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At MakerFaire NYC

Hi all,I'll be at the NYC MakerFaire this weekend (Sept 21-22), in case anyone wishes to join up...

Concepts For A CubeSat LARP

I am a firm believer that simulations improve reality.  If you want to launch a CubeSat, you...

Putting a TARDIS in Space?

I am used to odd looks when I say I'm flying a satellite to convert the ionosphere to music. ...

Who Can Launch a CubeSat?

In the half year since I wrote last September, the CubeSat field has greatly moved forward. ...

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Project CalliopeRSS Feed of this column.

Alex "Sandy" Antunes is the mastermind behind 'Project Calliope', a pico-satellite funded by Science 2.0 and being launched in 2011 by a mad scientist who is a space & music enthusiast. This... Read More »

All space missions end-- some with a whimper, some with a 'fwoosh' of reentry.  For longevity, it's hard to surpass the twin Voyager probes.  They have been flying steadily for almost 30 years (since 1977), have passed the heliopause's termination shock, and are still cruising on momentum and sending back messages using the power equivalent of just 3 light bulbs.
If I could do Calliope as a full-tilt project, not just a hobby venture, I would make it involve transmedia and gaming.  As life goes, I had neither opportunity nor talent to come up with, say, the 'Urgent' synth riff.  However, an enterprising fellow who did used that to (depending on which interview you read) either fund his first album, or buy his boat.

In both cases, this led to the Map of the Floating City. A project that mixes music, MMOing, and game-like open exploration.  And social media.  And, oh, heck, toss in any recent interesting concept.  Not just a mix of buzzwords, but a genuine project.
I've been busy with proposal work instead of Calliope.  I have to fund this satellite somehow, and earning money writing corporate proposals is enjoyable work.  Proposal writing is also a strange world. Whether for business, for government, or for grants alike, it's just not quite human.

In face to face conversation, a deal is pretty simple.  "I need you to defeat Henry V." 'We can do it-- we just bested the Persian Army.'  "Deal!"  But not so lucky in proposal world.

Response to customer Request for Proposal "Conquer England" by Spartans&Co.
Do you live for moments where "you're so absorbed by the task at hand that you lose track of time and place"?  Some call this 'the zone', psychologists call it Flow, and I'll pointlessly coin a acronym, 'SPS' (super productive state).  CSM guest blogger Trent Hamm has some insights on how to flip [your] mental switch and find 'the zone'.  Why flip that switch?
"figure out how to get in the zone and do it as often as possible. If you can do that, everything else really is secondary. You will find success."
Back when I was prepping for the ham radio test, I didn't think my skills would be needed so soon.  The 'missing' NanoSat-D solar sail mission has appeared, but it can only be heard via radio at 437.275MHz.  So they need amateurs to listen and report when they heard it, quickly:
The FM amateur radio downlink on 437.275 MHz is the only source of spacecraft status, and more listeners are needed. The sail is set to deploy after 3 days. The battery may last a little beyond that. We need telemetry collected from all over the world.
Wanna go to Mars?  It's a one-way trip, and over 500 people have volunteered already.

The Journal of Cosomology-- yes, them again-- became the accidental sign-up agency for us ordinary folk who are willing to take that one-way trip to our neighboring planet.