Posted on April 22, 2015 by orbital

Photo credits: estantanche @ flickr

The staff at Orbital wish you the best in your studies during this reading week!  All the best!  Get enough sleep and while you’re studying get ready for your exciting summer ahead.  We’ll be releasing some details about the upcoming Liftoff workshop on the 11th and 12th.  Hope you have booked your extended stay before flying from campus.  Stay tuned!

Those of you who can’t make the workshop, please let us know.  It’s really an integral part of this module.  Please try to make it!  See if you must.

Posted on March 24, 2015 by orbital

Photo Credits: NASA

The staff for Orbital 2015 has been interviewed and shortlisted!  We’re pleased to announce we have a great body of Orbital alumni coming back to help you all out on your epic, self-driven summer projects!  Check them out over here.


Posted on February 10, 2014 by orbital

Photo credits: NHS Confederation @ Flickr

We’re pleased to hear that many of you are considering Orbital for part of your summer adventures for 2014! We’ll be releasing a signup form soon so that you can express your enrolment interest and stay up-to-dates with announcements.

But don’t worry, official registration won’t close anytime soon. The first mandatory milestone is to attend the 2-day Liftoff workshop happening right after the final exam period.

Meanwhile here are a short list of Frequently Asked Questions (also broadcasted verbatim on the CS 1010 and CS 1020 forums), to keep you in the know:
We wll be having an information session about Orital again closer to the recess week period. Keep a look out for the official email, a well as the announcement here in your course.

– Q: Is there a formal process to get into the Orbital cohort?
No, there’s no selection or bidding for the module. If you want to do Orbital you can, provided you qualify.

– Q: Then who qualifies to be part of the cohort?
Any SoC freshman (CS/IS/CEG/BZA). Students at other years or in other faculty cannot do this programme. Orbital is also unfortunately, not applicable to exchange students.

– Q: Can I do this while overseas, or while doing an internship, etc.?
Yes! You can do most of your development overseas or at any time. There’s no physical or temporal requirement — just that you finish the project within the three summer months.

– Q: Must I do it just with one other person?
Yes. You must work with one (and only one) other SoC freshman student for Orbital.

-Q: The video says that weekly hacking class will be held. What if a person is not here in Holidays?
No worries.  The hacking classes are optional and notes are likely to be distributed so that you can follow the topic, even if you are not around.  Only the initial workshop (first 2 days of summer) and final closing ceremony (likely during second week of Sem 1) are mandatory for you to attend.


Thank you for your interest in Orbital 2020! The application period has ended on 18 March, 6pm.
We will review the applications and notify the successful applicants by mid April.
In addition, due to the COVID-19 virus situation, we might have to run our opening event, Lift-off (11 May), in a different way. We will make an announcement about this once we have finalized the details.
Take care and stay healthy!
The application period for Orbital 2020 is going to start on 11 March (today) at 6pm and end on 18 March (next Wednesday) at 6pm.
The briefing slides @ have been updated to include a few important notes (partially quoted as below) and more FAQs. Please read the slides again before submitting your application.
Important notes:
– The application process is NOT first-come-first-served. All valid applications will be reviewed.
– Each team should only submit one application. Additional applications from the same team will be ignored.
– Each student should apply under only one team. If a student is found to be applying under multiple teams, all applications involving this student will be ignored.
– Please follow the instructions in the application form closely. Applications with incomplete / missing / inaccurate / improperly formatted information will be ignored.
– Please make use of the Google Form @ to submit your application.
All the best!
Since the DORSCON level is still Orange and activities of more than 50 participants are to be avoided, there will be no physical briefing session for Orbital 2020.
Instead, please refer to the slides @ for more details about the programme.
Do take note that the application period is from 11 March, 6pm to 18 March, 6pm, and the link to the application portal will be announced closer to the date.
[Summary: To take part in Orbital 2020, you will need to form a team of 2, create a project proposal, and submit your application in mid March.]
Orbital is an optional, self-driven, hands-on, summer project course for year 1 students.
The mission of the course is to give you the opportunity to get some practical experience on software development while granting you modular credits (along with other perks such as testimonials and prizes).
You will be working on a software project of your choice in teams of 2.
There are no formal lectures but two mandatory events: Lift-off (introductory workshop + idea presentation, 11 May) and Splashdown (project presentation + award ceremony, 26 Aug). You will also need to submit progress report online on a monthly basis. Otherwise, it’s independent learning and software development, under the guidance of our teaching team.
Tentatively, the application for Orbital 2020 will be open on 11 Mar with an information session on the same day. The application will be closed on 18 Mar and the successful applicants will be notified by email by mid Apr. A sample proposal can be found @
[Do note that all the events might be held online instead of physically in view of the recent coronavirus situation.]
Please watch out for our email / Facebook announcements for more updates.
For more information about the programme, please check out the following links:
Have a nice week ahead!
[Summary: Go to to pick your slot if you want to interview for Orbital 2020 staff (advisers / tutors / developers) this month. The venue for the interview is COM2-02-10.]

We are currently recruiting advisers, tutors and developers for the Orbital programme this year.
The job scopes of the three positions are as follows:
– Advisers act as peer assessors and cheerleaders for teams taking Orbital. This means that you are to evaluate the progress of a few Orbital teams every month and guide those teams through the project. You don’t need to be tech-savvy — as long as you are willing to give feedback to the teams and help them along, you will have a good time with them.
Busy period: May to Aug (especially close to the monthly milestone evaluations)
Note: If you are experienced and willing to take care of more teams, you could be employed as a “senior” adviser and paid at the part-time TA rate (which is roughly 3 times higher than the student helper rate).
– Tutors act as the instructor for Liftoff and Mission Control workshops. This means you are in charge of teaching a particular subject to the students for 1~3 hours. If you wanted to level up on public speaking and technical tutorials, this is your opportunity. You don’t have to be an expert to teach — anyone can do it if they’re committed, and you can always answer the tough questions offline.
Busy period: May to Jun (especially during the Liftoff and Mission Control workshops)
– Developers are in charge of developing and maintaining Skylab (i.e., the official portal for Orbital). This will be a good chance for you to get firsthand experience on improving a web application for the benefit of all future Orbital students. Experience in ruby on rails and nginx is preferred but not required. You can always pick up the necessary skills as you work on the system.
Busy period: Late Feb to early Jun (especially before the major events / milestones)
If you wish to be interviewed for any of the positions, please visit the Doodle form ( and sign up for an interview slot. If you are interested but unable to make it for the slots given in the Doodle form, please contact me by email ( to arrange for an interview separately. The venue for the interview is COM2-02-10.
Look forward to hearing from you!