Toronto Chapter Meeting - 29 January 2016 at 19:00

Colonizing Venus with Cloud Cities: The Venus Society

Presented by Eric Boyd (see bio below)

Abstract:  Geoffrey A. Landis proposed in 2003 that we could explore and ultimately colonize Venus using vehicles and cities designed to float high in the atmosphere.  There are many compelling advantages of this plan over colonizing the Moon or Mars, and not all of them are technical - some are simply awesome, such as the vision of living in a floating city (instead of an underground bunker).  We need a non-profit society which will help bring this possibility into the public eye, both via traditional awareness raising and by coordinating the needed R&D.

Toronto Chapter Meeting - 7 December 2015 at 7;30

2015: The Year in Space for Canada

Presented by Chuck Black (The Commercial Space Blog)

 

With regards to both Dickens and cursing Chinese philosophers, 2015 was certainly the "best of times," the "worst of times," and perhaps even the "most interesting of times" for the several hundred businesses, entrepreneurs, educational facilities, politicians, bureaucrats and advocacy groups which support science and space focused activities in Canada.
 
 With that in mind, here are some of the high and low points for Canadian space sector in 2015.

(click to register)

 

Location of the meeting: Norman Bethune College, Room 320
170 Campus Walk
York University
Toronto ON  M3J 1P3

Toronto Chapter Meeting - 19 October 2015

Colonizing Venus with Cloud Cities: The Venus Society

Presented by Eric Boyd (see bio below)

Abstract:  Geoffrey A. Landis proposed in 2003 that we could explore and ultimately colonize Venus using vehicles and cities designed to float high in the atmosphere.  There are many compelling advantages of this plan over colonizing the Moon or Mars, and not all of them are technical - some are simply awesome, such as the vision of living in a floating city (instead of an underground bunker).  We need a non-profit society which will help bring this possibility into the public eye, both via traditional awareness raising and by coordinating the needed R&D.


Bio:  
Eric Boyd is the founder of Sensebridge, a wearables company. Born and raised in Ontario Canada, on a small chicken farm, Eric went to Queens University for engineering, graduating in 2003, but not before co-foundingStumbleUpon.com. After graduating, he lived and worked in Silicon Valley at a high tech startup, designing and installing industrial sensors. Eric is currently based in Toronto Canada, where he is President of Hacklab.TO, a technology community space, and the Director of Festival Programming at Maker Festival, a two-day celebration of the Do-It-Yourself-ethos which attracts 10,000 people to the reference library. At Sensebridge, Eric works on a variety of devices which are intended to augment the user, turning them into a cyborg. These devices include North Paw, a compass anklet that gives users a sense of direction, and Heart Spark, a heart-beat flashing pendant which broadcasts the wearers emotions. A man of diverse interests, his other hobbies include Quantified Self, the Awesome Foundation, DIYbio and Guerrilla Gardening.

Eric is a passionate reader of science fiction since a very young age, but decided years ago that space travel just wasn't likely for him in his lifetime, given the trends.  However recently New Space has him all fired up, and when he discovered Geoffrey A. Landis and his Venus paper, he was bitten again by the space bug!

Toronto Chapter Meeting - 25 September 2015

 Project Voyager

Presented by Zachary Fejes  

Project Voyager, associated with Icarus Interstellar, surrounds the development of an interplanetary and interstellar mission planning tool. This is being built as a next generation tool for space companies, academic institutions, and space enthusiasts the world over.  

Voyager is in essence a map which will allow users to plan missions to other planets, asteroids, comets, and even other star systems. Mission planning will be beautifully intuitive, taking cues from modern video game design. Mission simulation will be as detailed and accurate as the best software on the market, and we aim to make it even better. 
 
The software will have two major components: mission planning, and mission simulation. Mission planning is done in real time and the map changing according to the maneuvers you lay out, providing a rough approximation. Mission Simulation takes this approximation, calculates a more accurate path based on your maneuvers, and overlays it on the map. By seeing the difference, it becomes much simpler to correct trajectories and iterate through mission designs.  
 
From an academic standpoint, Voyager can be seen as a teaching tool for astronomy, physics, dynamics, engineering, space sciences, and the list goes on. The visual nature of the program makes it accessible to high school or university students, while the accuracy and level of design detail available make it an invaluable tool for the space industry at large. 
 
A tool like this can be a game changer for space startups, academic researchers, and students alike. It can solve a number of complicated problems, all of which make mission planning a difficult endeavor. 
In this talk I will describe the project, how it got started, and where we are intending to take it in the future. 
 
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