In this Mission, we will put our designs to the test. Designing small spacecrafts for space environments requires rigorous on-earth testing, leading to many cycles of iteration. We’ll learn how to mimic some of these testing strategies, as well as integrate our payload into the cubesats. We’ll also learn how to use the raspberry pi hardware for taking images.
Space art requires no technology to collect data. This payload is inspired by the work of a MIT Media Lab researcher. Patrons can put any marking tool (oil pastels, paint, etc.), and notice what marks are created while the payload is in the air.
If you’d like, download the instructional poster here:
Some example art made from our playtests:
micro:bit + Scratch
You can also use a micro:bit as the payload, and use Scratch to collect and show data. There are a couple of ways the micro:bit can send data to Scratch (get started here: https://scratch.mit.edu/microbit). We got creative with ours, by having Scratch draw out a path of an astronaut using the micro:bit’s tilt data:
Scratch code for the project here: https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/320744821/
This is something we’d like to keep playing with, so let us know if you use micro:bit and Scratch (and share us your code)!
Raspberry Pi + Cam
We also use Public Lab’s Infragram Pi-camera. All the information you will need is on their website: https://publiclab.org/wiki/raspberry-pi-infragram.
Note: Something we’ve run into while having multiple pi-cameras is that each camera has the same wifi name (00-PiCam). This means that cameras might reconnect to different computers randomly. This is something the Public Lab community and we are working on! Stay tuned…
We’re curious to play with more payloads, whether it be different sensors (e.g. air quality), or different boards (e.g., Arduino). Please share with us if you try something else!
Testing of patrons’ cube satellites can happen both during Mission 1 and Mission 2, as people iterate through multiple designs.
We used a variety of tools to test cube satellites in our workshops: scales, rulers, books for weights, a shake machine, etc. We will set up tests around the space so they are always available for patrons to try throughout the workshop.
Create your own tests with your patrons depending on what they are interested in!
Example Schedule + Materials:
For a 90 minute session:
10 minutes - Settling in
Let teams find their cube satellites and continue working on them.
10 minutes - Check-in with each team, + talk about the day’s plan while other teams continue to build + test
Show + explain the available satellite testing stations
Show + explain the different payload options -> have multiple examples of each to share
60 minutes - Open build and test time
facilitators walking around to help prepare payloads, answer questions.
teams should be ready for lift off by end of the session
10 minutes - Coming back together, share out, and talking about next session
sharing logistics about launch day
more building materials
scissors, box cutters
stations for satellite testing around the space (scale, heavy books/weights, etc.)
example payloads for people to reference (pi-cam, etc.)
computers for payload programming (Chromebooks OK for pi-cam, but not for micro:bit + Scratch)