Week two – welcome to our thousand newest Explorers…

In this post – Explorer numbers pleasant surprise; British Interplanetary Society special memberships on their way; European Space Agency student starts; Clean room and lab visits; Explorers only website area; European Planetary Science Congress 2013 meet up and more

Well, we weren’t expecting what happened this week – we’re very pleased to welcome more than a thousand(!) new Explorers to Mission to the Moon since Monday. Please bear with us while we process everyone, we have a couple of manual administrative processes for each explorer which are a bottleneck at the moment, but we hope to have them automated in the next few days and clear the signup backlog.

Emails to Explorers from the British Interplanetary Society (BIS) are on their way (or may already have arrived by the time you read this) describing how to access the three month special BIS membership. Please note that the hyperlink for downloading the latest edition of Spaceflight is only valid for a very limited number of clicks, so please don’t click on it until you are ready to view it.

We’re pleased to welcome our European Space Agency funded student Samantha to the team. Samantha is finishing a M.Sc. in Games Design and is busy working on the Pocket Mission Control app and server code in Edinburgh, getting it ready for early release on Android and iOS to Explorers.

University students from Pasadena to Paris, Surrey to Singapore have kindly been volunteering their assistance, so we’ve created a special form for these kind offers of help – please click here if you’d like to add a bit of hands on interplanetary space exploration to your CV/résumé.

The Watershed in Bristol, UK have very kindly provided us with a lot of extra space to set up our public lab and cleanroom (for aseptic assembly of the Interplanetary CubeSat), so we’ve starting getting things in place to build these so you can come and visit your spacecraft. We’re planning on opening the doors on the first Friday afternoon of each month to start with and we’ll do the first of these in October – more details closer to the time. We don’t expect (or need) to have the cleanroom up and running until spring next year, but we’re already building the hardware for our microgravity and radio characterisation/qualification tests which you are very welcome to come and see on the lab bench.

We’ve been working hard to get an Explorers only area of the website up and running so you can log in and download your digital rewards and access the various software and design tools we’ll release as the mission goes on. We’ve sent out emails to a small selection of Explorers to test it and make sure it works as well in the real world as it does in our testing. Once we’re sure it all works properly we’ll send out access details to everyone, hopefully sometime next week.

If you’re not yet an Explorer, as you can see from our new Explorers this week, it’s still not too late. If you backed the original Kickstarter, please convert your pledge this week (to ensure you receive all the rewards described in the Kickstarter) by filling in the form here. If you didn’t back the Kickstarter, we can’t offer all the rewards originally offered, but if you fill in the form here, you can indicate that you’d still like to take part and at what level, and we’ll try to make that happen for you.

If you’d like to meet the PocketSpacecraft.com team members going to the European Planetary Science Congress 2013 next week, we’ll be meeting at 1800 on Tuesday – please let us know by the end of the weekend if you’d like to attend by filling in this form and we’ll email you details of where to meet.

Thank you again to everyone for all your support – onwards to the Moon!

Michael and the Pocket Spacecraft team

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