by Jeff Cunningham
We promised you surprises, so today, we’re closing out World Space Week with a grab bag of goodies for all of you to celebrate with, and to thank those of you who took five minutes’ worth of time to write Elon Musk.
- Here’s instructions on how to sew your own Jayne hat, courtesy of our friends at Quantum Mechanix.
- Instructions and blueprints to build your own Dobsonian telescope (as in, the fancy kind that’ll give you HD-resolution views of the surface of the moon, which is way better than it sounds) with nothing more than a few parts from a hardware store. NOTE: To save even more cash, find a local business or manufacturer that can donate a flawed or unused mirror for your telescope. Tell ’em it’s for science.
- If you prefer a more Jodi-Foster-in-Contact-sort of experience, NASA also makes available these plans to build your own radio telescope in your backyard with parts from Radio Shack. If you’re not the DIY type, they also sell pre-assembled kits at their site. When attuned properly, it’s designed to allow you to listen to storms on the planet Jupiter. Gorramned Jupiter. It sounds like River’s brand of crazy talk, but it’s true…
- Maybe you claim to “not have time” (Shepherd Book would no doubt shake his head and gently rebuke you with “time is not found, but made”) to do something awesome. NASA SkyWatch allows you (after you give Java permission to run) simply plug in your location, and it’ll tell you the next time that you can look up in the sky and see, say, the International Space Station (which is now large enough to where you can make out its shape with the naked eye) or the Hubble Space Telescope.
- For those of you who really desire to misbehave and do the impossible…how’d you like to build your own spacecraft? As in, you build it, you fly it, and take pictures of the Earth from space to prove it? All you need is $100 of discarded electronics (well, now that everyone’s getting the iPhone 5…), the cost of which can be easily shared among friends, a weather balloon from a military surplus store, and a styrofoam ice chest. All the instructions and things you need to know (i.e. how to notify the FAA, how to track where it’ll come down so you can recover it) are at the aptly-named 1337arts site.
That’s just a few of the shinies we have in store for you, we just thought the occasion called for breaking some of them out. Thank you for joining us for World Space Week, write Elon Musk and tell us how it went in the comments below, and, as always, stay shiny.