Jnr Astronaut: Breaking through the space barrier
Free goodies

About Jnr Astronaut: Breaking Through the Space Barrier

Co-published with Immediate Media Co.

Everyone dreams about boarding a rocket and blasting off to the stars, but have you ever really thought about the science behind such an intergalactic trip?

Come and join our hero, Junior Astronaut as we learn what it takes to actually Break Through The Space Barrier!

This app has been conceived, scripted and designed solely with the iPad in mind. Jnr Astronaut uses beautiful illustration, deep interactivity and creative story-telling to engage, entertain and educate a younger audience (ages 9-15) about the science and wonders of space travel.

Inspired by the legendary kid's space books of the 1950s and 60s, we take on the tough topics of gravity, mass, weight and forces and apply them to this perennially exciting, blockbusting and science-packed adventure.

Working with Adam Mann, Wired magazine's space and physics correspondent, each stage has been hand-crafted with interactivity at the heart of the discovery process and readers are encouraged to learn through active participation.
For example: we look for differences in the way a car and a rocket creates forward motion.
"In a car, the engine turns a drive shaft which turns the wheels. As the sticky rubber tyres rub against the road, they create a force known as friction, which moves the car forward."
"A rocket, on the other hand, moves through a process we call action and reaction. The hot gasses shooting out of the nozzle are the action and the rocket's movement in the opposite direction is the reaction."
But this just scratches the surface of this science, we go into loads more detail in the app itself...

Meet the cast

Jnr Astronaut

Jnr Astronaut is the hero of our cast.

Born into a traditional beet farming community, he put himself through Space School by selling his father's beetroot juice products on Etsy.

A fearless explorer and ever hungry for adventure, his favourite Albert Einstein quote is "Imagination is more important than knowledge."

Jnr Astro helps us on our journey towards understanding exactly what it takes to launch a rocket into space.

El Gravitino

El Gravitino takes his intergalactic wrestling name from the mysterious "Gravitino", the supersymmetric partner of the graviton "a hypothetical quantum of gravitational energy, regarded as a particle." Hmmm...

His real name is rumoured to be Percy McQuinty - but the last person who saw his birth certificate disappeared in a mysterious boating incident.

Jnr Astronaut takes on El Gravitino in Breaking Through the Space Barrier as we find out all about forces...

Tutankhamun, Newton, Russian Leader
Tutankhamun, Sir Isaac Newton and a Russian Leader.

Whilst it's fair to say that this trio play only a small part in our adventure, their role in the History of the World is far from insignificant.

We propose that their stargazing, revolutionary scientific discoveries and hunger for progress fuelled man's eventual leap into space.

We quite like the way their characters look too!

About Crank

Crank were born out of digital industry veterans brought together to to bring some quality, spark and imagination to the kids app scene.

We watched as a flurry of so-so apps garnered glowing reviews and we thought, "we can do better than that, lets make some apps for kids that they'll really love, that stretch their engagement and learning in the way that the classic kids books from the 50s and 60s did. Lets make it all about science - we love that stuff!"

Chris Madden's Prelims

We work with a network of highly-skilled illustrators, voice artistes and developers.

The team that worked on Jnr Astronaut included Crank founder James Law, Chris Madden who created the characters and provided our brilliant illustration, George Demure the dulcet voice artist with just a hint of "mad-Scottish-scientist" and the ever mysterious Al Mills who went overboard with his development duties.

Thanks all...

Crank & Immediate Media Co.

For our first release, Crank Publishing have been lucky enough to team up with the guys at Immediate Media Co.

Immediate are publishers of brilliant titles such as Doctor Who Adventures, CBeebies and Match of the Day magazines,

and with titles such as Junior, they share our passion for brilliantly designed products for kids.

Free goodies!

Beep Wallpaper DOWNLOAD: 1600x1200 | 1024x768

Here's the first of our Jnr Astronaut freebies - some lovely wallpaper for your desktop!

We'll be posting more soon, so stay tuned!

Astro Wallpaper DOWNLOAD: Retina Screen (iPad 3) | Standard Screen (iPad1, iPad2, iPad Mini)

Here's some wallpaper made especially for your iPad.

Select your version (retina or standard), tap and hold to 'Save Image' and then go to your 'Photos' app, find the picture and follow instructions from there.