The genesis of Magnitude was 10 years ago today! On that first day of summer in 2013, Tony and I decided to bring learning to the very edge of human discovery – and, with a bit of luck – the opportunity to bring others with us to peer over that edge. As a for profit company these experiences for the most part have been behind a pay wall. That changes today.
Today, I am exhilarated to formally announce a collaboration between Magnitude and the citizen science group, Astrobotany.com. Astrobotany.com was founded in 2017 by undergraduate researcher Kai Rasmussen in the Gilroy Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The astrobotany.com team is closely involved with researchers across the globe and is committed to the democratization of scientific research, as well as providing robust support to educators. With the creation of this collaboratory, we invite you to join us on our next mission: ExoLab: Astrobotany, currently scheduled to launch in early 2024 aboard SpaceX-30. Magnitude is in the process of reviewing every lesson from the last 10 missions to make the core content available at no cost to anyone interested to grow plants in space, and the program is scheduled to start on 1 October 2024. Registration is easy at https://classroom.magnitude.io. As we must fund these missions to space, premium content, project-based kits, ExoLabs, and cool merchandise will be available for those that wish to have them.
This step to release our general curriculum to everyone in the world coincides with opening the network to those that wish to develop their own science laboratories on the network. This is a very exciting change. Massively parallel research with centralized data for machine learning. What might be discovered? Protocols are being established now to ensure reliability and security. A select number of engineering teams will have the first chance to develop on the alpha build before we open up the platform. If you have not already signed up, make your way over to Space Hackathon to sign up to be notified. Would you like to help translate the curriculum into your language? Contact us!
A feature of our blog posts this month is looking back at our last 10 years. Today, we’ll take a look back at Year 5. The fiscal year 2017-18 was one filled with High Altitude Balloons including a local Boy Scout troop launch at the Boy Scout Jamboree and a special event for the children guests called XPrize: Visioneers. It was great to see the Scouts go co-ed! High-Powered Rocket Days filled our spring weekends with busses of students.
ExoLab-2 and ExoLab-3 also went up during this time. ExoLab-2 launched on OA-8 with a return on SpaceX-13 in November 2017 with ExoLab-3 up and down on SpaceX-14. Both continued our missions with A. thaliana with the focus on making the hardware work better for us despite the difficult constraints.