Like many young stargazers, James Parr was ten years old when he first had fantasies of going to space.
Thirty years later, the stars have aligned and James is finally realizing his dream. But not as you’d imagine. Working with Microsoft and the biggest names in space exploration, James has created the first ever 3D-printed automated robotic observatory.
Called Ultrascope, and supporting devices such as the 41-megapixel Lumia 1020, it has the potential to completely reinvent astrophotography, making it possible to capture professional-grade celestial images, right from your back garden, for a fraction of the price of traditional space telescopes.
Once 3D-printed and assembled, the Ultrascope stands 1m tall when pointed vertically and 65cm wide at the base.
James, who founded the OSA (Open Space Agency) collective, believes that anyone from amateur astronomers to schoolchildren can get involved.
He said: “We’re inspired that we live in an era where consumer technology now allows us to do things that were only exclusively available to professionals just a few years ago. Keen amateur astronomers can now download this design and software, 3D print and assemble their own hardware, which is an amazing development. It opens up opportunities for people who have been gazing at the stars their whole lives, but haven’t, until now, been able to get involved. Powered by Lumia smartphones, our hope is that hundreds of Ultrascopes will be assembled, enabling a large number of people to contribute to new discoveries as they explore the night sky.” …
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