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Announcing SpaceMan, my new Alexa skill


I've just published my first Alexa skill. If you've got an Alexa Echo device, and have any interest in space exploration, I think you'll find it interesting.

Spaceman is a free app for your Amazon Alexa device. I created it because I've always had a deep interest in space exploration, and building a way to keep informed of news in this area, and even inspire curiosity, seemed a good exercise for me to teach myself the technology behind Amazon Alexa and AWS Lambda functions.

It currently provides information to you about:

* Phase of the moon
* Scheduled rocket launches anywhere in the world, both past and future
* Asteroids and other objects passing close to the Earth, for dates you request
To get a quick overview of the current news, just say

Alexa, ask Spaceman what's up?

But Spaceman also understands dates, so you can ask about other days you're interested in

* Alexa, ask Spaceman what's up tomorrow?
* Alexa, ask Spaceman what's up next Tuesday?
* Alexa, ask Spaceman what happened yesterday?
Date ranges will work as well. And it can be future or past

* Alexa, ask Spaceman what happened between January 1 2017 and January 10 2017?
* Alexa, ask Spaceman what's happening from today to Friday?
Typical output is like (spoken, of course)
News for Saturday, January 21, 2017
This is a waning crescent moon.
Date: Saturday, January 21, 2017 12:42 AM
Status: Success
Name: Atlas V 401 | SBIRS GEO-4 (SBIRS GEO Flight 3)
Location: Cape Canaveral, FL, USA
8 objects are passing near the Earth. None of them are potentially hazardous.
The nearest will pass by us at a distance of 26.7 times the distance to the moon. It will be traveling about 9 thousand miles per hour, and have a diameter between 48 and 107 feet.
More information is available at
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You can get the skill from here:

More info about it here:

Hey that's awesome!!

I'd love it if you could tell us about the process of making an alexa skill and having it published.


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