"Open data can change your view of the night sky."
An orrery is a solar system model that can be viewed from multiple viewpoints and manipulated to present the positional relationships among celestial bodies. Martin created an incredible simulation utilizing open data.
Martin was always interested in everything related to space and the history of exploration. After a visit to the Kennedy Space Center in 2012, he wanted to understand orbital mechanics and especially how the Apollo missions got to the Moon.
You can find and use Martin's project here: jsOrrery and read more about how he tackled the project at his blog. He outlines step by step how he identified the positions of the planets and calculated the gravitational forces and velocity.
Martin said, "I am completely amazed at how, just by plugging in numbers found on NASA's websites into equations, I was able to witness the behavior of our solar system and simulate space exploration. It's completely fascinating to experiment first hand such accessible science... that's what impressed me the most: it is accessible to anyone."