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The Space Library

Infrastructure for Open Space Missions

The Space Library is an initiative led by my staff at Wolbach Library in collaboration with the Libre Space Foundation. Our goal is to help new communities participate in satellite missions, engender public engagement in space science, and to fuel new research by improving access to scientific research artifacts and supporting their reuse. To achieve this our team is developing open metadata standards and enabling public engagement with space technology in public libraries.

The Space Library currently has as two projects underway : MetaSat and LSTN.


MetaSat

MetaSat is a project to develop and prototype an open metadata schema to link data, software, and hardware from small satellite missions. The schema will be designed with the small satellite community and piloted on SatNOGS, Libre Space’s open source network of satellite ground stations. We plan to assess the success of the pilot by seeking feedback from:

  • groups currently running or planning satellite missions

  • groups with missions that have ended

  • novices who have only a basic familiarity with satellite technologies


LSTN

Library Space Technology Network

To engage novices with the MetaSat schema and SatNOGS infrastructure, and for them to assess their capacity to use these technologies, we are installing satellite ground stations at five public libraries. Installing ground stations in different library settings will enable our team to test the MetaSat schema’s ability to capture the full mission lifecycle from the perspective of novice participants in the ground station network and supplement feedback from people already participating in small satellite missions. These five libraries will be the first participants in LSTN. We plan to expand LSTN and develop educational resources to support libraries participating in LSTN pending the success of our pilot.


Support

In 2019 I was awarded $390,634.00 by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to support these efforts.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a not-for-profit grantmaking institution that supports high quality, impartial scientific research; fosters a robust, diverse scientific workforce; strengthens public understanding and engagement with science; and promotes the health of the institutions of scientific endeavor.