IronDragon (74186) writes "After a few delays, the Open Space Movement site is nearing release status. This is a non-profit organization that aims to provide educational resources, social networking, and a collaborative development environment to support open-source style aerospace engineering. These tools and services are offered freely to individuals of any country, as well as existing space-related organizations and engineering teams. In short, a mashup of Sourceforge, Kickstarter, and Wikipedia to allow community driven development of a public space venture, and as a means of providing support to existing non-profit and commercial space ventures.
The basic premise of the OSM is that space needs people. As such, the OSM exists to encourage public interest through direct involvement. While we maintain an overarching goal of "manned colonization of space in a matter of years rather than decades", we really have to start from the ground up to make that happen. Through our process of user-submitted project development, we hope to accelerate the progress of manned spaceflight in the same manner that "open source" model has given rise to an entire ecosystem of free and useful software. In addition, we recognize that open source development has profoundly influenced many people to become software developers themselves. With that, we hope that our project development environment may passively teach, and actively encourage people to learn more about practical space science and engineering.
If this sounds a bit outlandish, that's perfectly understandable. However, having talked at length with Mr Gary Barnhard, executive director of the National Space Society, we feel that this is a rather good, comprehensive, and feasible idea. We are currently in preliminary talks with the NSS to discuss partnership as an independent affiliated organization. (The R&D wing of the NSS seems like an apt description)
I'm starting a space program. Ask me anything!* **
*(If it's about ITAR, we currently have a meeting scheduled on the 11th with an ITAR specialist to review our compliance plans. Initial review looks pretty solid) **(If it's about the site, the developers believe it may be ready in a day or two. After that, we will need to start beta testing and performing some initial data population. Testers are welcome to contact us)" Link to Original Source top
First off, this is a non-profit organization that aims to provide a collaborative development environment, and educational resource for aerospace engineering. If you would use the analogy; sourceforge.net for space access. This is a gross oversimplification, but lets run with it for now. Regardless of the specifics of our operation, the Open Space Movement seeks to solve the fundamental problem with the current status of space development, and that is people.
We focus on public involvement, as that is the lynch pin to developing space. 'People' are the difference between "a global market for maybe 5 computers", and the billions of PC's, smartphones, and servers that make up the Internet. We bought the Internet. We are personally responsible for driving the demand for the state of the art, and paying for it simultaneously. We can do the same for space access. If you consider that we are currently spending more on cell phones in one year, than the Apollo program did in a decade, it stands to reason that an organized public-funded space venture could amass more financial backing and creative input than all existing space agencies and private space enterprises combined. As a more recent example of the publics' spending capacity, the three day period between December 17th through December 19th saw retail sales of approximately 18.84 billion dollars. This compares very closely with NASA's 2010 budget of 18.7 billion dollars. Space may be expensive, but we can certainly afford it.
The OSM will operate as a web-based collaborative development environment, educational resource, and social network — aimed at providing the public with direct participation in the planning and execution of a public space venture. On the premise that public support is the keystone of future space development, the OSM seeks to engage, educate, and provide organization to the public, on a scale that has not been duplicated since the call to action by former President John F Kennedy, in his 1962 address to Rice University.
Project development will be a cornerstone of our operations. The OSM does not implicitly support or favor any particular project, as our role is to simply provide the framework and ecosystem to support the development of all submitted projects. Democratic controls available to site users will allow for the OSM community to determine which projects are supported based on merit and cost effectiveness, by prioritizing and approving project funding requests.
The development environment, and other resources offered by the OSM are also available to existing space organizations, large and small, to provide collaborative tools for their member bases, and help to promote and provide visibility for their efforts. These resources are available free of charge to individuals, organizations, schools, and for-profit ventures.
This offers several beneficial side effects, as participation in the development environment will be a strong incentive for people to get involved. By doing so, users will be exposed to a wide variety of concepts in the fields of science and engineering, which not only provides passive education — but gives them a reason to study further, on the grounds that what they learn will have practical applications, and can be immediately applied. Finally, the operation of this project ecosystem is expected to steadily grow a portfolio of open-source style designs, innovations, and research into areas not covered by the scope of current conventional spaceflight. As this portfolio of ideas grows, it also provides the OSM with a steady stream of publishable material that may be useful in attracting an ever-growing audience.
General principles of the OSM:
1. Offer collaborative development environment and educational references to support user-submitted project development. Essentially "sourceforge.net" for aerospace engineering. (Not all projects have to be about rockets. That's like saying that every programmer out there has to build their own operating system. The scope and scale of something like colonization will require input from virtually every field. Even if you're not a "rocket scientist", you probably do have something you can contribute. If you want to become a rocket scientist — this might be a good place to start learning.)
2. Offer support and services to existing space organizations.
3. Leverage project development as an incentive for people to actually learn more about space science and engineering.
4. Community driven funding of project development. Funding requests for project development are prioritized by the OSM community, thus allowing democratic control over how donations are spent. This makes it possible to see exactly how financial support from the community helps build the OSM's portfolio of designs, educational projects, and research experiments. This in turn gives the OSM plenty of publishable material to demonstrate the efficiency of the system. Money goes in, cool stuff comes out.
5. Accessibility and direct participation. This is not for spectators. This is designed to be open to anybody — and easy enough to encourage peoples' creative contributions. This is a key factor in growing and educating a large OSM community. Additionally, we aim to support internationalization and translation of our site's content, and be open to citizens of any nation.
6. By becoming a significantly large community, the OSM itself can become a public market to drive demand in space access. Large enough to influence the direction of existing companies in the space business.
7. There exists an ideal path to the colonization of space that involves the greatest number of people in the shortest amount of time. The OSM is essentially a human computer to figure out this path, and make it happen.
8. We currently spend more money on cell phones in one year, than the Apollo program spent in a decade. Space may be expensive, but the discretionary spending of the public is overwhelming in comparison. We bought the Internet, we paid for the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and Shuttle missions, and we can organize together to drive space access in a matter of years, rather than decades.
9. No single government or private corporation has the resources to tackle the scope of space colonization. The only entity capable of this would be the public itself. The OSM is here only to organize and direct that effort. We seek to challenge the preconceived notions of space travel being too expensive and too exclusive. The future of space development depends upon many things, but the foremost factor will not be availability of funding or advancements in technology. It will be our influence, whether we decide to be citizens of space, or spectators and tourists.
According to our developers, the site is pretty close to release-candidate status. As soon as that happens, we will be opening registration for beta testing to track down any last-minute bugs, and help populate our initial site content. This is entirely free to use, and we will be looking at implementing any beneficial changes to our site as suggested and voted upon by our community.
The goals, capabilities, and actions of the OSM are entirely community driven. We simply provide the tools and organization. If you want to do something about space travel, then we are here to help you participate.
IronDragon (74186) writes "According to Huffington Post, retail shopping this year grossed approximately 18.83 billion dollars between the days of December 17th to December 19th. This three-day period compares very closely with NASA's FY2010 budget, at 18.7 billion dollars. The 18 billion dollar retail figures do not take into account an additional 27.5 billion dollars spent on online gift sales between November and December.
This may sound a bit depressing, but Don't Panic! If you consider this, and the fact that we've spent more money on cellular phones in the past year, than the Apollo program spent in a decade, it stands to reason that conditions exist for a public space market that could conceivably outperform any government agency or private company. Space needs markets, rather than just funding.
Coincidentally, if anybody would be interested in a non-profit, open-source style development environment for aerospace applications, that follows a community funding model to drive project development, you may find this to be interesting.