Change. It’s never easy, even when it is for the best of reasons. In a group or corporation, it can be chaotic or revolutionary. Yet, as most philosophers will tell you, it is inevitable. Here at Mach 30, we have seen a lot of change from those early days when it was simply a dream in the mind of Mach 30’s founder and president, J. Simmons.
In the last year, there has been a steady increase in volunteers and a change in board members. Maureen Carruthers, treasurer and long time member of Mach 30, stepped down as a board member in March of 2013. Her new position as the Program Manager for the National Robotics League is demanding much of her time. Her contributions to board leadership and Mach 30’s communications team will be missed. Fortunately, five new volunteers have stepped up to help on a variety of tasks such as Open Design Engine (ODE), the Export Control Taskforce and our Yuri’s Night Celebrations.
2013 is looking to be a busy year for Mach 30 events. To start off, we celebrated our 4th year as an organization in January. New technology baffled the techies amongst us so the celebration was not as well attended as possible. However, we did overcome some of those issues in time for our Yuri’s Night Celebration. We are looking forward to a repeat of that success in January and April 2014.
Tech Gremlins bit Mach 30 again as we attempted to hold a Hangout concerning the Open Source Hardware Documentation Jam on the same day that Google+ made a sweeping upgrade to their service. We had a great hangout, but lost the video. It is hoped that we can hold another hangout soon on this topic.
2013 has seen an explosion of projects on and off of ODE due to the diligent work of Jeremy Wright, Aaron Harper, and other volunteers. These include improvements to ODE itself, enhancements to the Shepard Test Stand, and work on a satellite ground station. A grant proposal to SpaceGAMBIT was made in April in order to update and expand ODE as a development tool and a community. However, the competition was stiff and ODE didn’t receive any funding. Other avenues are now being looked into to accomplish those goals.
Mach 30 is working with Columbus State University’s Coca-Cola Space Science Center (CCSSC) to kitify the Shepard Test Stand for use in STEM programs for schools. In addition, Mach 30 volunteers are working on upgrades to the Shepard Test Stand to make it easier to build and operate.
The open source Ground Station which was featured during the Yuri’s Night Celebration has developed into a low cost satellite receiver station. This project has been well received, and discussions about kitifying it are in process.
Two of our volunteers are working with the board to update the website and improve our social media outreach. A new theme as well as a reorganization of its content are in the works. Take a look below for a sneak peak at the new webpage. It is hoped by mid-summer the website makeover will be complete.
Last year saw the launch of the Catalyst Club, Mach 30’s annual fundraising campaign. Support from donors, especially Catalyst Club members, is essential to the continued growth of Mach 30 and the development of open source space flight projects.
The first six months of 2013 have been exciting. The changes that have begun and will continue may feel chaotic at this point. Yet they are necessary in the long run if Mach 30 is to grow. We hope you join us in our adventures to bring Open Source Space Flight to the world.
- Open Design Engine (ODE) Our Open Source Design platform.
- Export Control Taskforce A Google Group to discuss ITAR and other Export Control laws.
- Yuri’s Night Celebrations. A blog post celebratiing Yuri’s Night.
- Tech Gremlins A blog post about what happens when things don’t work as expected.
- Open Source Hardware Documentation Jam The website for OSHW Documentation Jam
- Shepard Test Stand
- Ground Station
- A grant proposal The blog post about grants and funding issues.