MAKE 24: Space

MAKE blasts into orbit and beyond with our DIY SPACE issue. Put your own satellite in orbit, launch a stratosphere balloon probe, and analyze galaxies for $20 with an easy spectrograph! We talk to the rocket mavericks reinventing the space industry, and renegade NASA hackers making smartphone robots and Lego satellites. Of course, as usual, we've got a full payload of other cool DIY projects, from a helium-balloon camera that's better than Google Earth, to an electromagnetic levitator that shoots aluminum rings, to a simple stroboscope that takes the most amazing freeze-frame photos. Plus: party-pleasing automated photo booth that prints out photo strips, MythBusters' Adam Savage teaches you hard-shell moldmaking, and much more.

Video Preview

Take a tour of Volume 24 with the editors of MAKE.

Table of Contents

blue pdf icon = PDF OF ARTICLE     red content icon = DOWNLOADABLE RESOURCES     orange content icon = SLIDESHOWS AND EXTRAS


Icon for Slideshows and Extras » Open Sourcing Space by Dale Dougherty in Welcome

The U.S. space program that I grew up with is gone. Yet our fascination with space is not. Page 1

Icon for Slideshows and Extras » A Rube Goldberg Music-Making Machine by Adam Sadowsky in Things I've Learned

Here are some things we learned from building a Rube Goldberg-style machine for an OK Go music video. Page 31

Made on Earth

Icon for Slideshows and Extras » Warm Glow of Abduction by Goli Mohammadi

Jason Dietz makes lamps that depict a classic flying saucer shooting down a giant plasma ray and pulling up an unsuspecting victim into the ship. Page 18

Icon for Slideshows and Extras » Crop Windows by Jon Kalish

Britta Riley created "window farms" - a way for urban dwellers to garden vertically. Page 20

Icon for Slideshows and Extras » Watching the Detectors by Megan Mansell Williams

John Zaklikowski re-creates particle accelerator detectors like the ones at the LHC and at Fermilab in Illinois. Page 21

Icon for Slideshows and Extras » Free Juice Bar by Bruce Stewart

The SolarPump Charging Station provides free power for charging cellphones, laptops, electric bikes, and other gadgets by converting solar energy to electricity right on the spot. Page 22

Icon for Slideshows and Extras » The Lawn Rider by Laura Kiniry

Former Navy aviation machinist Ted Wojcik built a pedal-powered lawn mower. Page 23

Icon for Slideshows and Extras » Aiming High, Real High by Bruce Stewart

Dan Parker has devoted most of the last five years to designing and building his own high-altitude airplane. Page 24

Icon for Slideshows and Extras » Lego Antikythera!

Andrew Carol paid homage to the ancient Greeks by building a functioning Antikythera Mechanism out of Lego. Page 25


» Cut-and-Fold Center Finder by Andrew Lewis

This cut-and-fold cardboard center finder is ideal for all those fiddly measuring jobs. Page 33

» Ping Ponger by Edwin Wise

The Ping Ponger uses almost half of a rubber racquetball as a disc spring that's bistable (it can be at rest in 2 possible states) to propel a ping-pong ball from a compact PVC launcher. Page 44

» Dizzy Robot by Steve Hoefer

Dizzy Robots are cute pocket-sized pals that dance around until they fall over. Page 78

» Sneaky Milk Plastic by Cy Tymony

When separated from milk by using an acid such as vinegar, casein becomes a moldable plastic material that can be used to create everything from glue to fabric to billiard balls. Page 116


» Cargo Bike Power

Car-free carrying makes a comeback. Page 34

SPECIAL SECTION: Special Section

Icon for Slideshows and Extras » Making Your Own Satellites by Chris Boshuizen

Build and launch your own sat for as little as $8,000. Page 46

» Listening to Satellites by Diana Eng

Tune in to space with a homemade yagi antenna. Page 48

Icon for PDF of Article Icon for Slideshows and Extras » Weather Balloon Space Probes by John Baichtal

Sense, signal, and snap photos in the stratosphere. Page 54

» Makers at Mission Control by Rachel Hobson

Meet the elite NASA team that figures out how to fix the space station when things go wrong. Page 56

» High-Resolution Spectrograph by Simon Quellen Field

Lab-worthy analysis for cheap. Page 58

» Rocket Men by Charles Platt

Mavericks of the private space industry. Page 62

» DIY Space Roundup

Map the Chemical Composition of the Moon
DIY Ion Engine
Space Rock Hounds
Lunar Lander Simulator
Zillionaires in Space
DIY Inflatable Home Planetarium
Five Cool Participatory Space Projects
Saturday Morning Science in Space
Cash Prizes for Space Scientists
Space Science Gadgets You Can Make for NASA
Androids at 28,000 Feet
Live From Outer Space!
Spaceport Sheboygan
Backyard Astrophotography Page 68


Icon for Downloadable Resources » Helium Balloon Imaging "Satellite" by Jim Newell

Snap aerial photos from 300' up by suspending a hacked drugstore camera from 3 tethered helium balloons. Page 80

» Stroboscope by Walter Kitundu, Nicole Catrett

Make a mechanical strobe with a toy motor and construction paper, pair it with a digital SLR camera, and take stunning photographs of objects in motion. Page 90

» Electromagnetic Aluminum Levitator by Thomas R. Fox

This simple AC-powered coil device uses magnetism to levitate aluminum rings and shoot them into the air - and aluminum isn't even magnetic! Page 100

Icon for Downloadable Resources » Make: Tips

Page 0

Making Trouble

» Model It, or Make It Modelable by Saul Griffith

Computational models are digital, and that makes them inherently shareable, independently verifiable, and easy to collaborate on and improve. Page 13

Make Free

» Memento Mori by Cory Doctorow

The standard explanation for the attractiveness of older technology is simply that They Made It Better In The Old Days. But this isn't necessarily or even usually true. Page 16

Country Scientist

» Becoming an Amateur Scientist by Forrest Mims III

Sometimes the capabilities of the amateur scientist rival or even exceed those of their professional counterparts. Page 26

Tales from the Web

» Garden of DIY Delights by Gareth Branwyn

Make: Projects is our newest online service, a living library of how-to tutorials being built by the entire maker community. Page 29

Maker's Corner

» New Resolutions by Dan Woods

Learn a new skill, teach a new skill. Page 32

Skill Builder

Icon for Slideshows and Extras » Hard-Shell Molds by Adam Savage

The science behind the art of prop-making. Page 108

DIY: Imaging

» A Simple Light Sculpture by Jared Bouck

Swirling colors for long-exposure photos. Page 117

» Photo Booth by David Cline

Make an arcade-style snapshot station for special occasions. Page 120

DIY: Music

Icon for Slideshows and Extras » Add Volume, Jack by Peter Edwards

Plug in and turn up any sound-making battery toy. Page 123

DIY: Home

» Wooden Buttons by Kristin Roach

Make your own tree bling from fallen branches. Page 126

» Jar Organizer by Josie Moores, Abe Connally

Put those old jars to good use. Page 128

» Crochet Crockery by Andrew Lewis

Unique containers made from yarn and resin. Page 130

» Freezer Bag Holder by Larry Cotton

Coat hanger keeps zip-lock bags open Page 132

DIY: Toys

Icon for Downloadable Resources » Da Vinci Reciprocating Mechanism by Alan Federman

Re-create Renaissance tech to convert rotation into a square wave. Page 133

DIY: Workshop

» Bucket Full O' Pockets by Josie Moores, Abe Connally

Make your tool bucket even handier with a nifty cover. Page 137

DIY: Outdoors

» Homemade Seed Starters by Josie Moores, Abe Connally

Avoid transplant mortality by making soil blocks. Page 140

» Greenhouse Controller by Andrew Lewis

Build a temperature-switched power outlet and save some green. Page 143

Electronics: Fun and Fundamentals

Icon for Downloadable Resources » Extreme Zap-a-Mole by Charles Platt

Learn how a single microcontroller does the work of 20 old-school chips. Page 146

Toy Inventor's Notebook

Icon for Downloadable Resources Icon for Slideshows and Extras » Steamy Honeymoon Goggles by Bob Knetzger

Balloon-Dispensing Steampunk Honeymoon Night Vision Goggles! Page 151


Icon for PDF of Article Icon for Downloadable Resources » Hawk Rescue! by Lee D. Zlotoff

Rescue an injured mother hawk and her family. Page 152


» Sun Time by Saul Griffith

If you know how many hands it takes to measure from east to west, you can figure out how many hours you have left to play today! Page 154

Make Money

» Chinese Abacus by Tom Parker

Sometimes it costs more to buy it than to make it from the money itself. Page 165


Icon for PDF of Article Icon for Slideshows and Extras » Circular Reasoning: Planet Earth by Bob Harris

Page 167

Heirloom Technology

» Carve a Stone Bowl by Tim Anderson

Make a gift to eternity in about two hours. Page 168

Remaking History

» Alessandro Volta and Electrodeposition by William Gurstelle

Before the chemists of the 19th century understood electrochemistry, most metal items were made from one solid hunk of metal; the same on the inside, outside, and everywhere in between. Page 170


» My Own FrankenBrewery by Matthew Wirtz

Page 176