SSETI seems to be a step in the right direction.
A project to create a self-sustaining space colony would be the perfect focus to kick off the open design movement, to get enough people involved and get the necessary high quality tools created.
It's great to see Anansi Spaceworks operating in this area...
x prize etc.
- :-) I was the one who did the giant linkdump to osaerospace re: rockets, colonization, open source GLXP teams, etc. Good times. -- Kanzure 00:36, 14 December 2008 (CET)
- Icarus Interstellar - working on concepts for interstellar travel. Sorta open-source-ish.
How this might play out
1. Make launches much cheaper
- Space gun
- 3D printed, open-source rockets that can be built with little labour and reused as easily as cars to amortize initial costs
- Mass-produced rockets that can be built with little labour and reused as easily as cars to amortize initial costs
- A combination of these
2. Step 1 having opened up space to thousands of new groups, there will be a period where tens of thousands of spacecraft of all kinds, manned and unmanned, are launched and we learn a lot about how to do it. It will become safer and more reliable.
3. Commercial exploitation. Space solar (if we find a way to transmit power back to earth) and moon mining are likely early applications
4. The pioneers. The first permanent habitats in space, like Gerard O'Neill's 'Island One'. Probably built with metals from the Moon.
5. The colonists. Space habitats self-replicate and the population of space-people grows. Possible terraforming here. Asteroid mining and other difficult commercial exploitations
(This is a possible course of events leading to colonizing the solar system. Beyond that lies colonizing the rest of the universe, but it seems futile to try to imagine that from our limited knowledge.)--Balatro 06:21, 19 June 2013 (CEST)
- To earth-dwelling people
- Solar power
- Microgravity manufacturing
- To space-dwelling people
Milestones (the first 6 are prerequisites)
1. Continuous occupancy in LEO. The ISS is part of this
2. More launches, cheaper launches. Similar to Jeff Greason's ideas; nothing exotic like space guns, just more reliable launchers. This leads to both technological improvements and cheaper-in-bulk.
3. Infrastructure between here and the moon. Refuelling stations at the L points. There have to be projects on the moon to incentivize these.
4. Legal protexion. Own actual property in space just like you do on earth. Probably without allowing national territorial claims.
5. Incentives in the form of extraterrestrial property.
6. Life-support technologies. Allowing space-based projects to produce their own amenities. Closed ecosystems. Manufacturing from things like regolith.
7. Space tech on Earth
8. Space-based solar
9. Asteroid shield. Cheaper launches will help this to be developed
Reusable launchers need to be developed first.
Major dangers are radiation and low gravity. Bases will probably be underground.
10. Robots to confirm resources. Find the best site, probably requiring trade-offs, e.g. the best mining-spot might not be the best place to live
11. Scientific base. Test tech for here and Mars
12. Bigger, ever-expanding base for research and mining
13. That settlement becomes permanent. Build the mass-driver
14. Robots to scout. Look for living of extinct life. Test machines against dust etc. Test some machines for making useful things on Mars, like bottle-greenhouses, printing buildings etc.
15. Cycler. It's a 6-month journey
16. Base. Design self-sufficiency into the program from the start to avoid a repeat of the Apollo.
17. Settlement. Most likely underground.
18. Mine them
19. Build them
20. Build craft