SPACE: From Foray to Habitation
The Scientific Preparatory Academy for Cosmic Explorers (SPACE) is a new space exploration institution founded in January 2012 on the Isle of Man that inextricably combines a rigorous educational program with actual, hands-on space system development and exploration expeditions. The fundamental thesis is that exploration is education, and that scholarly instruction and research are merely two aspects of discovery. The ultimate goal of the SPACE is to help build a space-faring society.
The 1.5 day conference features three sessions, each addressing a broad set of issues relevant to the future of taking space into everyone's lives. The issues to be addressed are:
Education for a space-faring society
- Is the framework of traditional university instruction adequate to prepare citizens of a space-faring society?
- How soon should students grapple with the frontiers of knowledge by participating in research?
- What should scientific and engineering curricula comprise, and at what level of rigor?
- What should be the role and emphasis of the humanities?
- What values and ethical norms will be most compatible with space-faring life?
Institutional barriers to space habitation
- Can truly pan-human collaboration for the inception and growth of a space-faring society overcome national institutional barriers?
- What modes of government can assist progress?
- What legal frameworks are appropriate to address ownership, off-world mining, reclamation and salvage, etc.?
- What sort of economic arrangements could exist among the various colonies of a space-faring society?
Technical barriers to a space-faring civilization
- How does the habitation paradigm change the nature of launch systems, re-entry/return systems, etc.?
- How do we deal with human factors in prolonged spaceflight, and design wholly or partially closed systems?
- How are trajectory design and propulsion systems affected?
- A space-faring society may consist of widely dispersed, small human groups making use of local resources. There is an obvious need for habitation technology - a portable, integrated set of technological elements enabling each human group to generate its own consumables, mine/extract local resources and repair or fabricate its own tools. Do the components of such a technology already exist and can they be integrated?
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