DIY Space: ISEE-3, Near-Space Balloon Cam, and Denver Mini-Maker Faire

This weekend is the Denver Mini-Maker Faire in Denver at the National Western Complex.  No, it probably won’t be as big as the one in San Mateo, California (pictures of some of last year’s San Mateo shenanigans below).  But it is a start, and hopefully it will get bigger and more interesting.  I’m hoping it will take on a regional mix, perhaps ranchers and space industry.  We could be the “Firefly” of Maker Faires.

A walker
A metal walker
Cardboard Rhino
A cardboard rhino, movement supplied by bicycle power.
A mini-Nautilus. Adam Savage gave his speech on the top of it. It IS all metal.
Wooden bicycles
Wooden bicycles.

So, of course this post is about DIY and Maker Space.  The first DIY is the obvious one:  International Sun/Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE-3).  ISEE-3 is a satellite launched in 1978 to study the Earth’s magnetic field and the solar wind.  It’s been around the solar system and is now passing by the Earth 35 years after its launch.  Although it’s been in space-mothballs for a while, there’s a crowdfunding effort to get ISEE-3 back to orbiting the Earth. 12 of the original 13 instruments were verified to be working in 1999, so why not.  Instead of being run by NASA, it will be run by a community of sorts.  Go here to read about it.  Then join the effort if you think you can help.  You might help determine the spacecraft’s future.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because you probably saw it in XKCD a while ago (I know I mentioned them in my post here).  Click on this link to go there and savor the memory of you hearing about this first in a very clever way.

The second DIY is this post of how to build a “Near-Space” balloon camera.  You can potentially build something that can float high enough to take astounding pictures of the Earth–about 94,000 feet high.  Maybe your project can float higher?  Just don’t lose track of it, and make sure you coordinate with the local FAA field office before you let it fly.

But, if you happen to live in or near Denver, Colorado, this weekend would possibly be a great time to see what a small Maker Faire might offer.  It’s supposed to be in the 70’s and 80’s Saturday and Sunday.

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