[SpaceProgram] Quick Update on Day 1 of 100YSS Symposium

cole santos cksantos85 at gmail.com
Sat Sep 15 20:08:34 CEST 2012

sounds like a waste of $$$

On Sun, Sep 16, 2012 at 4:24 AM, <psytek at alphaonelabs.com> wrote:

> Great summary.  Thanks Jerry.
> On Sep 15, 2012, at 9:33 AM, Jerry Isdale <isdale at gmail.com> wrote:
> Huei Ming Tan and I are attending the 100Year StarShip Study Symposium in
> Houston Tx this weekend.
> Yesterday was the first full day ... Thursday there was a 'tour of Johnson
> Space Center' activity for early arrivals.  Huei Ming was here and went on
> it.  He can give a more full report, but as an indicator of conference
> preparation, the folks who went were surprised to learn when they got there
> that there was no arranged tour.  Fortunately one of the attendees was from
> JPL and became an impromptu tour guide.
> Appears to be about 250 registered attendees. Maybe 30 are teams that
> proposed for the DARPA RFP (like us).  The conference printed
> agenda/materials is another indicator of the organization... It is very
> difficult to read and figure out.  The font and spacing is very crammed,
> yet most of the page is blank space.  There is little consistency in the
> timing layout.  I dont think they have anyone with graphical design
> experience on board.  Or at most a 1st year intern.
> The Opening Session was a couple Welcome speeches, including a video
> recorded welcome from Honorary Chair (former usa) President Bill Clinton.
> Mae Jemison, astronaut heading up 100YSS organization gave the long speech
> about the org. Lots of 'preaching to the choir' about how great this is and
> that they want to be inclusive, etc. Nothing of great news, IMHO.
> THen started the 7 parallel tracks of papers and workshops .. 7!! really
> hard to choose, except that I was registered for a workshop (Research
> Priorities.. RP).  Huei did a papers track.  The workshop (13 people) chose
> to frame the discussion around the Socio-Political Environment aspects.  We
> were asked to come up with various S/P hypothesis and then broke into small
> 3-4 person groups to discuss priorities as colored by one or another
> hypothesis.  Some of the Hypothesis were: what if research is controlled by
> corporate interests?  What if Anti-Science becomes dominant politically?
> What if there is a major world war? What if Social Cooperation proves
> impractical/impossible on world scale?
> My group focused on the Corporate Dominance theme (odd for hacker like me,
> but groups were not self-selecting, rather by seats in room).    First
> divided research into categories of Propulsion, Habitat, Social and
> Destination, and then talked about how Corporations might rank those in
> priorities. The personal views of participants showed here - One guy
> (corporate) said corporations would totally discount social priorities. I
> countered that might not be true as they have a strong interest in
> education to insure there are people to hire.  Other social issues (like
> how do you keep a society together for duration of interstellar travel)
> were completely discounted in corporate priorities (i think they would be
> higher but ...)  Propulsion was seen as highest priority.
> More details hopefully in the summaries to be given on Sunday. (and when I
> have time to write up notes)
> Huei Ming and I then attended the Proposers Luncheon, which got us
> sit-down meals (vs box lunches for others) and a chance for people to talk
> quickly (3min) about their proposal. The moderator was not very good at
> pulling the microphone and first couple of people dragged on for 10min.
>  One guy had a nuclear propulsion based system that he has been promoting
> since 1961 (tried for patents but denied, etc) and ran on and on about it
> for a while.  They nearly cut off the last 3 groups - including us.   Huei
> did talk and turns out there are a couple other very interesting related
> groups here with whom we have connected (more later).
> I went to a papers session in later afternoon, and Joe Ritter of the Open
> Source Space Alliance (and one of the track chair's) gave me 10min of his
> presentation (last of day) to talk about SpaceGAMBIT.  Lot of people were
> excited by it  and one former LLNL scientist came up afterwards to say he
> was about to give up on conference until he heard last couple of talks
> including ours.  Now he has some hope for effort.
> Overall there has been little about the 100YSS organization itself here.
>  What is there corporate org, plans, research done, etc.  It seems that
> they are  using the seed $$ to set up a group that will then do fundraising
> and after that maybe do some research support.
> (I skipped out on the extra cost dinner/reception last night and went to a
> blues club with a friend who lives here in Houston. ... wound up talking
> till 2am)
> Lots of interesting people, from hard science, social angles, and some
> lunatic fringe too... I'm probably in the latter group - Hackerspaces in
> Space? Are you Crazy? .... yes.
> Jerry Isdale
>  isdale at spacegambit.org
> USA Program Lead, SpaceGAMBIT
> Global Alliance of Makers Building Interstellar Technology
> http://SpaceGAMBIT.org
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