Guys—I love space.
Growing up, I was always the kid with my head in the clouds (I'll admit I've been called a "space cadet" more than once) but my actual interest in the objects outside of our atmosphere didn't launch until I fulfilled my college science credits with two semesters of astronomy. It was one of my favorite classes of all time: learning about different planets and galaxies, observing the moon through powerful telescopes, and—shockingly for an artist—working the calculus of space physics. These days, I dip my toes into the pool of astronomy with a set of apps.
Read on for our top picks of best free apps for space fans!
Stargazing is a hobby that comes with a bit of a learning curve. It requires real intellectual engagement, specialized (and expensive) equipment, and a lot of free time when the sky is dark. So its understandable that only the truly dedicated might get into it in a meaningful way.
Or...is it? Because looking at the stars at night is one of the cheapest, oldest, and most egalitarian hobbies that's out there. Because the sky belongs to everyone, and people have been marveling at it for a very long time.
If you're not familiar with SpaceX by now, maybe Tuesday's launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy will spark your interest. SpaceX, a private company that builds and launches rockets/spacecraft, will test-flight their most powerful rocket yet (and one of the most powerful rockets period) - the Falcon Heavy. Success or failure, it will be an awesome and potentially historical launch....
Back when I wanted to be an astronaut (just kidding NASA take me now I'll do anything), my mom gave me a space pen that somebody had given her and it was SO cool. Besides being able to write upside down, I loved the design of the sleek little guy and the connection I felt with my gravity-defying heroes. The history of their design is quite the little story, recently featured by Cool Material.
Have you ever sat around and asked that question of what it would be like to hear a color or see sounds? Well all synesthesia aside, NASA scientists have done something like that. Only they've answered their own set of questions, "What is the average color of the universe?" and "What do gravitational waves (i.e. the consummation of the marriage between two black holes) sound like?"
I recently had to move my desk at my design firm to a new space in the building and it got me thinking about how minimal—totally empty and sad—my desk space was. At the time I had a picture of my wife, a few books and a pencil holder.
Tax season can be a bummer. But now you can get every cent of your tax dollars by listening to NASA's new library of deep space recordings that you can use and/or remix however you like. You can listen to a lightening storm on Jupiter. A LIGHTNING STORM ON JUPITER!
Kickstarter is an incredible funding resource for the masses. With so many projects posted almost daily, it's easy to find something worth throwing a few coins towards, especially when the projects involve space travel.
"Typeset in the Future" is a new blog by Dave Addey that's "dedicated to fonts in sci-fi." For his inaugural post, he sets about dissecting the type in (what Chris thinks is) the greatest science fiction film ever made, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Released in 1968, the film represents breakthroughs in both set design and typography, of which it takes full advantage.
This 360 degree panorama of the night sky wasn't shot by a satellite or a high-powered telescope. It was (simply?) stitched together from 37,000 images by amateur photographer, Nick Risinger.
Photographer Lincoln Harrison has created the most amazing long exposure star trail photographs in the Australian Outback. Taking up to fifteen hours to capture each lens, Harrison uses standard, albeit high-end, photography equipment like the "Nikon D7000, Nikon D3100, and a wide assortment of lenses. Harrison captures a large number of exposures of the foreground and stars separately. He then combines the images (sometimes hundreds of them) into amazing photographs showing the sky dominated by colorful star trails."
Sometimes, the most fun craft projects are just stylish reinterpretations of the stuff you already know about.
'Member how fun it is to (still) shoot your straw wrapper across the table at your significant other, because she's awesome, and doesn't care about stuff like that, and will probably shoot hers back at you? Well, why not apply the same principle, and make a rocket?
A Day-At-The-Office Choose Your Own Adventure
You're at work. Sitting there, staring out the window. Then, check the clock, back at the window. Pretend to write an email. Clock, window, then get up to use the restroom. Then, you play around in your office supply drawer, and say to yourself "Boy, I should clean that."
A) Go back to staring out the window. At least you have one...
C) Actually clean and organize your drawer
D) Use the stuff in said drawer to make an office supply x-wing fighter
Until recently, the odds of getting a job as a full time astronaut that actually travel into space were incredibly slim: most candidates are not only ranked military officers and trained fighter pilots, but had Ph.Ds in the sciences, inpeccable physical health, have a body of a certain size, shape, and weight, pass a trillion tests, to only have a few go into space each year.
All that's still true, but a game-changing want ad just posted: Richard Branson's Virgin group is branching out into space travel, and they're hiring.
At ManMade, we will always support the DIY efforts that allow folks to live out the things they love. Especially when it involves outer space.
We were super excited when Robert Harrison took still photos with a digital point and shoot attached to a giant weather balloon, and think this latest effort by photographer Luke Geissbuhler is simply amazing.
"Geissbuhler spent eight months fine-tuning a miniature spacecraft that could withstand the extreme conditions of the edge of space. He also had to get approval from the US Federal Aviation Administration.
In order to be able to retrieve the footage, the device would have to survive extreme weather conditions, sub-zero temperatures and a potential water landing."
Hubblesite.org is offering three awesome, free how-tos to recreate model Hubble telescopes. There's excellent instructions and lots of free printable parts and decals "These models aren’t working telescopes – you can’t peer at the sky with them. But they can give you an up-close look at the telescope’s structure and a challenging project to engage your model-making skills."
The first is the easiest to make, and uses a short length PVC pipe to support the main structure. The other two save you a trip to the hardware store, and are pure paper, created without special materials (though you'll need a few supplies from your stash).
Who Needs a Space Shuttle? Amazing Pictures of Earth Captured by One Man, a Balloon, and His Compact Camera
Robert Harrison loves space.
And, like anyone with a DIY-bent and a passion, he wanted to do what he could to participate in space exploration: so he made a space craft, and then took pictures of the Earth with it.
The materials? Some styrofoam, duct tape, a Canon CyberShot, a big ole helium balloon, and GPS/radio transmitter combo so he could find it once the balloon burst and it returned to earth.
John Coker loves rockets, and couldn't help but notice the similarities between a rockets aerodynamic shape - long skinny body, pointed nose cone, etc - and a classic Crayola crayon.
So he got to thinking...And after ten years, he finally figured it out.