the 10 Mars One candidates from the Gulf region - 3 each from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE, and 1 from Oman.

More coverage of Mars One candidates who made it to the next round:

  • Paige Hunter, a ninteen year-old from British Columbia, Canada, (via CBC)
  • Mubashshir Ahmed, an Indian resident of Qatar (via Doha News)
  • Ben McClain in California (via Press Democrat)
  • Kayla Bonham, one of three candidates from Calgary, Canada (via Calgary Herald)
  • Nicola Fahey is the only native New Zealander left (via MSN NZ)