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Thread: 101 Ways To Get Into Space

  1. #1
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    People email me wondering how they can take their interest in space and astronomy to the next level. Either by volunteering their time and money to some worthwhile cause, or picking up a telescope or space book to learn more about the hobby. I was thinking of adding a new section to Universe Today that lists 101 things you can do to get involved, so I started brainstorming. I got to 50 or so before I started slowing down, so I figured I'd get your help. I was thinking I could expand on these ideas with more detailed articles in Universe Today to help explain all the details, step by step.

    So, these are ways you can either support the space industry with your money and involvement, or get more connected with astronomy. I'd love to hear your ideas.

    Here's my list:

    1. invest in space-related companies
    2. switch to a satellite dish
    3. buy books about space and astronomy, give them as gifts
    4. join a space society (Planetary Society, National Space Society, Mars Society, etc)
    5. fight for darker skies in your area (http://www.darksky.org for more details)
    6. buy a telescope and learn how to use it
    7. take your telescope to public places and let strangers look through it (this is called Sidewalk Astronomy)
    8. write your local or national government regarding space issues
    9. watch the Discovery Channel, TLC, PBS. Write thank you letters when they show space-related programs.
    10. convince your local cable provider to offer NASA TV
    11. become an amateur rocketeer
    12. support your country's space agency (or criticize them, which ever is more productive)
    13. donate your money to space research, universities, space societies - or Universe Today ;-)
    14. come out of the closet... admit you're a space fan to your friends and family. You aren't alone.
    15. make a presentation at your kid's school about something current in space, like the Mars rovers
    16. rich? put down your deposit for an upcoming space tourism flight
    17. go to a star party
    18. join an astronomical society
    19. make a billion dollars in computers and then start a rocket company (http://www.spacex.com/)
    20. attend a Yuri's Night (http://www.yurisnight.net/), or organize one in your region
    21. get involved with World Space Week (http://www.spaceweek.org)
    22. get satellite radio (http://www.xmradio.com or http://www.siriusradio.com)
    23. write an op/ed or informational article for your community newspaper
    24. join a space-related discussion forum (and I know just the one)
    25. take a space holiday (Houston, Cape Canaveral, Hawaii, Kazakhstan)
    26. go to your local planetarium, science centre or IMAX theatre
    27. attend a free or paid lecture at your local university/college
    28. set aside money for your kids' education. No pressure though...
    29. install SETI@home (http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/)
    30. donate your time for a space-related group, help build a rocket ship (http://www.xprize.org), sign up for the Mars Society's research programs (http://www.marssociety.org)
    31. debunk pseudoscience wherever you find it
    32. educate yourself. Get your degree in science, or take some part time astronomy courses over the Internet (http://astronomy.swin.edu.au/)
    33. donate your space/astronomy books to your local library
    34. make a space homepage/blog
    35. enjoy some good science fiction
    36. learn your constellations (http://www.skymaps.com)
    37. sign a space petition (save Hubble, etc.)
    38. do geocaching (http://www.geocaching.com/). It uses GPS satellites... I know, it's a stretch.
    39. get educational material from NASA/ESA (http://spacelink.msfc.nasa.gov/)
    40. don't pay money to name a star or buy land on the moon. Educate people on how it's a scam.
    41. hunt for asteroids (http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/iau/mpc.html)
    42. be a variable star observer (http://www.aavso.org/)
    43. find type 1A supernovae (http://www.supernovae.net/isn.htm)
    44. find a comet with SOHO (http://ares.nrl.navy.mil/sungrazer/)
    45. analyze pictures of Mars taken by Mars Global Surveyor (http://www.msss.com/moc_gallery/). Suggest new targets for detailed images.
    46. do occultation timing (http://www.lunar-occultations.com/iota/iotandx.htm)
    47. observe meteors and report your findings (http://www.amsmeteors.org/)
    48. build a radio observatory (http://www.qsl.net/SARA/)
    49. attend a space conference, and connect with other space enthusiasts
    50. buy or build a Ham Radio (http://www.arrl.org/). Maybe even talk to astronauts.
    51. buy some space collectables (http://www.countdowncreations.com)

  2. #2
    StarLab Guest
    How about getting astronomy, space, science, physics periodicals?

    Also, I think it's a good idea to divide what we already have into some catergories.
    Here's my ideas:

    Social:
    3. buy books about space and astronomy, give them as gifts
    4. join a space society (Planetary Society, National Space Society, Mars Society, etc)
    7. take your telescope to public places and let strangers look through it (this is called Sidewalk Astronomy)
    14. come out of the closet... admit you're a space fan to your friends and family. You aren't alone.
    17. go to a star party
    20. attend a Yuri's Night (http://www.yurisnight.net/), or organize one in your region
    21. get involved with World Space Week (http://www.spaceweek.org)
    24. join a space-related discussion forum (and I know just the one)
    30. donate your time for a space-related group, help build a rocket ship (http://www.xprize.org), sign up for the Mars Society's research programs (http://www.marssociety.org)
    49. attend a space conference, and connect with other space enthusiasts

    Economical:
    1. invest in space-related companies
    13. donate your money to space research, universities, space societies - or Universe Today ;-)
    16. rich? put down your deposit for an upcoming space tourism flight
    19. make a billion dollars in computers and then start a rocket company (http://www.spacex.com/)
    30. donate your time for a space-related group, help build a rocket ship (http://www.xprize.org), sign up for the Mars Society's research programs (http://www.marssociety.org)
    33. donate your space/astronomy books to your local library
    40. don't pay money to name a star or buy land on the moon. Educate people on how it's a scam.
    50. buy or build a Ham Radio (http://www.arrl.org/). Maybe even talk to astronauts.
    51. buy some space collectables (http://www.countdowncreations.com)

    Educational:
    3. buy books about space and astronomy, give them as gifts
    9. watch the Discovery Channel, TLC, PBS. Write thank you letters when they show space-related programs.
    12. support your country's space agency (or criticize them, which ever is more productive)
    15. make a presentation at your kid's school about something current in space, like the Mars rovers
    19. make a billion dollars in computers and then start a rocket company (http://www.spacex.com/)
    21. get involved with World Space Week (http://www.spaceweek.org)
    23. write an op/ed or informational article for your community newspaper
    24. join a space-related discussion forum (and I know just the one)
    26. go to your local planetarium, science centre or IMAX theatre
    31. debunk pseudoscience wherever you find it
    32. educate yourself. Get your degree in science, or take some part time astronomy courses over the Internet (http://astronomy.swin.edu.au/)
    35. enjoy some good science fiction
    39. get educational material from NASA/ESA (http://spacelink.msfc.nasa.gov/)

    Political:
    5. fight for darker skies in your area (http://www.darksky.org for more details)
    8. write your local or national government regarding space issues
    12. support your country's space agency (or criticize them, which ever is more productive)
    13. donate your money to space research, universities, space societies - or Universe Today ;-)
    18. join an astronomical society
    19. make a billion dollars in computers and then start a rocket company (http://www.spacex.com/)
    21. get involved with World Space Week (http://www.spaceweek.org)
    37. sign a space petition (save Hubble, etc.)
    49. attend a space conference, and connect with other space enthusiasts

    Amateur:
    6. buy a telescope and learn how to use it
    7. take your telescope to public places and let strangers look through it (this is called Sidewalk Astronomy)
    11. become an amateur rocketeer
    20. attend a Yuri's Night (http://www.yurisnight.net/), or organize one in your region
    29. install SETI@home (http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/)
    36. learn your constellations (http://www.skymaps.com)
    41. hunt for asteroids (http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/iau/mpc.html)
    42. be a variable star observer (http://www.aavso.org/)
    43. find type 1A supernovae (http://www.supernovae.net/isn.htm)
    44. find a comet with SOHO (http://ares.nrl.navy.mil/sungrazer/)
    46. do occultation timing (http://www.lunar-occultations.com/iota/iotandx.htm)
    47. observe meteors and report your findings (http://www.amsmeteors.org/)
    48. build a radio observatory (http://www.qsl.net/SARA/)
    49. attend a space conference, and connect with other space enthusiasts

    Vacational:
    16. rich? put down your deposit for an upcoming space tourism flight
    20. attend a Yuri's Night (http://www.yurisnight.net/), or organize one in your region
    25. take a space holiday (Houston, Cape Canaveral, Hawaii, Kazakhstan)
    26. go to your local planetarium, science centre or IMAX theatre

    Other:
    2. switch to a satellite dish
    9. watch the Discovery Channel, TLC, PBS. Write thank you letters when they show space-related programs.
    10. convince your local cable provider to offer NASA TV
    14. come out of the closet... admit you're a space fan to your friends and family. You aren't alone.
    22. get satellite radio (http://www.xmradio.com or http://www.siriusradio.com)
    27. attend a free or paid lecture at your local university/college
    28. set aside money for your kids' education. No pressure though...
    29. install SETI@home (http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/)
    34. make a space homepage/blog
    38. do geocaching (http://www.geocaching.com/). It uses GPS satellites... I know, it's a stretch.
    45. analyze pictures of Mars taken by Mars Global Surveyor (http://www.msss.com/moc_gallery/). Suggest new targets for detailed images.

    As you might have noticed, some are eligible for two catergories.

  3. #3
    StarLab Guest
    Yo, c&#39;mon guys, Fraser needs your help, and I CAN&#39;T be the only one to come up with ideas and take him seriously&#33; Come on&#33; :unsure: <_<

  4. #4
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    I need more caffeine first :huh:

  5. #5
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    By launching from the stratosphere at ten to fifteen g&#39;s we might use as little as ten percent of the fuel that is presently needed.

    One thing I have thought about is using buoyancy to reduce the apparent effects of acceleration. Astronauts could float in a solution. There is even liquid that can be breathed. I realize that surrounding the astronauts with fluid will increase weight; however, I think the increase in weight will me much more offset by the decrease in fuel.

    Second, I think anchoring large stratosphere balloons to the ground and using them to hoist rockets up higher will enable us to avoid nearly all of the atmospheric drag.

    Third, pairs of ships could be rotated on cables of ever-increasing length spinning from the stratosphere balloon space port using electrical power that travels up the anchoring cable.

    Fourth, to the extent that the radius of rotation keeps increasing, the astronauts will be in free-fall just as a falling person feels no acceleration even though they are accelerating.

    Wm. Scott Smith

  6. #6
    StarLab Guest
    Soo....is that supposed to be the 53rd way to get into space? :blink: :huh:

  7. #7
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    Starstuff on ABC radio in Australia.

    I haven&#39;t caught it in a while. It was always good when I heard it.

    Does anyone have a link to a investment manager that invests in space based investments?

  8. #8
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    53) Yeah, is #53 Rotating Baloon Flingers?
    54) Listen to Starstuff(re-Zephyr)

    55) Replace one of your heat-producing incandescent light bulbs with a compact flourescent light bulb. Use the savings to buy another bulb, save more money...eventually save enough money to pay for the colonization of the entire Solar System.

    I posted a financial example of this in a response to Kashi at:This Post

    In less than 20 years, the total savings would amount to 1 Trillion dollars Per Month&#33;

    20 years is about 1/2 the time we&#39;ve been waiting to go back to the Moon (or Anywhere Else, for that matter).

    56) (#49 With a Twist) Convince a Space Advocacy Organization to build it&#39;s own conference center with a space theme (and off-the-grid too&#33, so that the fees, hotel and restaurant costs which attendees pay will not go towards supporting conventional energy/water wasteful hotels. Instead, the money can go towards developing and testing actual systems and technologies which could be used in space, and for Lunar/Mars Habitats.

  9. #9
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    I like having a mix of big and small stuff. The light bulb is a good idea, but I&#39;d take it a step further and suggest people use an LED bulb instead. It&#39;s even easier on the electricity, and the outdoor ones are fully directed and don&#39;t cause any light pollution.

    Unfortunately, when people save money, they use it to do something else, like pay off debt, or go out for dinner.

  10. #10
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    57)Addon to #55. Develop an LED-powered light bulb, thereby saving even more money. Put the savings toward establishing a research grant or some such.


    EDIT: dang, Fraser beat me to it :P

  11. #11
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    So that&#39;s it, only a couple of ideas? Come on... I need your help. :-)

  12. #12
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    Ok then... I thought of a few sitting here at work

    57)Contact your local schools about doing a fundraiser to raise science awareness and money for science programs
    58)Contact your schools and offer to help organize field trips to space agencies if you live near one.
    59)Join the AAAS
    60)Write letters to authors of space-related material, thanking them for their contribution to science

  13. #13
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    I think we need a global investment float, buy out the best space companies and a couple of mining companies, and go get some passing asteroids&#33;

    Or, I know this leans towards politics, but, if we give the minor parties a great space policy that puts us on the moon in the next 3 years with jobs for all, the big parties will rip it off and do it in two&#33; And with the money we make (from our space investment trust) we can start funding jaunts out to our co-orbital asteroids, call it &#39;space tourism, and charge for that too&#33;

  14. #14
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    Here&#39;s a few more I thought of. You might find a few humorous at first, but think about em for a while.

    61Get enough people together and force Congress or Parliament to give squatter&#39;s rights to people who land on asteroids, planets,etc. Remember how a lot of people in the US moved out west because of the promise of free land?

    62)Try to substitute high-tech items for items you use every day. The more people buy advanced technology, the more money the companies have to create new technology, a lot of which might end up in space in the near future

    63)Make sure your government representatives know how much you approve of their cooperation with foreign space agencies. If the government sees enough interest in acquiring space-capability, it will foster increased cooperation between foreign agencies, and get space administrations a larger chunk of the budget.

    64)Do everything you can to promote a one-world government. We have achieved the greatest marvels in weapons of destruction, and only a unified world will ever achieve the marvels of interstellar travel and economy.

  15. #15
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    Modification of devilmech&#39;s #62) -
    62)Try to substitute high-tech items for items you use every day. The more people buy advanced technology, the more money the companies have to create new technology, a lot of which might end up in space in the near future
    65) Buy/Use a product/technique/technology, high or low tech, that you believe can be directly used, or evolved into, something useful for space activities. Such as:

    Power production and storage
    Water Filtration and Treatment
    Waste Treatment and Reuse

    And, 66) Spend time each day thinking of how to make an improvement on a product/technique/technology, (high or low tech), that you believe can be directly used, or evolved into, something useful for space activities.

  16. #16
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    That&#39;s where I was going with my "get a satellite dish" idea. I&#39;m sure there are lots of products and services out there we can buy which contribute to the space industry like that.

  17. #17
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    67) Pull out one of your old, rotating, artificial-gravity space station designs from the file cabinet, dust it off, and get in touch with a space organization with Buzz Aldrin on its board of directors, and offer to share it with them, so Buzz can see his long-time concept of an Earth-Moon(and, Earth-Mars) Cycler Orbiter become a reality.

    That&#39;s what I did this week.

  18. #18
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    do tell Tom&#33;

  19. #19
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    Well, tick that off the list, then. :-)

  20. #20
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    Dont know if this has been said before:
    67) Get your friends interested in space
    68) Learn all you can about space

  21. #21
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    bossman- OK to bump the numbers up one digit?


    Dont know if this has been said before:
    67) Get your friends interested in space
    68) Learn all you can about space
    to:
    68) Get your friends interested in space
    69) Learn all you can about space

    And, then on to:

    70) Write a script for a feature film which would showcase a fully-functioning, full-size Space Community. Build the community as a set, use it to house the actors and crew, and take advantage of the opportunity to test out all the concepts you can to practice for life on the Moon and Mars. Talk a major Hollywood producer into doing the project, and have him agree to allocate the lion&#39;s share of the profits from the film to fund an actual space mission.

    But you didn&#39;t hear it from me.

  22. #22
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    My bad...

    71) Write a book about space and get it published
    72) Give the profits from the book to a space organization like NASA

  23. #23
    StarLab Guest
    Actually, that would all be one thing/idea

  24. #24
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    I dunno StarLab, I think bossman could get the extra point...one could write a book which didn&#39;t make much money and ended up in a library, and then influenced others to improve upon future space projects. But if the book made money, and the author wasn&#39;t going to spend it on themselves and donated that money to space activities, that would be a second good thing.

    73)Design a space habitat system which can be modified for use as an International space-themed conference facility. Develop a financial strategy that can reduce the initial capital expenditures for construction by a factor of 100. Make a phone call to the president of an International space advocacy organization and offer to build the facility with them so they don&#39;t have to hold conferences at hotels, which have nothing whatsoever in common with space habitats or closed-cycle life environmental support systems. Explain how the fees paid by the attendees of future conferences will not only pay off all the construction costs of the facility, but will help underwrite the cost of actual space activities, and simultaneously provide the infrastructure and logistical support necessary to build the systems for those space activities.

  25. #25
    StarLab Guest
    Hey Fraser, how&#39;s the list coming along?

  26. #26
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    1.look daily space dreaming
    2. think you are a great space man
    3. be discuss among the public that you are just selected from such and such institute for the research on phoeb or titan.
    4.always chat on space, technology, the space tools, space books, space literature, space magzine, always talk about the great institutions of the world while your normal speaking, that i have a dream to become a scientist of nasa, i would like to choose europian space agency as my carrier
    5. always think about to exit from the earth&#39;s atmosphere at any time at any moment either really or in dream, and tell to the relatives and friends that such such tirp i had undertake in last week, found some material in the sky, some parts of the sattelite and one solar panel of a satelite make of the year 1956, and now fello later tells that he doing research on that "and submitting his thesis on the subject "the garbage found in the space and its effects on the studying scientist that how it can be better be recycled or keep in re-use.
    6. You must take seminars in your area or city on the space related matters, always talk and whisper about the space challenges among the chaos or in public, always talk on talk on the space only, you can make your hoarding by telling the message into it that "specially made extra specialist of the sky and space behavioral management and training institution and working ngo"supported by xyz government. 7. You can show thousands of maps and charts and some photos and big boards to the public which can show atleast your enthusiasm to the people so that they will also be better provoke and more motivate with your brand ambassadorship of space related items and topics and talink and you also can show them the old cd&#39;s and some short movie or a slide show, you must be stick with the space related topics, and you can also tell the people the verious autobiographies of the last scientist in this sector so that people will think about you that such and such man is really originated with space industry or space istitute
    there are lot of material to write.

  27. #27
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    * subscribe to UT&#33;
    * subscribe to space-related news websites
    * hassle your political representatives to support R&D and space programs
    * R&D any aspect of space-related technology yourself, or with friends
    * &#39;brainstorm&#39; ideas which can feed into the above
    * become a pilot, test-pilot and astronaut ... in that order
    * become an evolutionary or planetary geologist
    * haunt your local university and ask questions of physicists, chemists, biologists, astronomers, geologists, etc
    * enrol in university and become physicists, chemists, biologists, astronomers, geologists, etc
    * support your local observatory
    * become a PhD physicist and discuss your favourite GUT
    * keep looking onward and upward rather than downward and backward
    * watch/read Sci Fi (preferably good Sci Fi)
    * write/script good Sci Fi
    * feed any ideas you might get from the two immediately above into the &#39;brainstorm&#39; above
    * Join, or support NASA, ESA, and/or any other space agency you can think of

    that&#39;s all I can think of at the moment ... sorry if there are any duplicates :unsure:

  28. #28
    I could have sworn I relied to this topic before

    I have a few ideas.

    build your own spacecraft (like I am)

    Get people into discussion as to why it *is* possible for a few people to build their own spacecraft (hi bossman)

    get your ham liscence (you&#39;ll need it to fly in my spacecraft)

    get others to help you, if they think you are insane, just invite them to stop by one day to see your progress.

    start a model rocket club, branch out in to high power rocketry, then branch further to amatuer rocketry. tis only a small step to the big guys from there.

    steal NASAs tested and tried ideas for spacecraft.

    anyone see a trend?

  29. #29
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    take a packed lunch, and extra water ... just in case

  30. #30
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    cran rest is also essential and take care of health is much important well settle in space &#33;

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