Amateur Space Weekly - August 2

Amateur Space Weekly - August 2

Near space balloon flights into the stratosphere, crowdfunding student research in orbit, crowdsourcing earthquake measurements, and discovering exoplanets are among the ways amateurs explored space last week.

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Mars One Monday - And then there were 100

Mars One announced the 100 candidates who will go on to the next selection round. Most of the media haven’t had time to do anything more than rehash the Mars One press release. I've recapped below a few reports from around the world that identified local candidates.

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CanSats: Satellites-in-a-can lets students do space research

Space agencies and space companies often complain that too many young engineers graduate without any practical experience. CanSats let universities give students experience with all stages of a space-related mission: proposal, design, engineering, launch, data acquisition, analysis, and report. These satellites-in-a-can may not actually reach Outer Space, but they give college students - and high school students - experience they need to work on real space missions.

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Restoring Historic Radio Telescopes

Today’s state-of-the art technologies become tomorrow’s obsolete castoffs as scientific frontiers advance. Radio telescopes built in the 1950’s and 1960’s pioneered radio astronomy and tracked spacecraft during the early Space Age. Groups of amateurs restored several historic telescopes to conduct amateur and student radio astronomy research.

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Simple Aurora Monitor

German amateur aurora-spotters Karsten Hanskul and Dirk Langenbach, frustrated with the space weather agencies’ imprecise aurora forecasts, decided to build their own aurora detector. They turned it into a kit, the Simple Aurora Monitor, so anyone could build one

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European CanSat Competition

Every year the European Space Agency sponsors the European CanSat Competition to teach high school students in Esa member-nations how to design and operate a space mission. The students design a "satellite" that fits inside a 350ml soft drink can - a CanSat. Along the way they learn how to design and make electronic circuits and program flight computers.

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