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Hard Data on Robotic Space Exploration, Private Spaceflight

Posted by: Troubadour - Tue May 08, 2012 9:44 am
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Hard Data on Robotic Space Exploration, Private Spaceflight 
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Post Re: Hard Data on Robotic Space Exploration, Private Spaceflight   Posted on: Mon May 21, 2012 8:23 pm
SuperShuki wrote:
Extremely competent people, with lots of money behind them, are working on the problem of lowering the cost of access to space - with SpaceX leading the pack. There is no need for a bunch of people to discuss and discuss and discuss some more how to do it - people are already there.


I think you miss the point. We wouldn't be merely discussing.
If we get enough people we could back risky research that finds it hard to get funding, or got funding but then it got cut drastically.

We could also create the market and demand for imrpovement in the technologies the industry is trying to create. We could switch things around, by getting everybody together and tell them that we do want their services. If the demand was ahead of the supply, more investors would dare to put their money in that direction because there would be less uncertainty.

And last but not least, if we don't get to cheap access to space as fast as possible, none of us here in this forum will ever have a chance of an orbital flight. I mean certainly there are companies working on it. But are they going to reach that goal in our lifetime?

Or will it get stuck along the way for some reason?

How fast are they reaching that goal?

But even if they did reach it, we could just switch our focus to the next step towards space colonisation.

The main point is that instead of just discussing ***, we would be actually building something. It would be a society that actually is willing to pay for our access to space. And not just people who have millions to poor into this project, even people who only have a dollar here and there, but are still interested and what it to happen.

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Last edited by box on Mon May 21, 2012 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: Hard Data on Robotic Space Exploration, Private Spaceflight   Posted on: Mon May 21, 2012 9:35 pm
It all depends on how many people we could get together for this. I really don't know if its possible, but if nobody tries we will never know.

If we got to a thousand people, we could probably fund and run lunarxprize , or nprize project if we put in 1 dollar/day/head. Just to prove the concept that its possible to crowd-do stuff.

If we never manage to get enough people and funds, we can only do what we do now. Talk and live our usual life.

I believe that there is a large untapped resource which is our surplus personal resources we all have but we do not much or completely useless stuff. If we decide that there is enough effort put into lowering the cost of accesing space, we can easily change our focus.

At the moment my personal crusade is to convince space flight enthusiasts that we could be doing way more than just reading news and dream about the future. All we need is a system with which we can effectively pool surplus personal time, pocket change, expertise, enthusiasm etc. Just pool our resources and do something with it.

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Last edited by box on Mon May 21, 2012 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: Hard Data on Robotic Space Exploration, Private Spaceflight   Posted on: Mon May 21, 2012 9:38 pm
I suck at making proper paragraphs, sorry guys I'm doing this from my phone on the way to work. :)

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Post Re: Hard Data on Robotic Space Exploration, Private Spaceflight   Posted on: Mon May 21, 2012 9:59 pm
Picture the globe in your head, attach the number of people interested in this industry to specific locations. Imagine if we had the technology to enable them to pool their reosources and concentrated their efforts.

Of course we already have international cooperation on the government and corporate level. But there seems to be none on the level of average joe who cant wait for the governments and corporations to do what we want them to do. We are fragmented into small communities, our resources dispersed or not used at all.

If we concentrated our numbers resources and effort we could become a serious player in the field.

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Post Re: Opportunities to participate in crowd-funding space projects   Posted on: Mon May 21, 2012 10:48 pm
Two projects soliciting donations that spring to mind are

JP Aerospace and
Copenhagen Suborbitals.

They are credible, producing ample evidence of activity and progress.

Everyone, please suggest any additions to this list and we can crowdsource a comprehensive list of opportunities to financially support existing, active space projects.

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Post Re: Hard Data on Robotic Space Exploration, Private Spaceflight   Posted on: Wed May 23, 2012 7:15 am
That's a good start.

I will look around and see if I can find others. I wonder if the lunarxprize or nprize teams take donations.

What sort of legal and financial issues would we have to deal with if we wanted to set up a global network for donations?

Would it be enough to just use paypal or something and just send money that way?

So we could just get the projects into one spot with donate buttons, or just link to their donate page, but how could we keep track how much money we have sent and to which project.

I looked around and am using the EDIT button to reduce the number of posts i am making:
I have found in this forum. Two websites already trying to draw in people and get them involved in "space".

http://www.planetary.org/
http://www.marsdrive.com/

In my mind i have this vague image of a "hub" of some sort that would coordinate the interaction of millions of people, not just spaceflight enthusiasts, but also the companies or organisations that we are eagerly following the work of.

So i think it would be vital for the success of this "hub" to collect information, and also make sure the information gets to the people so they can make better decisions about where to send their money.

Of course we all could just take the easy way out and just send the money to some fund and let them handle it, but i think it would be more fun to be more actively involved in the decision making process.

Especially if it is money you are giving on a regular basis.

I am also thinking of other fun ways to keep the people coming back to the hub and spending their money on research. Online games might be a good way to attract people and keep their attention.

My question is: has anybody done this? Or is anybody working on this?

Also anybody knows of any source out there about the global size and distribution of "space enthusiasts"?

I am changing my focus towards trying to understand the "crowd" because it would be extremely useful for any "crowd"-funding project within this industry.

Unless it all has been done. Which is why i am asking about a source for this kind of information.

So do we have any information like:
number of people interested in this industry
number of people working in this industry
their distribution on the planet
their demographic backrgound
etc...

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Post Re: Hard Data on Robotic Space Exploration, Private Spaceflight   Posted on: Sat May 26, 2012 2:58 pm
*box gets on a soap box*

Since last post i encountered a whole heap of new stuff thanks to people here or in irc chatrooms.

It seems as a whole we lack information gathering and distribution on large scales.

I asked about the demographics and distribution of space enthusiasts because if we wanted to do a global crowdprogram, we need to collect information about the crowd, and then feed it back into the crowd.

So i realised that the project i am working on is actually even more "basic" than lowering the price of accessing space. It is about trying to collect and distribute vital information so that the millions of people who are contributing to this industry can coordinate their efforts and also distribute resources more efficiently.

It could be it is just my curiosity, but i would love to see global statistics about how many people are interested in the space industry, what is their background, how do they contribute, etc...

Is there anything like this out there?

The way i imagine the "program" to work is:
We have profiles where we collect relevant information from all participants.
We have interfaces where we present the information to the participiants.
We have interfaces where participants can take actions using the information they have been given. Like deciding where, in what way, and how much they can contribute, and then just doing it.

So in case of a project like copenhagen suborbitals it is very useful that they show on their website how many people, and who contributed, and also how much more they need for their yearly budget. But there is also more information that would be probably crucial like rate and amount of contribution, trends over time, are the contributions going up or down? etc.

They also engage their followers through educational videos and updates on their progress.

And then they have the donate button which allows for anybody to help out with whatever amount of money they can.

This seems to be pretty much a standard approach by small or larger projects already.

Imagine the same but for the whole global effort of everybody interested in this field? Actually imagine something orders of magnitude more interactive, educational, and efficient. Then you will get why i couldn't stop thinking about this for 2 months now. I tend to lose interest in things very quickly, i get distracted by all sorts of different things that interest me.

I have been broken for 2 months now. :)

And the reason why i want to do it as a community effort out of interest and purely focused on the end product is because i don't want "greed" to screw this up.

It all has to come from the realisation that we have a common goal, and it has to be driven by our desire to reach that goal.

And that goal is neither money or power. It is our ability to survive and prosper on long timescales our puny little minds find it extremely hard to fathom.

*/box gets off the soap box and folds himself in a corner for the night*

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Post Re: Hard Data on Robotic Space Exploration, Private Spaceflight   Posted on: Sun May 27, 2012 6:26 am
honestly i do not think your plan will work. you said you want to colonize space which is great, but thats a big statement. and there are lots of things that go under that. also the more people you get the more opinions you get with projects. copenhagen suborbitals are doing great because they have a measurable goal. they want to send a man to a suborbital trip and have him come down. while that goal is hard, it is simple to describe and it is measurable.

i was actually also thinking about this same thing. with kickstarter, hackerspaces, copenhagen suborbitals and nanosats and the internet and lots of other things, a space culture is growing. if i had some money i would go to the states that had nasa centers and get a place where space people can just come and work on projects kind of like a hackerspace but only for space. they can work on nanosats and work on rockets or airships. nasa states most likely has more pro-space people who are enthusiastic about space. just leverage everything you can first from other things.

also check out these guys, http://mach30.org/

well either ways thats all i have to say, i really think your idea will not work. but i hope i am wrong lol.


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Post Re: Hard Data on Robotic Space Exploration, Private Spaceflight   Posted on: Sun May 27, 2012 12:21 pm
At the moment the only thing I really hope for is a continuous source of input from people like you. People who despite believing that this project will not work, still bother to put their two cents down and share their insight.

The link you posted is going on the list of things I need to look at in greater detail. I had a quick glance and it seems it is another internet community project focused on "space". I would love to join, but there is so many of them, I don't think it will be productive if i join them all. I have another cunning plan. :)

The more I see the more I am convinced about the direction we need to be heading. We need to try and pull all these fragmented efforts under one umbrella somehow.

So I thought we should have a go at creating a global social network for groups and individuals who are interested in the subject. The point is to start collecting relevant metrics from all these projects and individuals who are involved in these projects, and put it all out on display for everyone to see and make good use of. So it would be a massive live database of relevant information about ourselves, our organisations, our activities etc.

What I am hoping to achieve is more transparency about not only how much surplus resources we have globally that we could share around, but also where we spend it at the moment. If we had that, we could also try and focus these resources towards key projects that we believe are essential for whatever goal we set out for ourselves as a community.

If it is cheap access to space, we can try and focus our attention towards that direction. If we think there is plenty of resources already allocated to that problem and it is being solved at an accepable rate, we can focus more of our resources on other projects like large scale LEO habitats, getting to Mars, or how to set up a colony on Sedna.

So what do you think about this approach?

It would be a global mission control centre to monitor and feedback information to all these subsystems like space fellowship, or mach30, or any individual who wishes to get involved. The goal is to improve our knowledge of ourselves, the way we connect, the way we share resources, the projects we are running, how successful we are etc. Once we have this, we might have a slight chance to pull off a crowd based space program funded and ran by enthusiastic individuals and groups across the globe.

But even if we don't make it far, I think it still would be interesting to know more about the space enthusiasts of this planet. All of us. How many of us are out there? Who are we? In what way are we involved? How could we get more involved? How could we get more efficient at our activities?

I really think we could be doing a lot more than what we do now. All we need is a little bit more effort put into self organisation. At the moment we are on the level of single celled organisms floating around in a puddle. We need to clump together and make a multicellular organism where the cells can efficiently communicate, and share resources to achieve a common goal.

Now if you still don't think it will work, can you please at least share more links you have stumbled upon that are as cool as mach30 :D.

Same for anybody else who comes around. I need more websites or projects to put on my list to check out and have a look at. I am in the "collecting information about the problem" phase. I am trying to see the current state of our volunteer efforts and community as clearly as possible.

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Post Re: Hard Data on Robotic Space Exploration, Private Spaceflight   Posted on: Sun May 27, 2012 11:41 pm
A global source of information for the optimal distribution of resources? It's called capitalism!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLr2if-BdA4

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Post Re: Hard Data on Robotic Space Exploration, Private Spaceflight   Posted on: Mon May 28, 2012 12:48 pm
SuperShuki wrote:
A global source of information for the optimal distribution of resources? It's called capitalism!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLr2if-BdA4


It is hard to tell if you are being sarcastic or serious. :D

So are you satisfied with the current level of organisation of volunteer/donation based R&D programs focused on space related activities?

Also you are not curious at all about the system we have in place?

I mean how humans actually interact in this field?
How we decide where the money should go?

You don't think it would be handy to know how much "volunteer" potential there is out ther?
How is it spent at the moment? Are we being effective or are we just wasting our money and time?

Could we actually do it better? How?

I have all these questions in my head, and I can't find the answers anywhere. I guess my googling skills suck.

I wan't to answer those questions because I think they are extremely relevant for our future.

If humans as individuals aren't willing to pay for risky research and development, that means governments and companies will be reluctant as well. And that means less research will be done. That means we won't be smart enough to solve our current and future global problems, and that means we are heading towards a hell of a lot of unpleasant surprises.

Saying that capitalism is the optimal way to allocate resources, is like saying we have figured out everything there is to figure out about physics.

How can anybody say such a thing? It assumes we have figured out how humans work, make decisions, interact. We certainly haven't, so how could we have an optimal system of humans allocating resources, when nobody actually knows how we operate.

At the moment it is nature taking care of optimising our interactions. Nature can optimise but what it optimises for might not be what is actually beneficial for us.

Our bodies are optimised for passing on our genes. Our bodies are also riddled with flaws because we are not optimised for not having flaws. The two goals go hand in hand to some extent, but there is a cut off point where nature says "The system is optimal enough for the purposes I had in mind." /ignore the anthropomorphism please/

So we have self consciousness and extremely good problem solving skills. We have become a life form with significant potential to alter the biosphere in a very short amount of time.

Yet we are also still mortal. Our bodies brake down quite fast. Nature doesn't care about that, so it never optimised our biological systems for immortality.

The same is the case with our economical systems. Nature is optimising it for something. I am not even sure what. We humans want something else out of it. I am not sure what. What i am pretty sure about is that the two don't match.

And i am absolutely certain that we haven't actually done enough conscious optimisiation. We have been switching between economical systems thinking the new one will be better, but I doubt we have done enough science and engineering in this field.

If we had, we obviously failed miserably because I doubt having GFCs are the sign of an optimal economical system.

Though i am not an economist so I could be completely and utterly wrong. Maybe it is healthy to have such volatile economies. I have no clue.

Oh well. :) I should be just like nature and not care.

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Post Re: Hard Data on Robotic Space Exploration, Private Spaceflight   Posted on: Mon May 28, 2012 8:11 pm
Quote:
How we decide where the money should go?


There is no "we". There is only individuals. If start telling someone else how to act, they become your slave. There is no way of avoiding that - even if you have every piece of information available in the world. Life is not deterministic.

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Post Re: Hard Data on Robotic Space Exploration, Private Spaceflight   Posted on: Mon May 28, 2012 8:46 pm
SuperShuki wrote:
Quote:
How we decide where the money should go?


There is no "we". There is only individuals. If start telling someone else how to act, they become your slave. There is no way of avoiding that - even if you have every piece of information available in the world. Life is not deterministic.


But out of individual decisions group decisions and behavior emerge.

My question was how do we make sure that as a group we make the best choices possible? How do we make sure that the behavior that emerges from our interactions is something we actually desire?

I don't want to tell anyone how to act, but I do want to have a better system that coordinates our individual actions, because without it interplanetary civilisation won't be possible. I hope that once we have a better system people will chose it because it works better, not because somebody told them it works better, but because it is obvious for all that it works better.

I know life is not deterministic. It is chaotic. Life is an insanely complex system with behavior that emerges from the interaction of insane amount of variables. But pick any large or small natural system, there are common principles at play. One is emergent behavior. Now at the moment our ways of interaction is more emergent than actually designed for our purposes.

It's like figuring out how to control the flow of high temperature gases. The more dynamic the system you have, the better control you have over the chaotic movement of particles, this means the better thrust and maneuverability you get out of the system. The system is as chaotic as any other natural system, but the end result is very deterministic flight in the direction the pilot choses.

So you start with a chaotic process, you apply engineering and science, and you get controlled flight, or rockets going into orbit.

The ability to fly did emerge from natural systems as well, but none of those flying systems can actually reach the speeds or lifting capability we have with applying our brain to the problem.

How do we do the same but for our selves? Why haven't we done it yet?

It feels like you are perfectly content with emergent systems, and you don't think designed ones can perform better. And it seems you definitely don't want to apply design principles to how we conduct ourselves. Not just as individuals but also as groups.

It is quite weird and interesting to see that position in a forum like this. :)

How do we make sure that as a group we make the best choices possible?
Your answer seems to be: We don't. or We can't. Or both.

If that is true, could you elaborate why?

I am curious about your reasoning.

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Post Re: Hard Data on Robotic Space Exploration, Private Spaceflight   Posted on: Mon May 28, 2012 11:47 pm
Quote:
How do we make sure that as a group we make the best choices possible?
Your answer seems to be: We don't. or We can't. Or both.

If that is true, could you elaborate why?


****Preaching warning****

First of all, "best", in this definition, does not exist. What is "best" for you is not what is "best" for me. You may enjoy drinking orange juice; I may wish all my life to drink apple juice. This is not just a matter of taste; this is a matter that concerns every decision we make.

But what I am saying is deeper (oooh - this is deeeeep :lol: ). Life is the process of creation, by separation. It is the process of reversing entropy. Humans have the unique ability to do this (as opposed to animals) using their mind. If you take away someone's choice, they no longer have the ability to make separations, and therefore create; in this sense, slavery is death, and freedom is life. If you take away someone's freedom, you are, in this sense, killing them.

By maximizing freedom, you are maximizing a human being's ability to create. You cannot focus energy by destroying it, and you cannot focus human creation by destroying the source of human creation - freedom. You can only remove external impediments to that freedom.

Of course, the truly free person is not controlled by his or her desires, but rather controls their desires, channeling them to achieve needed goals. But since everyone has different desires, there is no objective way for you or me to know, by ourselves, what the other person should do. While it may be alright for you to become a taster of orange juice, it would be wrong for me to pretend that I like orange juice, and force myself to become a taster of orange juice; I like apple juice (as I mentioned above). At the same time, it would be wrong for me to drink apple juice all the time, because I would become addicted, and therefore lose my freedom - you, not liking apple juice at all, would have no problem drinking apple juice all the time, since you are disgusted by it, and there is no chance of you getting addicted to apple juice. Denial of desire is just as antithetical to freedom as hedonism.

There is no way of me knowing, by myself, whether you should, or should not, drink orange juice or apple juice. We can, however, hold each other responsible for the results of each other's actions. If someone becomes drunk (on orange or apple juice, of course), and kills someone in a drunken stupor (not that I would ever do such a thing; I'm a very nice person, and always make sure to only wound my victims, even when in a drunken stupor :lol:) they cannot excuse themselves by blaming the fact that they like to drink - it was their decision to drink, and they should have taken the loss of freedom into account, before they started drinking. I have the duty to make sure that person is punished, in order to guarantee both our freedom, which only exists in the presence of justice.

Freedom is not liberty - it is choice, with responsibility.

I, of course, did not make this up myself; but I have been denied the ability to say on this board where I got this information, so I will just say that I didn't make it up.

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Post Re: Hard Data on Robotic Space Exploration, Private Spaceflight   Posted on: Tue May 29, 2012 8:45 am
That helped a lot thank you.

Would you agree then that by providing information to reduce the guesswork during decision making we are increasing freedom?

I mean information gathering and sharing would enable us to see better where we are and where we are heading. I believe this doesn't impede our personal freedom, if anything it allows us to see more available options than what are obvious.

The system I have in mind would not only let but encourage people to take charge and make their own decisions, but would also provide ample amount of information to help them see what is going on. It would also provide as many options for action as the people involved give themselves.

Imagine running through a forest blind folded. Now imagine putting holes in the blind fold or taking it off.

I think at the moment we are pretty much running blind folded, we don't have much information at our disposal about ourselves and what we are doing.

How many websites are out there that deal with different space related activities?
How many communities?
What are their goals?
What is their global distribution?
How many members in each?
How many active contributors?
How much contributions?
How well are the contributions spent?
etc...

Key information like that I think would be extremely helpful for all of us. We could see if the internet is completely flooded with space communities and thus our numbers are too disperesed amongst them to make much difference.
We could start initiatives to pool resources better. We could merge communities to larger ones so they become more effective.

All would be done by the people, and all would be based on their response to the information they are presented. They can chose to ignore it, they can chose to act on it.

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