Makers as Wanderers

0eFsuR6 1ECeWBT

Somewhere at the interstice of the game Homeworld, Babylon 5’s O’Neill cylinder, the Philae Lander, and 3D-printing in space (the latter two being actual recent events!) is this beautiful short film by Erik Wernquist. Featuring “words and voice” by Carl Sagan, Wanderers is an imagined future “of actual places in the Solar System, built from real photos and map data where available.” In short, it’s captivating. And it excites me to imagine all the futuretech and maker ingenuity that will be needed to build this reality, from monorail systems to new space suits, from dirigibles to wing-gliders, and more.

Amidst today’s Cyber Monday madness, please take time out to watch this. I already have, twice.

Images from the Wanderers – Still Image Gallery on imgur.

Hackaday Prize Winner Announced


The Hackaday prize, where entrants competed to build something awesome that transmits data and is openly documented, has now been won by the satNOGs team led by Pierros Papadeas. The device, or system rather, is a open standard based network of ground stations for tracking and monitoring satellites.

As cool as that is, the prize, a trip into space or $196,418, is arguably even better!  This seems like an appropriate prize for such a skyward-centric project. The well-produced video explaining more about what this is can be seen below. Given how many people participated on this project, I’d have to expect that the cash prize would be more expedient than a trip into space!

The networking interface looks polished, and the mechanical altitude and azimuth tracker setup looked quite interesting as well. There’s even a geodesic dome design available if you’d like a semi-permanent setup. According to the video, they need more satellite tracking stations to help augment the system. I’d love to hear about anyone that decides to take this on as a project!

As amazing as this system and the grand prize is, the other winners have some really great projects as well. The other prizes may not have been a trip into space, but an industrial grade machine tool or team skydiving are pretty great too!

2nd Annual Global Space Balloon Challenge


As part of World Space Week, we are proud to announce the 2nd Annual Global Space Balloon Challenge (GSBC), the world’s largest high altitude balloon event! The challenge is simple – coordinate people around the world to design, build, and fly a high altitude balloon anytime between April 10th and April 27th, 2015.

In our inaugural challenge, 57 teams from 18 countries and 6 continents launched and recovered their payloads.Participants ranged from students and teachers, from experienced teams to those launching for the first time, and from college kids to children and their parents. Teams created their own zero pressure balloon, radios, and flight termination units to measure the ozone, magnetic field, humidity, temperature, and more. We encourage you to see some of the most amazing achievements and stories on our site.

This year we are hoping to make the GSBC bigger and better and we need YOUR help. Registration will officially open when our new website launches on November 17th, 2014 and both experienced teams and people who have never launched a HAB before are encouraged to join! We are also looking for community organizers to become official parts of the GSBC organization and help recruit teams from their areas. Please head to our current website to be notified when registration opens or to join the effort as a community organizer or advisor – any and all help and feedback is most welcome!

Join us and let your ideas fly to the edge of space! GSBC Team

Papercraft Stop-Motion Animation in Sci-Fi Music Video

The new music video from French trio Ödland takes DIY special effects to a whole other world by using elaborately constructed papercraft settings for their cosmic stop-motion animations.


The video, called “Après Avoir Décroché Les Étoiles” (After Earning The Stars), follows the band as they explore a strange and desolate planet called Ödland, where they enter a dilapidated structure that turns out the be a spaceship, which takes them back to Earth. Director of the video, and Ödland’s synth player, Lorenzo Papace explained that the video was made over 6 months while the band travelled through the former USSR and remnants of Soviet architecture reminiscent of the Space Race feature prominently in the video.



Not only does this video feature an epic space adventure rendered in paper, but the music even features eerie theremin sounds, as you can see the band demonstrate in the video below.

Ödland’s video has some stunning similarities to another recent DIY stop-motion animated music video by metal band Throne, which was made with digitally embroidered patches. DIY music videos are the best.

[via the creator’s project]