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Updating the Integrated Space Plan

Soulskill posted about 8 months ago | from the i-vote-for-warp-drive dept.

Space 65

garyebickford writes 'Space Finance Group (in which I'm a partner) has launched a Kickstarter to fund updating the "famous Integrated Space Plan", created by Ron Jones at Rockwell International in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and can be found on walls in the industry even today. The new Plan will be a poster, but also will provide the initial core data for a new website. The permanent link will be thespaceplan.com. As additional resources become available the website will be able to contain much more information, with (eventually) advanced data management (possibly including sources like Linked Data) and visualization tools to become a resource for education, research, entertainment, and business analytics. The group also hopes to support curated crowdsourcing of some data, and is talking to Space Development companies about providing data about themselves. They hope to be able to construct new timelines and show the relations between events and entities — companies, agencies, people, etc.'

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So, the famous plan (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47187515)

Never heard of it. Next time you pitch your project, perhaps explain what it is.

Re:So, the famous plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47187603)

Also, lose the mismatched music and work on the audio sync. If a take can only be saved by a cut in the middle, retake it. Lastly, a 100-year plan that is in need of a complete overhaul after 30 years doesn't sound like something I would want to fund. Basically you're asking us to pay for your marketing material. Well, I can see that you need better marketing...

Re:So, the famous plan (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 8 months ago | (#47187997)

I've been told that the B-52 planes flying today have almost no original parts in them - everything has been changed out, improved, updated. The fleet is right now undergoing a complete remake of tthe flight controls, with a new glass cockpit. Those are physical planes, not just plans. And tecchnology has come a long way - the new SuperDraco motors on SpaceX Dragon are 3D printed, saving something like 70% of the cost.

But you are right to an extent. In the original Plan, the Space Shuttle was in there, taking parts up to what became the ISS. The original Atlas rockets, upgraded and modified in many ways, are still in use - but they use Russian engines. Today's space community, or industry, or whatever, now includes China, India, Japan, and over 30 other countries. Ecuador and Costa Rica have space programs, small but active. So the new Plan will use elements of the old Plan, but will also have new threads and new technologies, and must have a different focus on space as a global endeavor.

One minor hope is that by showing the increasing interrelationships across national boundaries, and by showing new supply chains, a new Plan may help international cooperation. That's a tall order, but it's not without possibilities.

Re:So, the famous plan (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47187605)

Man caused Global Warming is a "Jew" scam that attempted a run during FDR. "Global warming" was changed to "climate change" when the liars were proven wrong by the RSS satellite that AGW was wasn't happening. It blew the jew scam on the radar. Busted.

Re: So, the famous plan (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 8 months ago | (#47187715)

Sorry, I've been so involved. For those who aren't familiar the Maker Magazine article [makezine.com] is a good start. Of course the original link above has some info. And Google is your friend. :)

Re: So, the famous plan (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47187799)

Dude, you want my money. Don't tell me to Google what your project is about.

Re: So, the famous plan (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 8 months ago | (#47187893)

There's a link to Maker Magazine there. And the original link [thespaceplan.com] . And somewhere here is a link to the BBC program ... ahh, here 'tis [bbc.co.uk] . This program inspired us to offer a "huge" version for schools.

Job 1, fix the video's music on kickstarter. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47187531)

Visions of being in space trapped with that music for decades.

Re: Job 1, fix the video's music on kickstarter. (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 8 months ago | (#47187727)

I don't recall it, sorry. But the folks who did the TV commercial are just one of many who have given their time, effort and money to help make this happen, for which we are grateful!

Nope (2)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 8 months ago | (#47187549)

There are much more useful things to donate money to. If these folks believe this this is something people would buy and pin up on the wall ay home or their office, they can invest their own money and sell 'em to the ThinkGeek folks...

Re: Nope (2, Informative)

garyebickford (222422) | about 8 months ago | (#47187701)

Back in the day there were several thousand printed and distributed, and that was just within the industry. Rockwell International used it as a pr tool, and a copy once hung behind the desk of the NASA administrator. We've been told by some in the space development community that seeing the original is what got them into it. BBC did a documentary on it in 2007. So it continues to be a big deal in the community.

The original was not just "blue sky" fantasies but a compilation of what the engineers of the time considered a reasonable stepwise progression from what they were building - the Shuttle, and the rest of the space technology that has been flying for a while - to what analysis showed would probably be necessary, and possible. If there had been a Congressional hearing on how to go forth, this Plan would have been one of the source materials. Of course the later time frames were increasingly speculative, of necessity. But it was not just a dreamer's fantasy.

But our goal is even less fantastic. A poster is just a snapshot in time and is limited in how much information can be included. But a website does not have those limitations. It will start slowly, but over time we intend the website to be a useful analytics tool where you can see how things are connected as well as information about the companies and agencies. For instance, who owns SeaLaunch? What is their financial status? Their launch schedule? Their success rate? We want to be the resource for all of that.

If the Kickstarter only just barely succeeds the website project will go slowly. (We are encouraging folks who want to help with any of this, from data collection & curation to building the back end, to pledge at the $1 level at least, to get on our contact list.) but if it's wildly successful we'll be able to build the team to make it rock.

Re: Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47188037)

Can't you just use what you have until present day and ask Elon Musk to please fill it in with the future? That would probably be the easiest and most accurate thing to go with.

Please pray for Tracy Morgan (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47187551)

He was critically injured in a traffic accident in New Jersey and remains in intensive care. He is one of the funniest people ever. He was not riding in a self driving vehicle and human error is the cause. This is the kind of thing we hope to eliminate with self driving cars and automated traffic control.

Good use for the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47187559)

is for Haloperidol and all the other psychiatric care you space loons need.

Re: Good use for the money (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 8 months ago | (#47187745)

So I'm guessing you didn't write that on your sat phone! :D
Did you watch the weather today on your cable? Or perhaps you were lost in the woods - should have used your GPS!

Re: Good use for the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47187913)

And what does this have to do with "mankind's future in space?" Besides a few cameras and clocks in orbit, what else can you do with space?

Re: Good use for the money (1)

khallow (566160) | about 8 months ago | (#47187941)

Besides a few cameras and clocks in orbit, what else can you do with space?

"What have the Romans ever done for us?"

Re: Good use for the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47188015)

I never know what these supposedly clever replies from Space Nutters are supposed to mean.

Re: Good use for the money (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 8 months ago | (#47188603)

Not a big Monty Python fan I guess.

Re: Good use for the money (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | about 8 months ago | (#47188611)

Besides a few cameras and clocks in orbit, what else can you do with space?

"What have the Romans ever done for us?"

I never know what these supposedly clever replies from Space Nutters are supposed to mean.

It's a Monty Python reference (Life of Brian, to be specific). Reg gives a revolutionary speech asking, "What have the Romans ever done for us?" at which point the listeners outline a long list of benefits brought by the Romans.

Turn in your nerd badge as you leave, please; it's obvious you're in the wrong place.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

Re:Good use for the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47189201)

is for Haloperidol and all the other psychiatric care you space loons need.

Actually, you're the assburgers obsessive freak, trolling every single space-related article on Slashdot, over and over and over and... You're the apk of space threads.

Send money to support our TV commercial! (2, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | about 8 months ago | (#47187575)

This is somebody asking for money for a TV commercial for an "integrated space plan"?

We're almost done with space. Seen the moon; it's boring. Seen Mars, it's boring. Seen Phobos and Deimos; they're just rocks. No off-earth life; might find bacteria someday. Venus and inward are too hot; outward of Mars is too cold. Satellites work fine, both at GEO and LEO. Sending people to LEO is expensive fun; might catch on if gets cheaper.

Mission accomplished!

Re:Send money to support our TV commercial! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47187625)

Oh my God. I hope there's enough DNA to identify the bloody marks the Space Nutters will leave behind when they find your house!

You don't mess with geeks' religion!

Re:Send money to support our TV commercial! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47187663)

Yup. Peak Oil and no long term energy plan has permanently shelved all future space programs. At best, we may get to see the JWST (James Webb Space Telescope) take off and a few more robotic missions before it call collapses. C+C (Crude and Condense) Peak in T-minus 2 years.

So Long and thanks for all the fish!

Re:Send money to support our TV commercial! (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 8 months ago | (#47188027)

I forget the name, but an economist came out a year or two with an analysis of the potential of space development. The result was that, if things like asteroid and lunar mining and space solar power are successfully developed, within 100 years the mean standard of living of every person on earth could be increased by a factor of 10. I'd be OK with 1.5 or 2. I'm somewhat skeptical of space solar power myself, mostly due to the political difficulties, but technically SSP could eliminate all ground-based power plants, nuclear, coal, or oil, and provide enough power for the entire automotive and transportation fleet to be electric. (I don't see how that would work for ocean shipping, but hey.)

It's not an ideal comparison, but the "discovery" of America turned Europe from a relative backwater to the colonial powerhouse of the later centuries. Without American resources, Europe would never have become what it is today - the global language, if any, might be Swahili, or Mandarin, or Hindi, or maybe Russian.

Re:Send money to support our TV commercial! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47188889)

"but technically SSP could eliminate all ground-based power plants, nuclear, coal, or oil"
Not its not "technically" feasible.

Re:Send money to support our TV commercial! (1)

currently_awake (1248758) | about 8 months ago | (#47190511)

Economics was apparently not his strong suite then. Mining the asteroid belt is more expensive than mining our land-fill sites. It's far cheaper to build solar power on earth, even including the batteries and extra panels. And the massive pollution from all those space launches would push global warming into the "everyone lives in LA?" zone.

Re:Send money to support our TV commercial! (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 8 months ago | (#47190845)

Sorry, wrong on all counts. :) I will say that one of the reasons I'm skeptical about space solar power is that (IMHO) to make it feasible will require using materials mined from space rather than shipping everything up from Earth - that makes it much more speculative. Others disagree on that. OTOH, solar panels seem to last a lot longer in space, and the sun is always shining. On the third hand, I see a lot of political difficulties.

Mining asteroids for aluminum or iron for use on Earth is not likely to make economic sense for a long time - it's true that shipping from orbit down to Earth is much cheaper than shipping up, but it's still not a win. But other materials do make sense. If you review the plans of Planetary Resources, you'll find that for several rare materials - platinum being the most famous - mining asteroids _potentially_ makes good sense - it's still highly speculative. But the folks who are pursuing this are used to high risk high reward ventures. Platinum mining today is a filthy, dangerous, extremely expensive, environmentally and socially disastrous enterprise. It's almost certainly cheaper to get platinum from an asteroid than from the present mines, even with the terrific cost of the initial infrastructure.

Here's a useful quote, from Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] :

In fact, all the gold, cobalt, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, osmium, palladium, platinum, rhenium, rhodium, ruthenium, and tungsten mined from Earth's crust, and that are essential for economic and technological progress, came originally from the rain of asteroids that hit Earth after the crust cooled.[8][9][10] This is because although asteroids and Earth accreted from the same starting materials, Earth's relatively stronger gravity pulled all heavy siderophilic (iron-loving) elements into its core during its molten youth more than four billion years ago.[10] This left the crust depleted of such valuable elements[10] until asteroid impacts re-infused the depleted crust with metals (some flow from core to surface does occur, e.g. at the Bushveld Igneous Complex, a famously rich source of platinum-group metals).

"Famously rich" above means, in the "Merensky Reef" zone of the Complex, approximately 10 parts per million of Platinum group metals - that's the whole group, not just Platinum - can be found. This means that a gram of Platinum must be extracted from more than 100 Kg of ore. This is by far the richest part of the richest mine on the planet. Other active mines are processing ores with much lower concentrations.

The top line on all this is that commercial space development is already reducing the cost of space launches. SpaceX is launching for 1/4 of the price of prior vendors, and forcing the prices of every competitor down. Their reusable vehicle technology has the potential of significant further reductions. We still need additional cost reductions, ideally an order of magnitude. There are methods with that potential but it's hard to say which one(s) will get there.

Re: Send money to support our TV commercial! (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 8 months ago | (#47187753)

No, we did the commercial, you can see it on the Kickstarter page.

Re:Send money to support our TV commercial! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47187871)

I'm glad, in a way, that we got bored of space.

Time to mine it for all it is worth! Nobody to care about the prettiness of it, or the morality issues of mining planets! Huzzah!

Re:Send money to support our TV commercial! (1)

khallow (566160) | about 8 months ago | (#47187923)

Nobody to care about the prettiness of it, or the morality issues of mining planets!

To the contrary, the less at stake the pettier the morality.

Re:Send money to support our TV commercial! (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 8 months ago | (#47188111)

I, and many others, have thought about this quite a bit. During the period when activities and people in space are still dependent on Earth, Earth politics will be controlling the policies. So for example, it might be that mining on the visible side of the Moon would be restricted.

Re:Send money to support our TV commercial! (2)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | about 8 months ago | (#47188003)

We're almost done with space.

We've barely begun. Just as an example, the amount of solar energy that passes closer than the Moon equals all the world's fossil fuel reserves every minute. How many Beowulf clusters could you run with that?

Re:Send money to support our TV commercial! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47188327)

Except for reality, that is.

http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the... [ucsd.edu]

Re:Send money to support our TV commercial! (1)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | about 8 months ago | (#47189533)

There are many errors in his calculations. I was part of a team that studied Solar Power Satellites when I worked at Boeing, so I think I have better data than Mr. Murphy. Let me list the ones I spotted:

* He quotes the performance gain against one of the best places on Earth (the US Mohave Desert) at 3:1. For the world as a whole, the gain is more like 7:1. Most places have much more clouds and thus less available sunlight.

* He assumes geosynchronous orbit. This is not required if you have a constellation of satellites and electronic steering of the beams (something every cell tower does today). A lower orbit allows using smaller satellites and ground receivers, closer to the cities that will use the power.

* He assumes 100 GHz transmission frequency. Generally microwave amplifiers are more efficient at lower frequencies and less subject to rain fade.

* Calls launching a large dish prohibitively difficult, while ignoring that the International Space Station demonstrated assembly of large space objects from smaller pieces.

* The study I worked on showed that 98% of the mass of a solar power satellite can be supplied from material already in space (asteroids, and the Moon). Therefore launch cost is not a major issue, provided you set up equipment to extract items like silicon and aluminum from rock.

* Space solar arrays are already 15 times lighter than terrestrial panels, because they don't need frames, seals, and glass to survive high wind and weather. If they were made in space, they would be lighter still, because they would not need to survive launch loads or include deployment mechanisms. Large space solar arrays are launched folded up to fit in the rocket.

* Radiation damage is not as severe as he assumes. Actual space solar cells use Ceria-doped cover glass for protection, and function quite well even in high radiation parts of the Van Allen belts.

* The mass delivery ratio of 100:1 he quotes is way off. Given that you are building big space solar arrays, you can attach electric thrusters to put them in position, something that modern comsats already do. Electric thrusters are about ten times more fuel efficient (although slower). With sufficient traffic to orbit, there will be an incentive to use better propulsion, reducing the ground-to-low orbit ratio by a factor of 5-10. As I mentioned before, with in-space production, you only need to launch about 2% of the satellite mass.

In total, his general method of comparing ground to space solar power is reasonable, but he misses important information and the numbers are way way off.

Re:Send money to support our TV commercial! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47189979)

Hahaha... It's never gonna happen, ever. Get used to it.

You're off by several orders of magnitude as well with your "counter arguments".

You're *adorable*. You're like a kid drawing imaginary cars and airplanes with 13 wings and 57 wheels and about 300 times bigger than anything remotely possible. Then when someone tells you it's not really possible, you imagine even MORE outlandish scenarios to support the first ones!

Cute, but grow up. In a few years you'll go through your boxes of stuff and look at your childish drawings and throw them out.

Clean up your head, it's been poisoned by ridiculous sci-fi space opera nonsense.

"We've barely begun"... LOL!!!!

We're *DONE*. No one's going anywhere, we're all staying RIGHT HERE. I know, being an adult SUCKS compared to the fun and imaginary scenarios pounded out by hundreds of professional daydreamers, but it's all we've got.

If we *had* the resources to build your solar array, we wouldn't *have* a resource problem!

Jiminy Crickets!!!!

Re:Send money to support our TV commercial! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47190323)

Well you certainly win the dickhead award.

Re:Send money to support our TV commercial! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47198797)

Except for reality, that is.

http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the... [ucsd.edu]

Except in reality, the energy isn't beamed down to earth, but used in space. Eventually, Earth will be using all of its solar energy and want more. Plenty exists, it's just in space. Once there collecting it, it would will probably be more economical to stay there and do all the manufacturing and living.

Re:Send money to support our TV commercial! (1)

Beck_Neard (3612467) | about 8 months ago | (#47188515)

I agree that the sci fi style vision of humans in space will probably never happen, but it's entirely possible that with better technology, at some point the economics will shift do doing a lot of stuff in space instead of the Earth.

Poster already widely available (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47187585)

A poster of the new integrated space plan is already widely available. It's a blank piece of paper - there is no plan.

Re:Poster already widely available (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47187673)

What a coincidence, space is utterly fucking dead and empty and hostile. What kind of a plan can you make for that?

Difficulty: no sci-fi.


Re:Poster already widely available (2)

garyebickford (222422) | about 8 months ago | (#47188811)

"There be dragons out there" - and beyond them, the New World.

Rumor has it that Planetary Resources has already found a good target asteroid for their mining plans. If they are successful, the price of platinum may drop from $1500/oz or thereabouts to $10/oz, turning it from a curiosity used in expensive jewelry and (in extremely small quantities) as a surface in catalytics converters into an industrial metal with huge numbers of valuable uses.

Space Solar Power (which I'm somewhat skeptical of, mostly for reasons having to do with the politics of Earth) has the potential to replace every thermal power plant - nuclear, coal, oil - within 100 years, and providing enough power to allow all cars to be electric, thereby removing most of the present day sources of air pollution.

An economist a few years ago analyzed the potential effects of space development, and concluded that it had the potential to improve the standard of living of everyone on Earth by a factor of 10 within 100 years.

With that level of activity, even with the great number of robotic systems in use, the number of humans in space will gradually increase, and the cost of bringing them back to Earth will become more than the cost of keeping them up there in good health. And space habitation will become permanent.

Re: Poster already widely available (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 8 months ago | (#47187757)

Now see, if your school had had a poster on the wall you'd know better! :)

NSS roadmap (3, Interesting)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | about 8 months ago | (#47187827)

Well, the National Space Society already has a space roadmap:
http://www.nss.org/settlement/... [nss.org]

I will also unapologetically list my twenty-some-year old Footsteps to Mars, presented at Case for Mars V, Boulder CO, 26-29 May 1993.
http://www.geoffreylandis.com/... [geoffreylandis.com]
http://www.wired.com/2014/03/f... [wired.com]

Re:NSS roadmap (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 8 months ago | (#47187949)

The NSS roadmap has a different focus, as does Dani Eder's Space Transport and Engineering Methods [wikibooks.org] Wikibook. This wikibook is a good basic reference to the many technologies related to space, so we want to incorporate links to his work to allow folks on our website to learn more when desired. Dani supports our project, and has graciously allowed us to include references and links to his work in the Plan website. With permission, we can incorporate multiple roadmaps as part of the website or by reference, and provide useful links between roadmap elements and the projects that are related to them. This is just one way in which the website (which will be at the "thespaceplan.com", which presently points to the Kickstarter page), can become a comprehensive resource.

As an aside, every member of Space Finance Group is also a member of NSS including two or three past NSS officers, and I believe that NSS supports this effort though I haven't seen the paperwork myself.

Re:NSS roadmap (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 8 months ago | (#47187959)

I hit 'submit' too fast ... I'll be reading your papers later tonight. I am glad to know about them. We may want to include links to them in the website, and we'll also be assembling a community of folks who are advising or otherwise helping build the system.

Re: Advisory Board (1)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | about 8 months ago | (#47188039)

Give us a fancy name, and we can be a counterweight to the National Academies' reactionary reports. They assemble panels of prestigious and *old* people to review NASA's plans, and usually conclude it can't be done, because they fail to include forward-looking ideas. We need to generate reports for the future, not the past.

Dani Eder

Re: Advisory Board (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 8 months ago | (#47188781)

Indeed. I think this might be a very useful part of the project. I'll include it in the plan! And hopefully you and Geoffrey will participate!

I don't get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47188023)

I grew up reading astronomy/astrophysics/space exploration stuff, doing astrophotography, getting a physics degree etc, but I couldn't even follow the summary. It reads as if this is some sort of poster, like the one you put on your wall. But it can't be, otherwise why would you need a kickstarter?

Re:I don't get it. (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 8 months ago | (#47188389)

The basic goal for the Kickstarter is in fact for the poster - we are committed to making this poster a common sight. The primary purpose of the poster is to get distributed to schools, offices, homes, and dorm rooms and publicize the present state of the 'art' of space, and inspire folks about this great endeavor. So, after the various costs of Amazon, Kickstarter, and various other things, the money is primarily going into actually making and shipping the posters.

This is going to require substantial research and quite a bit of work, first generating the database, then constructing the draft layout and then refining it to a real production quality poster. Not least is the actual cost of printing and distribution. Last night we were reviewing the cost of shipping internationally - we've had some requests. We'll try to do something about that, but that's really expensive.

Then, once the poster is done, that same data will become an initial component of the database for the website. The website will only get significant funding from this Kickstarter campaign if all of the poster costs are satisfied, as a stretch goal. The website should be self-supporting in the long run, but in the short run even though we can set up the basic website and the basic data processing engines ourselves, we will have significant costs.

We are already spending money on web services and evaluating both free and commercial software, and talking with vendors about sponsorships. Much of the advanced linked data and visualization software is open source, but even so the development of the system is a significant labor commitment, and we'll need a cadre of people to run it, as well as to provide help with the vast quantities of data collection and updates. We are evaluating the possibility of using Amazon AWS and other cloud services to support what we hope will be rapid growth in the use of the system.

So you want to work in marketing, then? (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 8 months ago | (#47190259)

>> cadre of people...vendor sponsorships

So...what you've basically set up is a Kickstarter internship that will land you and a few of your friends in the wing of a defense contractor's marketing department that pitches space dreams to the public to keep political winds blowing in their favor. (Even the original poster uses the word "market.")

Re: So you want to work in marketing, then? (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 8 months ago | (#47190451)

Nope. The company's primary business is analytics and our primary interest is not defense but commercial space, particularly start ups and privately held companies that may become public. We are all 'space nuts' who have been working to advance non-government space for a long time. (Except me - I've been doing bleeding edge computer stuff most of my career. I've been more of a space groupie.)

We are doing this project because we think it's important. Development of space as an economic resource has more potential to 'fix' many of the biggest problems here on Earth than anything we can do down here. We are doing what we can to help make that happen.

Re: So you want to work in marketing, then? (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 8 months ago | (#47190503)

I should add - 'the company' is Integrated Space Analytics LLC, for which publication of analytical and reference data via the poster, the website, and subscription is the business.

Sorry, but this is silly (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about 8 months ago | (#47188045)

It's about as sensible as Columbus producing an 'Integrated America Plan' for how America would develop, or someone in the 50s producing an 'Integrated Computing Plan' for how computers would develop until 2050.

All we need is cheap access to space, and plain old unplanned, couldn't-give-a-crap-what-you-think humans will do the rest.

Re:Sorry, but this is silly (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 8 months ago | (#47188641)

It all takes planning. The Space Shuttle took nine years from initial plan to launch. It took almost 10 years of a crash program to get humans to the Moon. We do need cheap access to space, or at least cheaper. SpaceX was founded in 2002, and now after 13 years is only a year or two from launching a human into space. And those are single programs, not an entire movement.

But in a larger sense, you are right. Our approach to the new Plan is that there are many entities, each doing their own thing in a combined cooperative/competitive manner. Rather than trying to do a huge, fixed 'top-down' plan like a centrally-planned economy, we think it's more useful to use an ecosystem approach to the Plan, letting each independent entity find its own place. In this approach, our Plan can provide valuable information to entrepreneurs looking for a niche, and companies and national agencies looking for partners, customers and vendors. And they can all both see and if desired help to determine the long term view. This is, if you will, an 'organic' approach to planning.

But don't discount planning, engineering, documentation and obsessive attention to details and avoiding anomalies. Space will always be a very dangerous place, ready to kill you with a moment's inattention.

Even Columbus was a part of a much larger, longer term initiative. I quote [wikipedia.org] :

In 1470 the Florentine astronomer Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli suggested to King Afonso V of Portugal that sailing west would be a quicker way to reach the Spice Islands, Cathay and Cipangu than the route round Africa. Afonso rejected his proposal.[25] Portuguese explorers, under the leadership of King John II, then developed a passage to Asia by sailing around Africa. Major progress in this quest was achieved in 1488, when Bartolomeu Dias reached the Cape of Good Hope, in what is now South Africa. Meanwhile, in the 1480s, the Columbus brothers had picked up Toscanelli's suggestion and proposed a plan to reach the Indies (then construed roughly as all of south and east Asia) by sailing west across the "Ocean Sea", i. e., the Atlantic. However, Dias's discovery had shifted the interests of Portuguese seafaring to the southeast passage, which complicated Columbus's proposals significantly.[26]

Re:Sorry, but this is silly (1)

AJWM (19027) | about 8 months ago | (#47188801)

As the saying goes, no (battle) plan survives contact with the enemy. That doesn't mean such a plan has no use whatsoever.

An 'Integrated America Plan' or an 'Integrated Computing Plan' would of course be ludicrous in hindsight. (Just as is the original Integrated Space Plan). But such plans have the power to inspire people. To make people think "hey, I see a better option over here". To encourage people to make it so. To dream things that never were and say "why not?"

Sure, if we had cheap access to space there'd be a lot more people making their own plans and going out and doing it. Maybe this plan will help inspire the next generation's Gary Hudson, Elon Musk or a non-fictional Delos D. Harriman.

(Disclaimer: I've probably still got a small stack of the original ISP poster in my basement. My ex used to sell them through her (long defunct) Space Pioneers business.)

Re:Sorry, but this is silly (1)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | about 8 months ago | (#47189547)

I disagree. What long range plans do is identify current technical deficiencies and priorities for research and development. For example, Elon Musk has a goal to colonize Mars, and is making great progress on cheap rockets. But even cheap rockets won't be enough. You can't afford to haul everything you need to live on Mars from Earth. So you need to develop local mining and production technology. Compared to rocketry, that field is severely undeveloped. Thus knowing that Mars is a goal in 20-30 years tells you to start the research and testing *now*, so that by the time you need it, it will be ready. Therefore a plan will serve as an input to agency budgets, and highlight opportunities for private research and eventual entrepreneurs.

Re:Sorry, but this is silly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47189907)

Oh brother, you're an adult? You spent more than 5 seconds on this nonsense? Grow up. No one's going anywhere.

No way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47188871)

The aliens who have been visiting and living on Earth of the past few centuries or more have no intention of allowing humans (vermin) to venture beyond the Earth's own moon. Robots are OK for beyond that, but that's it.

I skimmed the front page too fast. (1)

hey! (33014) | about 8 months ago | (#47189769)

I skimmed the front page, and misread the title to this story as "Updating the Integrated Space Pen". Intrigued at what those ambitious scamps at the Fisher Space Pen company might be up to, I skimmed the summary for links and misread the address of the linked website as "thefacepalm.com". I still have no idea what the story is actually about, but I thought I'd chip in my contribution anyway.

All in all, the start of a perfect Slashdot Sunday for me...

Re:I skimmed the front page too fast. (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 8 months ago | (#47191243)

Funny! :D
I even checked out thefacepalm.com - it exists, but the domain is parked. Maybe there's an opportunity for someone - a discussion site for skeptics, of everything? The motto could be "News you can ignore, arguments you disagree with." :) I'd say that there is a need for a site where folks who disagree with everything can go and agree that everything else is crap, but most discussion sites are filled with them already.

Anyway, I enjoyed your comment. :)

Bingo! (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 8 months ago | (#47190211)

>> visualization ...crowdsourcing ...analytics...Kickstarter...in the industry...BINGO!!!

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