What Are You doing for Yuri’s Night?

International Space Party Time!

Yuri’s Night is the annual celebration of Yuri Gagarin, the first person in space! According to Adafruit, this is recognized by the UN as International Human Spaceflight Day, as established in 2011… but I have embarrassing pictures from a year before that.* (The About page indicates that Yuri’s Night has been going since 2001.)

My favorite part of Gagarin’s legacy is this quotation, which is roughly:

“Orbiting the earth in my spaceship, I saw how beautiful our planet is. People, let us preserve and foster that beauty, and not destroy it.”

How to Celebrate?

Check out the interviews and citizen-science opportunities from my 2016 September in Space project. I talked with Shawna Pandya about being an astronaut candidate, and Brad Kohlenberg about the exciting future of 3D printing in space. Plus, learn about artist residencies and more!

Build one of these projects to track the International Space Station — a popular space/hardware nerd goal:

Get involved with Magnitude.io: citizen space science on a spiffy, Arduino-powered platform! Order a CanSat for your classroom, work team, or rocketry club; they also do an “engineering” model.

Image from Magnitude.io

Pre-order a subscription to SpaceVR: This company is working to bring the Overview Effect to everyone — giving us the emotional motivation to drive humanity forward.

Once the site’s back up, check out the official page to find a Yuri’s Night event near you! Tonight’s the official night, but many parties have already taken place, and many are still to come.

Of course, you’ll need to a space-celebrating outfit. Mylar, Kapton tape, and bits of solar panels are great materials for this! If you’re really feeling the spirit, my friend Moheeb tipped me off to these amazing constellation pants on ThinkGeek… which might just arrive in time for one of the later events.

The author with mylar space cape. Taken at AHA hackerspace by Nate Dotz, Yuri’s Night 2010. (Yes, of course you need shades in space!)

And finally, if you’re badass enough to throw your own party, why not build your own real-life, quadcopter-based Space Invaders game?

Поехали! (Let’s go!) ☆

Gagarin in Vostok 1 — the basis for the Yuri’s Night logo

DIY robots, music, EEG, wearables, languages. FIRST alumna. Hardware Nerd @hacksterio. She/her

DIY robots, music, EEG, wearables, languages. FIRST alumna. Hardware Nerd @hacksterio. She/her