Space Mission Activation Process

Note: We recently kicked off our pilot collaboration process for space missions. After feedback from the community, we have made revisions.


First, what is the Space Mission Activation Process?

The Space Mission Activation Process (SMAP) is the pilot system for selecting the missions for Space Decentral. Chosen proposals will become featured on spacedecentral.net and will be further designed and developed with the help of the greater community. While we have many interesting ideas being discussed in our forum, the activated missions will obtain an “official” status, as they will be peer reviewed and vetted. Once activated, dedicated teams will openly work on the design of these missions with the ultimate goal of one day launching them into space. 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 recently released.

And how does it work?

We tried to make the process fairly simple, and to help you understand we made the following infographic. Basically, each Space Decentral member can participate in the network by (1) proposing missions for activation and/or (2) helping with Space Decentral’s open source tasks, which can earn you a voting share for the Mission Activation Vote.

Path 1: Propose Missions

By proposing projects, you enter a linear process to potentially activate your proposal as a Space Decentral mission. The primary goal of this path is for the community to collaborate and come up with as many great proposals as possible, so we have a nice pool of feasible projects to choose from.

  • Team formation: Individuals or groups broadcast ideas in the forum, where the discussions will lead to team formation to develop the ideas.
  • Build proposals: Teams perform research and convert their ideas into detailed proposals and submit them on our Github repository.
  • Evaluation process: A group of experts will evaluate and filter all submitted proposals. Those considered valid will move on to the Project Activation Vote.

Path 2: Develop Space Decentral

Helping with Space Decentral’s open source tasks currently includes software development, communications, and sourcing data for a knowledge base. By helping with tasks, you earn effort points which can convert into a voting share. The voting share will allow you to participate in the Project Activation Vote.

After projects are filtered and validated by a group of experts, a Mission Activation Vote will be opened, where the voting members of the community can select up to three projects, one for each category (Robotic, Human Spaceflight, Expansion). As mentioned previously, chosen projects will become missions featured on spacedecentral.net, and will be designed and developed with the help of the greater community.

Additionally, even if your proposal is not chosen, and you have the skills that the selected projects need, then you will still be able to contribute to Space Decentral.

Note: We wrote a Governance Paper that includes a more complex process for when our network is fully built, but we thought it would be important to start off with something simple in these early stages — hence this being a pilot.

What projects are we looking for?

We are looking for projects that fit into one of three categories: Robotic, Human Spaceflight, and Expansion. Each proposal should convey a reason for doing it that provides a utility function, or some form of usefulness.

Category 1 — Robotic

Mission with relatively low cost, makes use of currently available or well advanced, promising technology, with potential for prompt applications that may achieve an objective quickly.

Time-frame: less than a decade


Category 2 — Human Spaceflight

Mission to support crew activities in space, ranging in size and complexity from small instrument packages to whole modules.

Time-frame: one to two decades


Category 3 — Expansion

Idealistic, forward-looking mission with innovative ideas that pave the way for human settlements outside of Earth or new forms of settlements here on Earth.

Time-frame: one to three decades

How will intellectual property be handled?

Due to the collaborative and open nature of Space Decentral’s space mission development, by submitting an idea and proposal, all of our community participants acknowledge and agree that the intellectual property (“IP”) they contribute to this ecosystem must be open source.

This means something very specific: Any contributions of IP must be available with an open source license (such as the GPL) so that such IP (a) can be used freely by the Space Decentral ecosystem’s participants and (b) will not in any instance be used to directly or indirectly obstruct, block or interfere with the use of the IP in projects, innovations and/or projects that this ecosystem was designed to promote and protect.

SMAP Timeline

The following timeline outlines the main steps of the SMAP. More details will be featured in our upcoming proposal guide document .

1. Team Formation — Now

Post ideas in the forum, including the roles/skillsets you are looking for (if any), so you can have a nice composition of subject matter experts for proposal development. With your team, you can start drafting your proposal (or have a solo team)!

2. Submit Notice of Intent — September 30th

Submit a Notice of Intent that you plan on developing a proposal or that you are in the process of developing one. Include abstract, team members and project manager. This step is not required, but helps gives us a sense of the types of expert reviewers necessary. If you complete this step, we will also help provide some peer review before you officially submit your proposal!

3. Evaluator Application Deadline — November 23rd

To apply to be an evaluator of the submitted proposals, submit your application to the organizers. Evaluators may not be part of proposal teams.

4. Proposal Submission Deadline — December 2nd

Finalize and submit the proposal for review.

5. Proposal Evaluation — December 3rd to January 31st

Feedback will be provided by both specialists and community members to help vet projects. Arguments can be provided in favor or against the proposals. Project managers can be matched with projects that are missing them.

  • Proposals that do not meet the open source Space Decentral model will not be eligible for the Mission Activation Vote.
  • Proposals that do not find a project manager will not be eligible for the Mission Activation Vote.

6. Announcement of Valid Proposals — February 15th

Proposals that have been validated for the Project Activation Vote will be announced to the community.

7. Project Manager Assignment Deadline — February 25th

To be eligible for the vote, the valid proposals must have an experienced project manager. Proposals submitted without a project manager must use this time to seek one.

8. Mission Activation Vote — March 1st to 15th

Every member of Space Decentral with a “voting share” is eligible to vote.

9. Announcement of Selected Missions — March 18th

Selected projects in each category will be announced to the community.

10. Mission Planning — March 19th to May 19th

After a mission is activated, a work breakdown structure (WBS) and tasks will be defined in an open source repository. During this period, community members can volunteer for roles on the missions.

11. Authorization to Proceed — June 1st

Now that the project plan, tasks, and teams have been defined, they can be further reviewed and the mission can officially become greenlit. The Space Decentral community begins to actively develop the mission, with tasks such as research, design, and engineering.

Ready to become a space mission engineer?

If you already have an idea in mind, your next step is to think about the skills you need to develop your vision into a proposal and post on our forum. If you do this, we can help broadcast your idea and needs in our newsletters as well.

If you’d love to participate in a proposal, but don’t have an idea of your own, we suggest you regularly check the forum and join one of the teams, or create a post explaining who you are, the skills you have, and type of projects you’d like to work on (hint: populating your user profile would help!).

We look forward to seeing your proposals!

Join us, become a leader, and help #DecentralizeSpace


About Space Decentral

Space Decentral is a decentralized autonomous space agency that will leverage Aragon and the Ethereum blockchain to reinvigorate the push for space exploration, with global citizens in control. Space missions will be designed collaboratively, research will be shared for peer review, science will be crowdsourced, and worthy projects that accelerate human expansion will be crowdfunded.

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