Crotchety spacecraft

By Phil Plait | June 1, 2012 10:44 am

I have creative friends.

Emily Lakdawalla is a scientist, science journalist, and tireless advocate for space exploration. She also does handcrafts, and recently asked me for my mailing address. Hmmm… I thought. This’ll be good.

And I was right! Here’s what she sent me:

How cool is that? It’s a satellite model made with plastic canvas. That’s a plastic mesh you can cut to size, then stitch yarn in and out of the holes to cover it. I did a live video chat with Emily when Phobos-GRUNT re-entered, and she lamented my not having a good model of a satellite to use for demos. So she made me this one. And look how she signed the letter! I hope you recognize the little guy in her doodle.

I (and many others) suggested she make more spacecraft this way, and she has; she wrote a post at the Planetary Society Blog about them. She’s also created both the patterns and kits for MESSENGER (currently orbiting Mercury) and Dawn (orbiting Vesta, soon to leave for Ceres) which you can buy at her Etsy store (called SpaceCraft, of course). She also has the pattern for the twin GRAIL spacecraft available for free.

I’ll add that Emily scolded me that this is not crochet since you don’t use a crochet hook. However, the title was too much fun to resist. By the time you read this I’ll be at SpaceFestIV; Emily will be there too. I hope she’ll forgive me.

But either way, I know have this awesome little model to use for the next time I do a live video chat. Thanks, Em!

Related Posts:

Snapshots from space
Rosetta’s stunning Mars
What happened to Phobos-Grunt?
Come to SpaceFestIV

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Cool stuff, Geekery, Space

Comments (11)

  1. Calli Arcale

    She’s right, that is not crochet. That is needlepoint embroidery. ūüėČ And it’s FREAKIN’ AWESOME!!!

    Oh, and she’s got an Etsy store? Ohmigosh, that is incredibly awesome. A geeky needlepoint kit MADE BY A REAL PLANETARY SCIENTIST!!!!

  2. Grizzly

    Yeah, but can she do an Eagle from Space 1999? What about a Dalek tea cozy?

  3. Chris

    It’s sooooo cute.

  4. dbp

    Not to de-rail the topic or anything, I just thought you’d be interested that there’s going to be a rap album put out titled Dark Matter. The rapper has consulted Neil deGrasse Tyson.

  5. Dave Regan

    Very nice.

    A typo in the last sentence:
    I know have this awesome little model
    I NOW have this awesome little model

    Please delete this comment once corrected.

  6. Matt B.

    Neat, I’d like to have one of those. I did an American flag with that plastic mesh when I was very young.

  7. Cindy

    Hey, that would make a great Christmas tree ornament. I’ve made several ornaments using that mesh.

    Hmmm, an HST one would be cool, but cylinders can be a little tricky.

    Now if I only had the time to make one.

  8. carbonUnit

    Phil, does your crotchety spacecraft have a warp drive?? Thought not!

    This was a Christmas present from my daughter. :)

    Phil, you know the coolest people!!!

  9. beer case

    Knitted solution to old problem:

    Spacecraft made of plastic and wool, will burn up easily on re-entry, and pose far less treath to earth’s citizens! ūüėČ

  10. I want! ūüėÄ

  11. pavium

    This blog is starting to look like Boing Boing.


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