You may have already heard how Bill Nye The Science Guy is obsessed with his ISS-Above(s). We’re taking that obsession to the next level and at Bill’s request I created a special version of the ISS-Above code that will act as Mission Control for their LightSail project. This version of the system will of course be called LightSail-Above. It’s a special reward on their new Kickstarter – please head over there and check it out. Become a backer and help The Planetary Society and Bill Nye – CHANGE THE WORLD!
That’s what the ISS-Above does. It lights up when the ISS is nearby, but that’s not all. It can also TWEET a message to the Space Station and it has its own built-in web server to give you a ton of information about current and future passes. It’s both an awareness thing, so more people get to know the Space Station is in their sky, and it’s also to let those who are “up there” know that we know and appreciate what they are doing! This video will show you how they work and what they look like when the Space Station is making an overflight. This video shows the updated features available in ISS-Above HD (the currently shipping version)
HOW DOES ISS-ABOVE WORK?
The brains of the ISS-Above is a very small Single Board Computer called a Raspberry Pi. It’s like a regular computer that you have in your house – just a LOT smaller. You can plug in a keyboard/mouse and monitor and do a whole load of standard “computery” things with it if you’d like too. Unlike a regular computer the Raspberry Pi has some special Input/Output connector that allows you to hook up lots of cool little gadgets. ISS-Above works with numerous add-ons display devices that light up / change color and/or displays information in some way. I’ve coded ISS-Above so it calculates the position of the ISS at any point in time. The code looks to see if the ISS is in the sky above you and then lights up and makes a general fuss if it is.
Would you like one?
The Kickstarter was responsible for about 160 ISS-Above’s being shipped worldwide. All of those were assembled and shipped by April/May (ahead of schedule). Since then the orders have continued to come in and there are now MORE THAN 900 ISS-Aboves around the world. So you can order your very own ISS-Above HD and join the community who wave at the space station whenever it passes nearbyBuy an ISS-Above now
Here is the link to the original Kickstarter (which provides a lot of interesting information and updates on the project as it was receiving media attention during the campaign) If you would like to make contact or ask any questions please use the form below (If you want to order an ISS-Above – Click the link above!)