Amateur Space News May 9, 2014

Today’s amateur headlines include more teachers flying on Nasa’s Sofia airborne observatory, Girl Scouts leading a community rocketry project, amateur satellites ready for launch, a low cost microgravity research lab is almost ready, reports on Mars One, and recaps of Mars One candidates.

New Jersey high school teacher to fly in Sofia, Nasa’s airborne observatory. Margaret Holzer will join amateur astronomer Theresa Roelofsen Moody on Nasa’s 747 and will make observations using the Sofia infrared telescope. (Via

Los Alamos Girl Scout troop building a community rocket program says the Los Alamos Daily Post. The scouts want area middle schools students to build 206 rockets using free model rocket kits. They will launch the rockets at this Fall’s RockFest.

European amateur space project to reach orbit in June. Amsat-UK and Amsat-Netherlands, the British and Dutch branches of the amateur satellite maker group, created the FunCube educational space project for schools around the world. FunCube-2 will let amateur radio enthusiasts receive telemetry and materials science research data from the United Kingdom Space Agency’s UKube CubeSat. The project joins FunCube-1, a dedicated satellite launched into a polar orbit in 2013. Both the FunCube and the Amateur Radio Relay League websites provide instructions for receiving data from the satellites as well as how to apply the data in the classroom.

Amateur satellite-makers needed to volunteer at Dayton Hamvention. The US branch of the amateur satellite organization Amsat is calling for volunteers to help staff their booth at the convention. Amsat will demonstrate satellite making and tracking techniques as well as show the latest prototype of their Fox-1 satellite project which will launch into orbit in 2015. (Via Southgate Amateur Radio News)

The Lynx Cub Payload Carrier will make its first appearance at next week’s MakerCon. Developed by the non-profit United States Rocket Academy, Texas A&M University, and the state of Texas’ Space Engineering Research Center, the carrier will reduce the cost of microgravity research on the Lynx suborbital rocket plane, opening the door for more undergraduate and K-12 science projects.

Mars One coverage:

What will it mean for us to start over on a new planetary home?” anthropologist and NPR blogger Barbara King asks about Mars One. More specifically she briefly explores whether the settlers can choose an alternative organizational structure to the nation state.

Newsweek wrote about Mars One in the context of a company that sells property rights on the Moon, Mars and Venus. It then talks about the many human factors that could end the settlement plans - and the settlers.

The latest coverage of Mars One candidates:

  • Staten Island candidate conducting a local ask me anything (via SILive)
  • 2 candidates in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. (Via Star Phoenix
  • Claude-Michel Laroche a technical inspector in Quebec (via CBC)
  • Edmonton resident Christy Foley (via CBC)
  • The 44 Indian candidates includes 27 men and 17 women (via Odisha Sun Times)