Monday 14th March, 2011
5:00pm to 6:00pm
From launching robots into space to discovering distant galaxies: how the public is hacking into open source space exploration. As technology shifts from a means of passive consumption to active creation, people are collaborating on a massive scale. Amateurs were once considered to be at the crux of scientific discovery, but over time have been put on the sidelines. Despite this, citizen science is witnessing a renaissance. Agencies such as NASA no longer have a monopoly on the global space program and more participatory projects are harnessing the power of open collaboration for exploring space on a faster schedule. Instead of complaining about where our jetpack is, we can now demand to figure out how to take an elevator to space. And, while you still can’t own a CubeSat as easily as an iPod, you can join a hackerspace and learn how to engineer one. We’re also able to discover new galaxies via our web browsers, as humans are able to make classifications that well-programmed machines can’t. If tinkering with spacecrafts is more your speed, Google Lunar X PRIZE is a competition to send robots to the Moon. But you don’t need to be a robotics engineer to participate – open source teams are open for anyone to join.
Creator of @Spacehack, a directory of ways to participate in space exploration. Global instigator of @ScienceHackDay. Interaction designer + @IFTF researcher.
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