ISS-Above in the classroom. Article in NSTA Reports November 2018

This is an article from NSTA Reports November 2018 edition featuring a story on the many ways one teacher is using different space related activities/resources (incl. an ISSAbove) to inspire students on a STEM career. This particular school in Florida - Gifford Middle School - received their ISS-Above via a program funded by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space - CASIS

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Teachers getting excited about their new ISS-Above

The ISS-Above's we shipped as part of the ISS-Above: 100 Schools project with CASIS have begun arriving at the schools and teachers are showing their excitement and appreciation on Twitter.  A few select tweets shown below:

ISS-Above Latest Updates - version 2.232

After extensive Beta Testing (close to 30 users have been testing) we have a new version of ISS-Above ready to be released  

  • Multi-Language Support:
    NEW Language support means most all of the information presented on the TV can be switched between English / Spanish / German and French.  The translations were provided with help from ISS-Above customers/supporters who are native speakers in those languages.   
  • Taking the Mystery out of the ISS Sky Pass info screen. 
    I've added text markers for the altitude circles showing the position of the ISS as it passes over your location. 
    Those mysterious dots/circles on this screen now have a text marker to remind you what they represent
    (Su = Sun, Mo = Moon, Ve = Venus, Ma = Mars, Ju = Jupiter, Sa = Saturn).  
  • Optionally remove the IP Address from the lower left of the Info Screens
    This was requested by some to "clean up" the display.  Note:  That IP address is CRITICAL for you to gain access to the Web Admin (setup) of the ISS-Above.  If you disable that display you MUST know how to find out what that address is by other means (e.g. via your router web admin).  So ONLY disable that if you know what you are getting in to.  
  • Numerous bug fixes to improve overall reliability and operation.  
  • "Air Remote" support (control your ISS-Above using a simple hand-held remote)
    You can now purchase a simple remote that can control some basic features on your ISS-Above. This includes being able to display specific information screens and turn on/off the live video also you can turn OFF your ISS-Above.  We'll post more detailed usage information on our support area soon.    

Here is more detail on all of that :

Multi-Language Support :

The language selection is now an option in the settings for your ISS-Above (also the new remote can toggle through all the different language versions with a simple key press)

The new language support for French, German and Spanish was made possible with help from the following :
For Spanish: A supporter who shall remain nameless :-) 
For German: Juergen Schlutz (schpace Consulting) and another anonymous supporter
For French: Perrin Sebastien (F8FFP) and Juergen Schlutz (schpace Consulting)
If you wish to see a particular language supported and you can provide translation support in doing that or you have feedback on these translations please get in touch with us by sending an email to support@issabove.com.

Taking the Mystery out of the ISS Sky Pass info screen. 

I know... "Why didn't I do this sooner?".  Good question.  I had this thought that I wanted you/students to discover what this screen showed.  I would occasionally get questions from customers about this screen and I was always delighted when they would also make a GUESS and actually figure it out.  Well.. now we have more than 2200 of these around the world and more going in to schools - I decided it's time I just labeled everything on the screen.  Hope you like the change!

Optionally remove the IP Address from the lower left of the Info Screens

This is "mostly" about making the screens a little prettier - but it also serves a more practical purpose.  When I started installing these in public locations (Science Centers) or somewhere they will be viewed by lots of people (for instance at  NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab!!!) I was asked to remove the display of the IP address to help prevent "curious minds" from thinking they should try to discover what nice things they could gain access to by tapping in the IP address in their browser.  Now you can do that too.. but WARNING.. you have to be a little bit nerdy/geeky to be able to know WHAT that IP address is whenever you want to access the web admin system.  So.. only make the change if you are clear of your technical capabilities.  Nuff said?

 Scroll down to the advanced section of the settings page

Scroll down to the advanced section of the settings page

 Uncheck the option and your device will no longer display the ip address in the lower left of the screens

Uncheck the option and your device will no longer display the ip address in the lower left of the screens

"Air Remote" support (control your ISS-Above using a simple hand-held remote)

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MX3 Remote

What can you do with it?

Use the up and down buttons on the control surrounding the OK button to switch to next screen or the previous screen. 
You can also use the number keys 1-7 to reach specific screens. (e.g. 3 = orbit world map)

PG- will stop the HDEV video and return to info screens (see below).
PG+ will start the HDEV video (if the ISS is in darkness the TV will display a completely black screen)

OOO (press letter O three times) – switches off the ISS-ABOVE
    To restart the ISS-ABOVE pull the power cord and reinsert it.
RRR (pressing R three times) – reboots the ISS-ABOVE (when it is running),

Pressing L toggles between all the available languages. 

Pressing 00 (zero twice) brings up a "Health Check" screen which runs a few tests and displays the results to your screen for a few seconds.  I may ask you to do that if we need to diagnose any issues with your device/network.  

You can purchase one of these remotes from Amazon (currently $11.99)

Look for version 2.232 (or later) coming to your ISS-Above very soon!

Liam at NAB with TWIT

The NAB Trip - Tue/Wed

He sure does get around. Liam made a lightening visit to Las Vegas for NAB. His main purpose was to meet up with a whole load of NASA folks, including Carlos Fontanot, Imagery Manager for the International Space Station and the CEO of Black Magic, Grant Petty, who's been a leading light (and in-kind donor) for the project to replace the cameras on the Space Station in 2017. You'll hear much more about the project as we get further into 2016.

And on to TWIT...

As an aside, Liam swung by his friends at TWIT TV who were broadcasting from the show, and ended up doing a short segment with the Padre. 

Thanks to our friends from Space Games Federation for their photo of Liam at the booth.

NSTA Conference starts today in Nashville

NSTA Conference starts today in Nashville

12,000 science teachers are gathering in Nashville for the annual NSTA conference. You'll find ISS-ABOVE at The Planetary Society booth, showing off our little gadget that tacks the space station. Bill Nye is the keynote speaker this evening. We're eagerly looking forward to find out what his message is to the conference.

In the meantime you can hear what he has to say about the ISS-ABOVE.

Read More

Space Shuttle's massive external (orange) fuel tank will join Endeavor

The Spaces Shuttle's external fuel tank will be joining Endeavor at the California Science Center in April, after a complex journey through Los Angeles streets. The last one in existence, ET-94, was donated by NASA last year. Now the Science Center is planning the move.

Read more in the LA Times and watch for details of the journey on March 4th. So glad I'm not planning that party!

 Shuttle tank on it's way back to Earth (Wikipedia)

Shuttle tank on it's way back to Earth (Wikipedia)

Harambee School Gets an ISS-Above

 Photo by merin mcdonald - pasadena outlook

Photo by merin mcdonald - pasadena outlook

Liam joined school Principal Harlan Redmond and "Donate to a School" contributor Brent Whitfield, CEO of DCG at Harambee Preparatory School to meet students, see the ISS-Above installed at the school and answer burning questions from the students. 

Here is the article written by Merin McDonald of the Pasadena Outlook

Scan from the print version of the  Pasadena Outlook 1/28/16. 

Remembering Challenger

As I sit here watching the images on the ISS-Above in my own office, I'm deeply grateful to those who have gone before on whose shoulders we all stand to tackle the next frontier. 

Today we’re really present to the courage it takes to be in the space exploration as we mourn Challenger. And yes, what a thing to give one’s life to. That inspires us in our work with young people and teachers.

Thank you Teacher-in-Space payload specialist Sharon Christa McAuliffe; payload specialist Gregory Jarvis; and astronauts Judith A. Resnik, mission specialist; Francis R. (Dick) Scobee, mission commander; Ronald E. McNair, mission specialist; Mike J. Smith, pilot; and Ellison S. Onizuka, mission specialist.