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Open Space Project

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The Open Space Project would be the most ambitious and, in some ways, most controversial of the projects included in the Open Source Everything Project, It’s objective is, obviously enough, to pursue the development of Open Source aerospace systems, though it would focus largely on systems of modest scale such as high performance sounding rockets, small scale marine launched rockets, hybrid dirigible launch systems like the SkyScraper, the Mountain WaveRider, experimental tether climbers, microsatallites, aerostats and telerobotic high altitude aircraft, and similar novel but generally small and un-manned systems. It would also focus on support systems such as space structural systems, telerobotics, launch, command, and control systems based on Control Webs, and research and engineering software of all sorts. What makes this project controversial is not the concept itself but rather the nature of the world at the beginning of the 21st century. All projects under the Open Source Everything Project would be intended to be supported by an international community of tinkerers, hobbyists, and serious developers. But the problem with aerospace technology is its particular potential for weaponization. All Open Source technology has a weaponization potential. Even Linux may some day –if not already– be a component of computerized military weapons systems, host systems supporting battlefield communications, and so on. But an Open Source sounding rocket is something with direct potential to become a powerful weapon with little adaptation and so bears with it much more responsibility in how the information of the technology is disseminated. But on the positive side, it is much easier for an educated community to keep an eye on how such technology is being used and who is using it, but even in that comes the responsibility for reporting. This will probably be the single-greatest challenge to the Open Source concept as a whole and one area where the hobbyist space community comes into some conflict with political authorities. But then rocket hobbyists have long faced this same challenge. The difference is the sophistication of technology a new generation of hobbyists aided by Post-Industrial technology will have.

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