Space Mission Activation Process: October 2018 Update

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

Suzi Bianco
Oct 12, 2018 · 5 min read

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

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:

DaVinci’s flying machines — solid ideas, or a little too sci-fi for his time?

What makes a solid idea?

First of all, it has to be something you feel passionate about. If you have found yourself thinking about it over and over, wondering why no one has thought of it or done it this way before, then you probably fulfill this first item.

Second, it has to have a purpose. Is your idea relevant for human space exploration? Or will your idea increase our knowledge of the universe? It’s okay if it is simple, after all, someone had to invent the brick before the Great Wall of China was ever built. As long as there is potential for greatness, it is on the path to being a solid idea.

Finally, it has to be in the realm of reality. A tele-transportation device that would take you to Saturn in five seconds would be awesome, but it is just not possible with the technology we have today and we are likely to have it within the next three decades. It is okay to stretch the boundaries a little, but we can’t ignore physics or bend the space-time continuum (yet).

Of course, in order for us to understand your idea and evaluate whether or not the network can take it on, it is important for you to translate your insights, napkin sketches and notebook scribbles into a properly formatted proposal. So if you think you have a solid idea, take some time, write are least a paragraph on it — and post it in our forum. If you are looking for additional team members to help develop your idea into a proposal, we suggest broadcasting that in your forum post as well.

Early concept schemes of NASA’s Space Shuttle concept — Image courtesy of NASA

Additionally, you can join one of the teams that have already submitted an abstract. The ideas described below were submitted to our Notice of Intent process, and the teams are currently looking for collaborators for the proposal phase. If you are interested in collaborating, please contact the project leader directly for more information.

We are also looking for evaluators to join the Evaluation Committee and help review proposals to ensure they are technically sound and feasible. If you’d like to participate, apply to join the Evaluation Committee.

Some of the ideas we have received so far

Through the Space Mission Activation process, ideas will be taken from paper into the real world — if your proposal is selected during our Mission Activation Vote next year, it will be open for community crowdsourcing where the proposal will be developed into a fully fledged mission concept. Eventually these projects will be prioritized for crowdfunding — we believe that campaigns to fund the projects will be stronger if we approach them as a unified collective. So think big, and put your inner genius to work!

Lunar Soil Auto-Conditioner to Bootstrap a Farming Vitality on the Moon

Lead: Craig Beasley

Craig’s proposal envisions the development of a technology to facilitate the generation of workable farming soil from Lunar regolith.

Maneuvering Unit

Lead: Mikkel Haaheim

Mikkel proposes to design a “universal” maneuvering unit that can be arranged and combined into different configurations, according to the needs of each mission.

Mikkel is also looking for team members for his other proposals.

On-orbit Servicing

Lead: Faz Chaudry

Faz is proposing an On-orbit Servicing mission, with the objective of developing robotics for servicing satellites in LEO, MEO and GEO orbits, creating an infrastructure that will make space more affordable and less risky.

Plasma Magnet Technology Demonstration Mission

Lead: Joshua Perry

Josh Perry is proposing a technology demonstration mission for the Plasma Magnet propulsion concept using a cubesat, aiming to raise this technology’s TRL to 7.

The UniHab Scale Model Project

Lead: Doug Plata

Doug’s proposal intends to design and build a scale model of an inflatable habitat, testing the technology and usability of such a construction technique.

One of the fist Nasa concepts for a Lunar Module — Image courtesy of NASA

Upcoming Deadlines

The upcoming deadlines to keep in mind are:

Check out the full schedule on the official Space Mission Activation Process: Rules & Guidelines.

Space Decentral is a decentralized autonomous space agency that leverages blockchain technology to reinvigorate the push for space exploration with global citizens in control. Space Decentral promotes collaborative design of space missions, sharing research for peer review, crowdsourcing science, and crowdfunding worthy projects that accelerate human progress.

Space Decentral

Space Decentral is a decentralized autonomous space agency…

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store