The Space Hacker Workshop introduces citizen scientists and hardware hackers to the experiment flight opportunities offered by Citizens in Space. (See our Call for Experiments.) During the two-day workshop, participants learn about microgravity and suborbital science, the XCOR Lynx spacecraft, the Lynx Cub Payload Carrier, and how to build suborbital payloads.

The first Space Hacker Workshop was held in Silicon Valley on May 4-5, 2013. Co-sponsored by Citizens in Space and the Silicon Valley Space Center, the workshop took place at the Hacker Dojo, across the street (literally) from NASA Research Center. When we planned the workshop, we expected somewhere between 40 and 50 participants. Advanced registration greatly exceeded expectations, however. On May 4, over 100 people walked through the door. Although we intended the workshop as a local event, participants came from as far as Florida and Denmark.

The workshop included talks, informal discussions, and hands-on instruction in Arduino hardware interfaces and programming.

Based on the success of the first Space Hacker workshop, a second workshop was held in Dallas, Texas, at the Frontiers of Flight Museum, on July 20-21, 2013.

Additional workshops are planned for the future. Our goal is to roll the workshop to cities all across the country, with workshops taking place at hacker spaces, schools, universities, museums, and similar venues. To accomplish this goal, we need your help. If you would like to help bring a Space Hacker Workshop to your area, please contact us. The location of future workshops will be determined, in large part, by local interest and support.

This page contains links to YouTube videos from our first Space Hacker Workshop. Videos from the second workshop will be online shortly. You are free to use these videos for conducting a Space Hacker Workshop in your area, or in any other way you choose. Higher quality versions of these videos are available from the Silicon Valley Space Center. Contact Sean Casey for details.

Videos from the second Space Hacker Workshop, in Dallas, are available here.

Introduction and Flight Hardware

Citizens in Space and XCOR Aerospace

This is the opening session of the workshop, featuring Edward Wright of Citizens in Space and Khaki Rodway of XCOR Aerospace. It provides an introduction to the Citizens in Space program and XCOR Lynx spacecraft.

(Note: This particular video was captured from Google Hangout, so the video quality is not as good as other presentations on this page. We apologize for that. Also note that the end of the video includes a presentation by Carl Carruthers on protein-crystal growth. For that presentation, we suggest you view the better-quality video below.)


Infinity Aerospace Ardulab

Brian Rieger, co-founder of Infinity Aerospace, talks about his company’s Ardulab, an experiment platform that can fly on suborbital subcraft, such as the XCOR Lynx, or the International Space Station. ArduLab is compatible with the 1U and 2U CubeSat-sized experiments that will be flown by Citizens in Space.


Life Sciences

Biology in Microgravity

Dr. Oana Marcu of the SETI Institute talks about performing biology experiments in microgravity using suborbital spacecraft.


Protein Crystal Growth in Space

Carl Carruthers is a researcher at Methodist Hospital Research Institute in Houston who has flown protein crystallography experiments flown on STS-134, STS-135 and International Space Station.


Water Bears in Space

Col. Yvonne Cagle (USAF-ret.) is a physician and NASA astronaut, but at this workshop she was representing the Buck Institute. In this video, she talks about microscopic organisms known as tardigrades. Tardigrades are exceptionally hardy organisms, which makes them ideal subjects for astrobiology experiments.


Zero-Gravity Growth Module

Mark Hoerber, a recent graduate of Florida Atlantic University, talks about his work developing an experimental bioreactor for microgravity research.



Particle Collisions in Space

Dr. Adrienne Dove is a postdoctoral researcher in physics at the University of Central Florida. She is studying the interactions of small particles in microgravity.


Technology Testing

Gumstix in Space

Dr. Kathleen Morse, founder of Advanced Materials Applications LLC, talks about her work with Gumstix embedded computers. Although not designed for use in space, Gumstix computers offer significant advantages in cost and processing power. Dr. Morse talks about testing the ability of Gumstix computers to survive the space radiation environment.


3D Printing in Space

Jason Dunn, founder of Made In Space, talks about his companies work to bring 3D printing technology to space.


Panel Discussions

Panel 1

Richard Mains, of the NASA Flight Opportunities Program, moderates a panel discussion with Edward Wright (Citizens in Space), Brian Rieger (Infinity Aerospace), Brian Campen (XCOR Aerospace), and Dr. Oana Marcu (the SETI Institute).


Panel 2

Richard Mains, of the NASA Flight Opportunities Program, moderates a panel discussion with Darlene Damm (Open Space University), Jason Reimuller (Project POSSUM and Astronauts for Hire), John Cumbers (Synthetic Biology, NASA Ames Research Center).


Written by Astro1 on November 17th, 2013

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