AAAP September 9, 2016 Monthly Meeting, 7:30 PM, Bayer Science Stage, Carnegie Science Center

Meeting Update:

Thank you to Astrobotic Technology and their Public Relations and Customer Care Coordinator Mandy Fleeger and Senior Electronic Engineer John Branthoover and the 28 Members and 3 Guests who attended the AAAP September Meeting! Not bad attendance considering the Liberty Bridge was closed. Mandy and John informed us on Astrobotic Technology,  the premier private space technology corporation in the world, and is it based here in Pittsburgh! John’s talk was fascinating with still images and video showing robots fit for harshest terrains and conditions, flying autonomous crafts capable of LIDAR informed decision making for landing site selection and independent landing, drones in lava tubes, etc. Astrobotic is the only firm to win all three Google Milestone Prizes. Mr. Branthooler designed the camera which won Astrobotic’s Google Milestone Imaging Prize.  In contention for the Google Lunar X Prize, Astrobotic will launch to the Moon no later than the end of 2017. In the meantime they are partnered with Airbus and DHL and continue with each additional  freight contract to increase the profitability of the mission. We have special announcement for AAAP members who attended the meeting as well as those who missed it. Let this announce to our Members Only we are invited to a private tour.  If you are interested in one of the proposed tours, date/time to be determined, please send and email to with “A Private Tour” in the header stating your  preference to day or evening along with your full name as registered on the AAAP Membership List, email address and phone number. A $5 across the dues increase will occur January 1, 2017. It does not apply to Student Memberships. Early bird 2017 dues paying now, prior to January 1 avoids the increase. AAAP is Participating in Washington Gives Day, Tuesday September 13, 2016. Please see the calendar for upcoming observatory star parties and off-site observing events. Best Regards.  Kathy D. ,  AAAP Vice President

AAAP Logo - 0314 x 0314 - photo white on black - rev 2


The September Meeting of the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh will be held at 7:30 PM, September 9, 2016, at Carnegie Science Center, Bayer Science Stage and features the  guests from Astrobotic Technology, the lunar logistics firm spun out of CMU’s robotics institute in 2007. You may recall Team Astrobotic won 1.75 million dollars in Google Milestone Prizes and is among the remaining teams in contention for the lauded Google Lunar X Prize. Astrobotic Technology Customer and Public Relations Coordinator Mandy Fleeger since the spring of this years has worked to make this talk possible in addition to her heavy travel schedule over the summer promoting Astrobotic’s active business endeavors withAirbuss, DHL and showing its Peregrine Lander, just to name a few. The evening’s main speaker is Astrobotic’s Senior Electrical Engineer, John Branthoover speaking on Space Electronics and Robotics.  John Branthoover has been working in the electronic industry since 1978.  He has been employed in every facet of electronic, manufacturing, and design engineering, from printed circuit board fabrication to hardcore research and development.  He specializes in embedded systems, hardware and software, real time operating systems, printed circuit board design and layout, design for manufacturability, automatic test, and calibration.  John has been a licensed amateur radio operator since 1973 (WA3YWU), and has a passion for all things mechanical and electrical. John’s specialties include: Embedded Systems, Hardware and Software, Real Time Operating Systems.  PCB Design and Layout, Mixed Signal, Analog and Digital Design.  Space Robotics Systems, Air Robotics Systems, Ground Robotics Systems.  High Bandwidth Communications Systems, Advanced Sensors and FPGA Design.

The speaker will be at the top of the evening shortly after 7:30 PM.  Following the speaker there will be a brief recess followed by the monthly business meeting.

Here is an online interview tonight’s speaker made for Mouser Electronics.

Heads up there is a Pink Floyd Laser Show Party upstairs in the Planetarium during the meeting. It is a special late night laser party event with shows at 8,9,10,11 and 12. They will show the Dark Side of the Moon, the Wall and a greatest hits compilation show rotating through the evening. There are also some extra activities going on around the building. It should be great fun!

Please be prepared for traffic patterns to be disrupted by the Liberty Bridge Closure.

Carnegie Science Center Parking Lot charges a flat $5 fee.

The October AAAP monthly meeting will be held 7:30 PM, Friday, October 14, 2016, Rangos OmniMax Theater, Carnegie Science Center and features NASA Mission Specialist for the New Horizons Mission, Mark “Indy” Kochte, speaking on New Horizon Mission Updates.

AAAP Meetings are free and open to the public.


2016 AAAP Star Parties

2016 Star Parties

Download 2016 Fliers Here


Mingo Star Party Schedule 2016

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