Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
NASA Space Science Technology

DARPA Building Futuristic Space Exploration Group 141

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the lasers-come-first dept.
coondoggie writes "What started out as an idea about how to further explore the outer reaches of space is now beginning to take more serious shape as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) today issued a call for industry information on how to form such as cosmic entity. Specifically DARPA said it issued a Request For Information intended to solicit ideas and information on structure and approach, and identify parties qualified and interested in furthering what's known as the 100 Year Starship project."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

DARPA Building Futuristic Space Exploration Group

Comments Filter:
  • I'm just gonna download the entire Baen Library [baen.com], reformat it and send it to DARPA.

    Profit!
  • Helloooooo....SpaceX. Or were you thinking of outsourcing it to China?
  • I am glad to see someone else help pick up the long-term research slack.
    NASA is on the top targets of the tea party mood under the misconception that is accounts for a large percentage of federal budget. Plus one president terminating the shuttle and the next president terminating its replacement.
    • by ArcherB (796902)

      I am glad to see someone else help pick up the long-term research slack.

      NASA is on the top targets of the tea party mood under the misconception that is accounts for a large percentage of federal budget. Plus one president terminating the shuttle and the next president terminating its replacement.

      Can you show me where TEA Party members are calling for NASA to be cut or are you just making shit up because the truth won't justify your hatred of the TEA Party?

      Actually, about 30 seconds of research [galvestondailynews.com] has revealed that you are lying your ass off:

      The Save NASA, Stop Obama group was lead mainly by people who consider themselves Tea Party activists, even though many are well known as Republicans. Organizer Ken Clark, a county commissioner, said the effort was mostly grassroots from the Tea Party members in the area.

    • by ATestR (1060586)

      I call BS. While the group that self identifies as "Tea Party" does want to slash government spending, it is for the most part what they consider waste. Yes, this includes a lot of what NASA does... or did you happen to forget that NASA wants to replace the Shuttle with Orion (another piece of bloat) instead of using one of the much cheaper alternatives (as well as ready sooner, more reliable, etc.) being offered by outfits like SpaceX.

      Yes, I self identify with the Tea Party. I am not lower middle class,

      • by mosb1000 (710161)

        NASA wants to replace the Shuttle with Orion (another piece of bloat) instead of using one of the much cheaper alternatives (as well as ready sooner, more reliable, etc.) being offered by outfits like SpaceX

        I don't think there are many in NASA who want to use Orion. The people who want that senators from states like Utah who would benefit from the program.

  • Starfleet? The organization could be a United Federation of Planets. No, nevermind, that's stupid.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      SMEG (SpaceMen Exploration Group).

      Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast!

  • Space-XKCD (Score:2, Interesting)

    by starglider29a (719559)
    Amazing at how well-timed the previous XKCD turned out to be.

    http://xkcd.com/893/
    • by Grishnakh (216268)

      I think that XKCD is either incorrect, or pessimistic. It would be absolutely true, however, if it said "number of living Americans" instead of "people". I think it's likely we'll have more people walking on other worlds in the next few decades, but they sure as hell won't be Americans (unless they're billionaires paying some foreign space agency for the privilege).

      • Re:Space-XKCD (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Unipuma (532655) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @12:03PM (#36025798)

        I thought even more though provoking was the little alt-text that accompanied the comic:

        'The universe is probably littered with the one-planet graves of cultures which made the sensible economic decision that there's no good reason to go into space -- each discovered, studied, and remembered by the ones who made the irrational decision.'

        • by no1nose (993082)

          That is poetic! In order to become more than we are perhaps we do need to seek out new life and new civilizations. To Boldy Go.

        • by icebrain (944107)

          I saw it last night, and it was the most depressing thing I've read in a while.

          Unfortunately, the human race appears to have little (if any) desire to leave mommy's basement and explore the neighborhood, much less anything else.

          • by elrous0 (869638) *

            That's because the "neighborhood" has little air pressure, only a minuscule amount of oxygen or water (mostly in a form that would require extensive processing to even get at it), intense cosmic radiation, little in the way of complex minerals or ores, and no topsoil. It's also either very hot or very cold (depending on which direction you head). And it requires a huge amount of time and energy to get from house to house.

            That's why we stay in the basement, and probably always will, whether we like it or not

        • by elrous0 (869638) *

          And the multiple-planet graves of cultures who didn't appreciate how unsurvivable and unsustainable the other planets and moons in their solar system really were.

        • Thing is, getting people off-planet is not going to increase racial survival unless they can form self-sustaining colonies. Right now, if we were to have permanent colonies on the Moon and Mars, and Earth were eaten by a star goat, the colonies would die pretty darn fast.

          There's only a handful, if that, of off-Earth locations in the Solar System that don't make Antarctica look like Paradise, and Antarctica is a whole lot easier to get to. There are probably more hospitable places in other systems, but

          • by fritsd (924429)

            Thing is, getting people off-planet is not going to increase racial survival unless they can form self-sustaining colonies.

            I disagree about the racial survival: if it turns out to be extremely difficult to build a "Biosphere 4" on the Moon or Mars and have it not covered in mold / swamped in CO2 / all plants died of unknown causes in a year, then hopefully this will increase all people's appreciation of the only working example that we as a race have -- Biosphere 1 (Earth).

            If a child has a toy and is t

  • money (Score:4, Insightful)

    by vlm (69642) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @11:01AM (#36025028)

    From the fine article

    Methods to incentivize researchers,

    Ummm, I'd try money.

  • Starfleet - you knew it was coming.
  • by richdun (672214) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @11:04AM (#36025074)
    Said organization must comply with the following requirements: - Uniforms should be brightly colored, vaguely indicating role, and adaptable to look good while allowing for command-level officers to engage in hand-to-hand combat on a regular basis. - All senior officers should be skilled in everything. Yes, everything. We'll decide who does what based on who's standing around at the moment, not based on some specialized set of skills or designated responsibilities. - The organization should construct a fleet of vessels, with one vessel getting all the priority assignments while the rest of the fleet does Sudoku until needed for a well-intentioned but otherwise ineffective show of support. - The organization should be composed of scientists and explorers who just so happen to run around with the most powerful weapons currently available. Asteroids can hurt, right?
    • # 1: Female uniforms must include mandatory Shiny Purple Sexy Wigs.

      http://fortresstakes.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/ufo_moonbase_girls_purple_wigs.jpg [wordpress.com]

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:UFOTVDVDnew.jpg [wikipedia.org]
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UFO_(TV_series) [wikipedia.org]

      Said organization must comply with the following requirements:

      - Uniforms should be brightly colored, vaguely indicating role, and adaptable to look good while allowing for command-level officers to engage in hand-to-hand combat on a regular basis.
      - All senior officers should be skilled in everything. Yes, everything. We'll decide who does what based on who's standing around at the moment, not based on some specialized set of skills or designated responsibilities.
      - The organization should construct a fleet of vessels, with one vessel getting all the priority assignments while the rest of the fleet does Sudoku until needed for a well-intentioned but otherwise ineffective show of support.
      - The organization should be composed of scientists and explorers who just so happen to run around with the most powerful weapons currently available. Asteroids can hurt, right?

  • It's called Starfleet! It's formed by gathering up civilizations after they develop warp drive technology. Everybody knows that!

  • by bughunter (10093) <.ten.knilhtrae. .ta. .retnuhgub.> on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @11:27AM (#36025374) Journal

    I want to be optimistic. When I chose engineering as a career, my goal was to aid humanity in colonizing space, because I could see that we've run out of terrestrial expansion room.

    But TFA is Michael Cooney's Layer 8 blog. Cooney mines the Federal Business Ops website [fbo.gov] for RFIs and RFPs and then writes entire articles based on conjecture and conclusions reached by means of Boots of Springing and Striding [coryj.net]. I've worked on programs that have received Cooney's attention and was amazed at how wrong he was on so many points, and how he presented his erroneous assumptions as facts. It's hard to take anything I read on Layer 8 credibly.

    For instance, Cooney regularly glosses over the transient nature of the RFIs he cites. Keep in mind that an RFI is merely a "Request for Information." It's an unfunded solicitation of ideas and white papers, used to identify whether there's anybody credible out there who has an idea plausible enough and attractive enough to warrant going back to the DARPA Director and, eventually, Congress with a budget request for a real RFP and phase I study program. Many RFIs result in either nothing, or an RFP for an unfunded IDIQ or a shoestring SBIR type contract. They're fishing expeditions. And sometimes they're done for internal projects just to get new ideas for free, or for programs hardwired for an existing contractor just as a sort of threat. (But on the other side of the coin, DARPA is usually not tricksy like that... but there's still no guarantee of any money available.)

    Still, I'm very glad that DARPA is soliciting ideas, at least... there's a phrase in the R&D world: "DARPA Hard." DARPA doesn't consider ideas that are just matters of engineering -- making existing tech lighter/faster/cheaper. They want to push the state of the art and hope to sponsor real, fundamental science that opens up new possibilities. Starships are indeed DARPA Hard.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      When I chose engineering as a career [...] because I could see that we've run out of terrestrial expansion room.

      Population of the world: ~7 billion;
      Population density of New York City: 27,532 / sq. mi.
      Population density of London, England: 12,450 / sq. mi.
      Area of Texas: 268,581 sq. mi.

      The entire population of earth would fit into a city roughly the size of Texas, at the same population density as New York City. Cut the density in half (slightly more dense than London), and you're talking about everybod

  • Remember Jefferson Starship?
    Are they still waiting for the first star ship to Hijack? It has been so many years that the original bunch may be too old now but I wonder if they trained their kids?
    The star ship stonies rocking their way across the stars!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUT1xvdrlDA [youtube.com]

    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      Aren't those the fools who tried building a city out of rock-and-roll instead of concrete and brick? Sure, worked great until the first big storm came through. I can still see those bloody Members Only jackets scattered everywhere in the rubble.

      • by turgid (580780)

        Aren't those the fools who tried building a city out of rock-and-roll instead of concrete and brick?

        Rock and Roll? Wuss-music, more like!

  • by mrcvp (1130257)
    Do your part and join the Mobile Infantry now to save the world!
  • The energy to send a description of an object to another star is roughly a million times less than the energy to send the object itself. So the right answer is to send a small nanotech factory which builds a receiving station at your destination. Then you scan a person at an atomic level here, transmit the data, and build a copy at the other end. Besides being frugal from an energy standpoint, it allows you to travel at the highest possible speed (that of light), and the trip time from the traveler's poi

    • by mdsolar (1045926)
      There is quite a lot of energy orbiting in the Oort Cloud which might be exploited so energy constraints may not be as severe as you think.
    • @AC1 - are you conscious when asleep or under medical procedure? The assumption is that an atomic detail copy contains all the detail to recreate the person, including their consciousness. If you don't agree, then where is the extra data stored in the body? I assume the traveler lays down in and operating type room, put to sleep so they don't move around, then is scanned. The copy wakes up in reverse order, first body set in operation (heart started, etc), then woken up.

      @mdsolar - even if you have access

  • FTL travel requires bypassing the energy required to move a mass through normal space.

    The moment you have FTL, you have a method for adding infinite energy to the universe... say by using FTL to boost a mass out of the middle of a solar system, then letting it fall back in via traditional Newtonian methods from the outer edges of it.

    I'm pretty sure the universe doesn't like that.

I am here by the will of the people and I won't leave until I get my raincoat back. - a slogan of the anarchists in Richard Kadrey's "Metrophage"

Working...