We are excited to see the community’s space mission proposals!

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The submission deadline for the Space Mission Activation Process (SMAP) is on January 6th, at 11pm (PST). We are expecting an eclectic batch of space mission proposals, and have gathered up quite a team of experts to evaluate them. If you’d like to participate as an expert, there is still time for you to join the Evaluation Committee: just send us an email to smap[at]spacedecentral.net with your resume or LinkedIn and we will get back to you.


“A single step cannot get you to your destination, and a single person can not change the world. But, a single step begins the journey, and a single person leads the way.” — Mikkel Haaheim

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Through Space Decentral, citizens from around the globe will be able to propose, vote on and participate in the R&D of space projects, making space exploration a feat of humanity rather than that of one or two government agencies. The Space Mission Activation Process (SMAP) is our trial run for this grand vision. We are inviting space enthusiasts like you and me to propose ideas for space missions, and with the help of the community, we will choose the first few projects to develop and launch.

Today I would like to introduce one of our SMAP participants, Mikkel Haaheim. Mikkel, a regular on the Space Decentral Forum, our Facebook and Riot chat, has been actively participating in the discussions from the very beginning. With an unconventional story, Mikkel has proposed no less than three ideas for the SMAP 2019, all equally interesting and challenging. …


Having reached the four-month mark, Space Decentral’s Coral has taught us a lot about crowdsourcing space missions

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Initial Steps

The early days of Coral had 20–25 people who were happy to spend their Monday nights (or Tuesday mornings, depending on where they are located) discussing how and what to 3D print on the Moon. Pretty early we established a few baselines that would guide us throughout the process: 1) Coral shall use a commercial lander, 2) the payload shall stay stationary on the lunar surface, 3) the initial mission shall be ready for launch within 5 years, 4) the payload shall be between 5–10kg, and 5) the cost shall not go over $10mi. We realized soon enough that our budget and mass constraints would require more in-depth studies, and we will most likely be revisiting those values. …


I wanted to be a relevant part of the constant evolution of the aerospace community.

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South Park’s Cartman is Carlos Gonzalez-Rivera’s avatar in Space Decentral and social media

Space Decentral is currently developing the Coral Program, a long-term project with the goal of developing the technology necessary for 3D printing habitats on the lunar surface, using in-situ resources.

Continuing our series of interviews with the Coral team, I want to introduce Carlos Gonzalez-Rivera, a Navy-trained aerospace engineer. Good humored and with a strong sense of pragmatic initiative, Carlos always has something of value to add to our discussions. Read on to find out a bit more about him.

Tell us a bit about your background and how space became part of your life.

Carlos: I’m originally from Cayey, Puerto Rico, and I am an aerospace engineer. Growing up in the “hood”, we didn’t have many options to make it out. …


Our Notice of Intent period passed, but you still have a chance to propose a space mission

*Updated on November 1st, 2018 to reflect recent calendar changes.

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Apollo 11 mission in progress — Image courtesy of NASA

The Notice of Intent period of the Space Mission Activation Process closed roughly two weeks ago, and we have received quite a few abstracts. Some examples include ideas as groundbreaking as plasma magnet sails, or as seemingly simple as conditioning lunar regolith to produce soil, both with huge potentials to revolutionize human expansion into space. At the end of this article, I’ll briefly introduce some of the ideas we’ve received. But before I do that, I would like to ask — and try to answer — a very important question:


With 25+ years in aerospace, John brings a shared passion for the moon and expertise in systems test engineering

Space Decentral is currently developing the Coral Program, a long term project with the goal of developing the technology necessary for 3D printing habitats on the lunar surface, using in-situ resources.

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John Paterson inside the Apollo 17 Command Module. Source: Photo from John’s archives.

We are beginning a series of interviews with the Coral team, and today I invite you to get to know John Paterson, one of our most assiduous members. I haven’t met John in person, but after eight weeks of online meetings, I’m able to recognize his voice and demeanor among all the other people chiming in. John is one of the NASA veterans on the team, and has had a very fulfilling aerospace career. …


I wanted to explore the possibilities of outer space, unbound from preconceptions of Earth architecture.

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Artistic concept of an operational New Venice outpost, by author

As a Master’s student at University of Houston’s Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA), I was exposed to many interesting aspects of space exploration. One that I’m particularly intrigued about is the daily lives of astronauts, and their most mundane activities — how they sleep, eat, shower, exercise, work, etc. When the time came to choose what to focus on for my design thesis, I knew it would have something to do with habitation, community, and daily lives in space.


SMAP’s Rules & Guidelines have been released

*November 1st, 2018: We have updated the calendar to reflect recent changes.

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The Space Mission Activation Process (SMAP) is the pilot system for selecting the first missions to be endorsed by the Space Decentral community. Today, we are publishing the official Space Mission Activation Process: Rules & Guidelines. Please read it thoroughly and make sure you understand the schedule and the general terms of participating.

Selected proposals become activated missions, are featured on spacedecentral.net and enabled for open source, community collaboration using blockchain-based crowdsourcing tools that provide a provenance of contributions on the project. …


The first month of working together on a shared lunar mission

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Coral is an open lunar space program coordinated by Space Decentral, and the primary objective of Coral’s first mission is to demonstrate in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) and 3D printing technologies on the Moon’s surface using lunar regolith as feedstock.

As the Coral program concludes its fourth week as an open and collaborative space project, we begin to see the fruits of all the hard work our team members have put into it. It takes a while for people to get used to the collaborative approach, where we have multiple coordinators and leads instead a single boss that everyone must answer to. Every member of the team has a chance to present different ideas and there are volunteer-driven opportunities to become leads and share the coordination efforts. Little by little our team gains confidence in our capability to pull this together, and we begin to see small signs of the grandeur of the project. …


The Space Mission Activation Process is going full speed

*Updated on November 1st, 2018 to reflect recent calendar changes.

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Space Decentral’s Space Mission Activation Process (SMAP) is going full speed and we are happy to share with you the first ideas that have emerged from the community. If one of these ideas interests you and you think you can help write a detailed mission proposal, we suggest you reply on the linked forum post or contact the listed team lead.

Once a proposal is activated as a pilot mission, the community collectively brings the proposal to life with contributions tracked using blockchain-based planning tools.

Just released — Rules & Guidelines

If you plan to submit a proposal to the SMAP, we recommend you read the preview of the Space Mission Activation Process: Rules & Guidelines that we have released for the first time today. …

About

Suzi Bianco

I’m a space architect, excited for what’s to come!

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