26 July 2007

Open Source Space Exploration

We all know that the ideas behind open source are out of this world, and now here's the proof:

Space enthusiast and engineer Paul Wooster wants to open the source code for outer space, because, he says, it should be easier for everyone who wants to contribute to human activities in space to do so, not just people with advanced degrees in rocketry. To that end, Wooster has established DevelopSpace, a community based on open source philosophies, designed to attract anyone interested in sharing their skills in order to make more space exploration possible.


"We're focused on building up the technical foundations of human activities in space, identifying the current barriers to those activities, and then coming up with engineered solutions to those barriers -- but doing so in an open source manner. If, for example, I design a solar-powered system for use on Mars and do some testing in the lab, rather than just writing up a paper and publishing it in a journal or a .PDF format where it's difficult to extract information, I would post all of the CAD files and the more detailed engineering analyses so someone else can come along and improve on my design -- they don't have to start from scratch. Over time, what will happen is that more and more people will get involved in these actitivies and we will make technical progress toward lowering the barriers to entry for someone who wants to set up a human base on Mars, or an orbiting outpost. I don't actually see the group in the near term doing those types of things. This is much more of laying the foundations."

(With thanks to James Tyrrell.)


Anonymous said...

awesome!!! I'm glad more people are having this same idea day after day!!! open source space exploration is what is going to get us there and we can do it soon! come check out http://diyship.com for more people bringing this to a reality!

Glyn Moody said...

@jumpf - thanks for the link