[SpaceProgram] Very good news from discussion with the DARPA 100YSS program manager tonight

Ricky Ng-Adam rngadam at gmail.com
Fri Jan 6 16:41:02 CET 2012

Hello all!

Talked to the program manager tonight, Paul Eremenko. They really liked our
proposal but the story is that their hands were legally bound by the rules
they had set originally of a single awardee that receives mainly the rights
to the intellectual property of the 100YSS.

But he strongly pointed me to another solicitation process that is a type
of discretionary fund to be distributed by the director (who's really
supportive of any effort towards interstellar travel):


(that's an award notice, but it's actually a bundle of solicitation with a
section on space systems. The PDF is to the original).

We can re-submit the 100YSS proposal mostly as-is (just adapted to this
particular solication process), as long as we remove references to the
100YSS trademark. We would still (as the original plan) create a US
non-profit, create a board of hackerspaces and distribute the funds
globally from the original pool.

However, this process may be an harder sale for some Hackerspaces.
Contrarily to the 100YSS which concerned purely the creation of a separate
benevolent  organization this one has very specific military intentions
embedded in the type of things they are looking for. Of course, even 100YSS
initial association with DARPA faced the same kind of opposition. However,
this one will underline the tightrope between military and commercial
systems and the overlap between both.

So we have to keep the focus on the things that are to the benefit of the
non-military side of this solication and make sure that whatever we do will
tip towards benefiting humanity as a whole. This is important to involve as
many hackerspaces internationally in a way that a majority can feel
ethically good about - even if I expect some hackerspaces to just say no.

I think that with a separate non-profit entity, an Hackerspaces directed
project selection process and requirements towards OpenSource,
OpenHardware of our developments we can make our proposal palatable to both
DARPA and to the wider Hackerspaces community.

Huei Ming: we'll need to update the doc. Could you put the final version
text into Google Docs so we can collaboratively update it? Thanks

I've bolded what I think are the relevant parts in the solicitation:

3.   Advanced Space Systems
> TTO is interested in innovative approaches across a wide range of space
> technologies and
> concepts which will enable assured rapid responsiveness, survivability,
> surveillance, situational
> awareness, *sustainment, persistence*, protection, tracking, *
> communication*, *navigation*, early
> warning, launch, on -orbit transfer, and *control and efficiency in space
> operations*.  This also
> includes  pioneering advancements in *hybrid robotic/satellite technology*,
>  scalable fractionated
> space systems, *modular sensors and common architecture adaptable to
> multiple vehicles and
> structures*, techniques that reduce launch costs*, ultra light weight
> extreme performance vehicles
> and structures, innovative power generation for spacecraft, energy
> management, and propulsion*.

> 3.a Resilience in Space Operations
> TTO is interested in advanced innovation which supports  existing force
> structure and concepts  of
> operations against  the disruption and degradation of capabilities
> provided by space operations.
> Our focus also includes adjunct payloads and an emphasis on the use of
> autonomy to promote
> minimal support, reduced logistics, rapid set-up and teardown for
> operations, space system
> protection, and maximum flexibility to control multiple mission types.  *Other
> areas of interest
> involve staging platforms to support human servicing operations out to
> geosynchronous orbits,
> protection in high radiation environments,  pioneering space systems and
> advanced concepts for
> space power collection, storage, and space propulsion*. * Key
> technologies also include improving
> the efficiency in space manufacturing processes, advanced nano and micro -
> satellite technology*.

> 3.b Assured Space Access
> TTO is interested in technologies that provide a robust, reliable,
> affordable, and inno vative
> means for achieving access to   space.  Our focus is on revolutionizing
> the responsiveness and
> flexibility of space systems to include rapid and persistent "aircraft
> -like" space access.  Our
> interest also includes innovative launch systems and technologies
> necessary to assure and sustain
> future reliable efficient access to space.  Other TTO areas of interest
> center on dramatically
> improving affordability associated with space vehicle technologies that
> enable access to a wide
> range of altitudes and inclinations as well  as highly efficient on-orbit
> maneuvers.

> 3.c  Stability
> TTO is interested in technologies that provide measures to *promote safe
> and responsible
> operations in space; improved information collection, communications, and
> sharing of space
> data*; protection of critical space systems and supporting
> infrastructures with special attention to
> the critical interdependence of space and information systems.  Our
> interest also includes
> investment technologies to detect, mitigate, and increase resiliency to
> harmful interference to
> space communications systems and the Global Positioning System, as well as
> alternative
> approaches for their critical infrastructure, key resources, and mission
> -essential functions.

伍思力 | Ricky Ng-Adam | http://xinchejian.com | (+86) 186-2126-2521
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