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

Alex Cureton-Griffiths alexcg at gmail.com
Sat Jan 7 10:28:13 CET 2012

Myself and James Coombs (another Xinchejian'er, who'll be joining this
list soon) were discussing contests/prizes, along the lines of a micro
version of the Ansari Prize. If we had been accepted for 100YSS we
were thinking about (along with other hackerspaces) putting together a
technology tree (like in the game Civilisation) detailing the
technologies needed to get to a starship within 100 years. Prizes
would be awarded for building the technologies on the tree that are
needed to achieve the goal, with achievable milestones set along the
way. Since we're no longer focused on 100YSS we can apply the model to
other goals, e.g. a human habitat on Mars or whatever.

The above strategy may also have potential to attract sponsorship from
Ansari X Prize Foundation or similar. On the other hand, I think Ricky
mentioned that one of the things DARPA liked about the proposal we
submitted was that it was more about collaboration than competition.
Perhaps we could do both - give some grants for interesting projects
that are already furthering the goal, and award prizes for projects
that "fill in" the holes in the tech tree that aren't being focused

Agree we should leave out weapons, not just for liability purposes but
also because they are a dividing factor.

On Sat, Jan 7, 2012 at 1:37 PM, cole santos <cksantos85 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Its a little more selective in its space project categories than the
> 100yss. But instead of pursuing a particular project, it would be nice
> to just redistribute the money with our own micro grant process for
> the exact same RFP requirements. So the global hackerspace
> organization could hold contests on projects related to the RFP and
> distribute prizes to winners. We could start small with RFI contests
> with a few 100 bucks or so for the best idea for a particular
> technology track followed for an RFP to match the winning RFI. We
> should leave weapons out for liability purposes (explosives and
> firearms requires federal and state licencing and they should just get
> their own DARPA grant if they are organized enough to get one of
> those) unless it is a non leathal weapon (microwave, foam, whatever)
> or a combat enabling tech such as augmented reality HUD. I think that
> the platform category should however be included in our global
> hackerspace consortium challenges with the space stuff. Many makers
> are already making UAV and FPV aircraft, blimps, balloons, boats,
> tracked vehicles, and other craft.
> On Fri, Jan 6, 2012 at 12:45 PM, Luke Weston <reindeerflotilla at gmail.com> wrote:
>> It's worth noting that DARPA contributes to heaps of cutting-edge
>> fundamental research that has no direct, obvious military value. Heaps
>> of civilian scientists at universities across the world are happily
>> involved in valuable civilian basic science and technology research
>> that attracts funding from DARPA and occasionally other DOD agencies
>> such as the Army Research Office, and they're certainly not just
>> building weapons or building better bombs or anything like that.
>> Well known examples would include the DARPA Grand Challenge for
>> autonomous vehicle research, and a lot of quantum computing and
>> quantum communications research, for example a lot of the research
>> done by the universities affiliated with the ARC Centre for Quantum
>> Computer Technology in Australia (http://www.cqc2t.org/), as well as
>> this for example:
>> http://news.vanderbilt.edu/2010/11/new-initiative-to-develop-a-system-that-controls-prosthetic-limbs-naturally/
>> Cheers,
>>  Luke
>> _______________________________________________
>> SpaceProgram mailing list
>> SpaceProgram at lists.hackerspaces.org
>> http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/spaceprogram
> _______________________________________________
> SpaceProgram mailing list
> SpaceProgram at lists.hackerspaces.org
> http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/spaceprogram

More information about the SpaceProgram mailing list