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Nathan Bergey
Works at Open-Notify.org
Attended Appalachian State Univeristy
Lives in Portland, OR
12,920 followers|56,566 views
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Nathan Bergey

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+Slate just posted my article about the location of all the photos taken from the International Space Station!
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Nathan Bergey

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This past weekend I helped launch a big rocket in the Central Oregon desert. Here is the view from on the rocket!

Rocket info here: http://psas.pdx.edu/launch10/

We're still crunching the numbers on altitude, but it was at least 4 km. 

What caused it to spin? We don't know for sure yet. This rocket had active roll control on it that tried to execute a 180 degree roll at T+5 seconds, but clearly the roll rate got too high and it wasn't able to recover.  Everything got back down in one piece on parachutes, so at least nothing was damaged. We'll try again.
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Very cool stuff. Keep thinking outside the box.
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Nathan Bergey

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Caution! Gets Kind Of Warm

This is the best rocket motor warning sticker I've ever seen :)

Seen on the bottom of Paul Breed's experimental rocket.
Experimental Rocket Guidance, Paul Breed
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Yeah.... kinda... xD (+1)
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Nathan Bergey

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Science Hack Day is an awesome weekend of building, tinkering and science.  If you want to have one in your community, start one!
 
Science Hack Day is coming to your city! And I need your help: http://arielwaldman.com/2013/03/21/science-hack-day-is-coming-to-your-city/
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Nathan Bergey

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The twin GRAIL spacecraft have finally completed their mission of precisely mapping the gravity of the Moon. Today they were allowed to crash into the wall of a crater. They've done a marvelous job and we've already gotten some surprises from the data returned.

GRAIL is a special mission to me because I was there for the launch! I was just a few miles away watching the Delta II kick Ebb and Flow (at the time still called GRAIL A and B) into space.

The probes are gone, but we've only just begun the years of analysis and learning they have made possible.
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So, my intuition says that when the gap increases, it's because the one in front has sped up relative to the trailer.  It's sped up because a relatively higher gravitation has turned it more towards the surface, and a relatively lower gravitation would let it drift away from the surface, which would slow it down and the gap would reduce.  It would be awesome if we could find someone with more than a vague intuition to spell that out more clearly.
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Nathan Bergey

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I still can't believe how fast the ground moves away!

HD footage looking out the side of the PSAS rocket launch this past weekend. The rocket was actively controlling it's roll but the control system failed about 5 seconds into the flight. It will make you dizzy!

More info on the rocket and the launch here:

http://psas.pdx.edu/launch10/
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I think it will take a couple more weeks.
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Here's a really cool project!

Using a super cheap USB TV tuner, an old satellite TV dish, and open source software Marcus Leech was able to build a working radio telescope!

With this modest equipment you can make out the 21 cm hydrogen emission from the galactic arm as it passes overhead. Thought amateur astronomy was stuck in the optical band? Try this at your next star party! Marcus kindly published a detailed paper about the project:

http://www.sbrac.org/files/budget_radio_telescope.pdf

#citizenscience  
#sdr  
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Nathan Bergey

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*A Million Photos From Space, Mapped*

Last week I scraped the approximate location of nearly every photo taken by astronauts on the International Space Station. Today I released the data and drew a number of maps of the data. What do the astronauts take photos of? Their favorite places on Earth, of course. You can faintly make out a map of the Earth just from the plot of photos alone. Check it out, and if you also want to play with the data, download it!

http://natronics.github.com/ISS-photo-locations/
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+Nathan Bergey It might not like that, yes. One could segment the data into smaller files (one for Oregon, for example). If one wanted to get fancy, one could write a KML API endpoint that delivers only the points the viewer would see in the current view.

(See how I phrased that without volunteering either of us?)
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Space Shuttle Columbia launched on her final flight 10 years ago today. On mission STS-107. She would break up upon reentry after a piece of foam from the External Tank struck the leading edge of her wing during ascent to orbit. Feels like yesterday.

She was the first orbiter to launch on STS-1 and helped inspire me and millions of people to dream of space. Hail Columbia!

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Columbia

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/STS-1

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/STS-107

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Four Decades

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the last two men landing on the Moon.

In the afternoon on December 11th 1972 Harrison Schmitt and Eugene Cernan landed their craft Challenger in the Taurus-Littrow valley -- a mountainous region of the moon on the edge of Mare Serenitatis.

In the 40 years since these two (and command module pilot Ronald Evans, waiting above in lunar orbit) no human has left the narrow sliver of space just above the Earth's surface we call low Earth orbit (LEO). Even the International Space Station is only 400 km up, which is just a little further than New York to Washinton DC. In contrast the moon is more that a third of a million kilometers away.

Image: Astronaut Harrison Schmitt next to the flag with the Earth visible in the sky. Credit: NASA
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Have him in circles
12,920 people
Work
Occupation
Rocket Scientist
Employment
  • Open-Notify.org
    Founder, 2011 - present
  • Portland State Aerospace Society
    Physicist/Project Manager, 2008 - present
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Currently
Portland, OR
Previously
North Carolina
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Tagline
Open Source Rocket Scientist
Introduction
I'm a rocket scientist. I work with students and other scientists/engineers at Portland State Aerospace Society. We build small rockets with big technology.

I also made ISS notify, and occasionally contribute to science blogs. Big fan of Science Hack Day. Lets make science awesome!

#NASAtweetup STS-133 and GRAIL Alumnus.
Education
  • Appalachian State Univeristy
    Applied Physics, Astronomy, 2002 - 2006
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The coffee is excellent and it's one of the coolest cafés in Portland. It has everything you could want: young, attractive clientele, a record player spinning great music, local art on the walls, everything delivered by bicycle, fresh pastries. And yet — despite the potential for coming off as pretentious — the staff is among the friendliest and nicest in the city.
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