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Open Space Observatory is a distributed network of sites and gatherings for the observation of satellites, spacecraft and space junk.
As devices built for accessing satellite data now fit in your pocket, OSO looks to the sky to see its most recent arrivals: the over four-thousand active and decaying satellites currently in Earth orbit. Relying on satellites for which way to turn at the corner, what the world feels like outside of four walls for the next week and access to basic information, as a pivotal development of the last 60 years the magnitude of their use cases and governing power increases exponentially. The sky, then, is full of “orbiting spy-eyes,” that officiate on decisions of military armament, technological development, and territorial, commercial and juridical zones. They’ve even spawned their own oversized Earth-bound camouflage industry.
With projects like Copenhagen Suborbitals and SatNOGS, the futures of satellites can be differently distributed. Drawing from traditions of the Chaldeans, Association of Autonomous Astronauts and astronomy clubs, OSO looks toward building a satellite skywatch and a way to come together—bringing out infrastructure for observation to distant fields and connecting unlikely locations. The initiative includes:
- Gatherings for satellite watching, trading info, infrastructure and sometimes snacks.
- The opening of two permanent observatory sites in late 2016.
- The support and development of open source hardware and software for space observation.
- The design of a modular observatory that can be built easily with affordable or found materials and protect equipment in different climates.
- An online forum and dead drop boxes for discussions on artificial satellites—from their history and hardware to their singular aesthetic.
- Reading groups for speculation, against the colonisation of space.
OSO is a commons project and will never seek profit. Anyone can host an OSO event for non-commercial purposes; if otherwise, a proposal should be submitted as a Git issue on the repository.
To get involved online you can:
- Suggest a location and date for a gathering site
- Open a new research thread
- Donate equipment, construction manuals, or source code
- Add to the list of related projects
- Contribute to Observatory Design Patterns
- Open Space Agency: Develops products that leverage technologies that are, “off-the-shelf”, open source and easy to use, enabling anyone to have their own space program or support the work of others.
- Copenhagen Suborbitals: A non-profit, amateur based space endeavour that builds suborbital space vehicles – designed to pave the way for manned space flight on a micro size spacecraft, and on a micro size budget.
- SatNOGS: An open source ground station and network, optimized for modularity, built from readily available and affordable tools and resources.
- LightSail: A citizen-funded project by The Planetary Society to send a CubeSat into Earth orbit carrying large, reflective sails that use the sun’s energy as a method of propulsion.
- Association of Autonomous Astronauts
- Biosphere 2
- The Process
- Cosmodolphins: FEMINIST CULTURAL STUDIES OF TECHNOLOGY, ANIMALS AND THE SACRED
- Meeting the Universe Halfway, by Karen Barad, on the impossibility of wholly objective observation
“In the future the earth will have but one interface… an artificial topological universe: the direct encounter of every surface on the globe.” — Paul Virilio