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Imagine

Posted by: Troubadour - Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:48 pm
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Post Imagine   Posted on: Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:48 pm
Imagine a multi-billionaire announced to the world that he was founding a non-profit organization whose purpose would be to plan, research, organize, and ultimately implement the colonization of the solar system by humanity. To this body, he gives (nearly) all his wealth in perpetuity. He calls forward all the leading scientific minds, business leaders, all the leading engineers, the popular leaders of the public space community, policymakers, experts on this, that, and the other thing, as well as historians and others of a humanities bent, and brings them together at a great historic conclave.

The event occurs with great fanfare, and is renowned around the world. Over the course of weeks or months, these hundreds or thousands of people will, in their respective committees and working groups, set the foundation for the long-term future of the human species - but at first, the task is simply to come up with a bare-bones working draft of a consensus of how to proceed both internally and with the long-term objectives. Every discussion is lively and broadcast worldwide. Ideas flow like rain, joyously, and even those that fail to make the cut do not leave bitter feelings because they found their utmost expression in a context of high status.

Meanwhile, the general public follows it all some kind of sporting event, charting the rise and fall of ideas as if they were horses in a race. Some favor a mission to Class 3 Mission to Ganymede, some favor a Class 4 Mission to Callisto for a given slot in the plan, and the race is on. Fun is had, but also passion. Great storms of imagination are brought to bear, tempetuous speeches by stentorian speakers. Slowly, ever so slowly, it becomes clear that there is A PLAN. There is A PLAN for HUMANKIND. And an exciting plan it is...

A plan that spreads schools all over the world to train new generations in physics, rocketry, telemetry, electronics, physics, and the many new fields that will be needed in the process of colonizing the solar system. Students in dangerous ghetto neighborhoods will know they won't be dodging bullets forever, because all they have to do is look up at the night sky and know their destiny. Volunteers from all over the world contribute their time and knowledge for free, because it's a worldwide effort, not just some singular company's endeavor. And slowly, ever so slowly, out of this grows a worldwide institution wealthy and powerful whose core purpose is the expansion of the human civilization to other worlds. At that point, IMHO, it is a fait accompli. It could happen today. Seriously.

You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.

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Post Re: Imagine   Posted on: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:21 pm
That is the dream that most of us are working towards. You wouldn't happen to have a spare billionaire laying around that we could borrow do you?
:lol:
Seriously, this ideal circumstance is one that Joe Lee's Open Source Launch Vehicle project is designed to facilitate. Its just coming together, but it promises to change the rules of the game from closed and competitive, to open and collaborative.


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Post Re: Imagine   Posted on: Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:17 pm
The goal of colonizing space is the ultimate goal of SpaceX. I think that they're doing it in a much more efficient way than would be done by setting up committees.

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Post Re: Imagine   Posted on: Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:09 am
SuperShuki wrote:
The goal of colonizing space is the ultimate goal of SpaceX. I think that they're doing it in a much more efficient way than would be done by setting up committees.


In this scenario, there would be dozens of companies operating like SpaceX surrounding the larger plans created and implemented by the organization. It would be what Musk is doing, only much larger and more comprehensive.

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Post Re: Imagine   Posted on: Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:29 am
Troubadour wrote:
SuperShuki wrote:
The goal of colonizing space is the ultimate goal of SpaceX. I think that they're doing it in a much more efficient way than would be done by setting up committees.


In this scenario, there would be dozens of companies operating like SpaceX surrounding the larger plans created and implemented by the organization. It would be what Musk is doing, only much larger and more comprehensive.


Musk is/was a billionaire, and he could *only just* fund SpaceX. You would need much more money than he has/had.


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Post Re: Imagine   Posted on: Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:12 pm
But it became the seed money that has drawn investors and revenue/gov. grants.


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Post Re: Imagine   Posted on: Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:41 pm
Have you been reading Blue Mars? I agree with SuperShuki, I don't think such a thing would go anywhere. Who can think that far ahead? Will all those committees do more than sit around and talk?

At the same time, I think it is actually happening, it's just not that visible. Space companies communicate, with the public, with each other, launches are televised, magazine articles and books and scientific publications about missions are written and read, and then there's discussion forums such as this one. We are all continuously discussing the merits of this and that, and the people who care can tune in and listen and often even take part if they want to. It's not a big organised event, but does it need to be?

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Post Re: Imagine   Posted on: Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:52 pm
Lourens wrote:
Who can think that far ahead? Will all those committees do more than sit around and talk?


There in lies the trick. Your committees need to do more than eat doughnuts and push paper around.

Maybe "committees" is the wrong term or connotation. How about "functional groups" or "task forces" etc. etc?


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Post Re: Imagine   Posted on: Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:03 pm
How about "International Space Exploration Coordination Group"?

Oh wait a second, they already exist!
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/about/isecg/

And they happen to have just released a new roadmap:
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/591067main_GER_ ... single.pdf (10MB Version)
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/591066main_GER_ ... elease.pdf (47MB Version)

:)

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Post Re: Imagine   Posted on: Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:21 am
They are very good at power point.


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Post Re: Imagine   Posted on: Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:34 am
JamesG wrote:
They are very good at power point.


I have to disagree, I think those are some of the most crowded/busy and therefore confusing timelines I've seen in a long time.

My biggest concern however is the feel you get from how this is all laid out:
Look, on a more pessimistic timescale, without increased funding, we could, maybe be doing this and that by 20xx.

Yawn.


(warning: random, unfinished thought below)

I think we need a new approach. Politicians do not care about space exploration, because they think (actually know) that the public doesn't care.
So WE (the people who do care even if we do not have an aerospace background, the fans, the enthusiasts) need to educate and inspire as many people as possible about space exploration and why they should care about it!

Do you think that this could help to accelerate government (and/or commercial) projects?

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Post Re: Imagine   Posted on: Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:50 pm
Marcus Zottl wrote:

I have to disagree...



Sarcasm.


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Post Re: Imagine   Posted on: Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:33 pm
lol sorry, completely missed it. :lol:

I really thought you want to point out that powerpoint is the only thing they are good at ;)

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Post Re: Imagine   Posted on: Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:59 pm
Not really isn't a compliment to people who are supposed to be building and flying hardware.


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Post Re: Imagine   Posted on: Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:48 am
The thing that will drive space exploration is when people start to make money at it, like SpaceX. Then you will see an explosion of research and development, and lots of different companies exploring space. As the cost to get to space comes down, it becomes more and more likely. Planning isn't the problem. The problem is reality: space is very, very, expensive.

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