SSI is pleased to announce the publication of papers from the 14th Space Manufacturing Conference. Thirteen papers from the conference at the NASA Ames Research Center are now available for download at no cost. They cover a broad range of key areas including space transportation, closed environment life support systems, in-situ resource utilization, space solar power, and emerging technologies such as 3-D printing.
To economize, we have decided to make these papers available for free download rather than producing a printed volume. As was done for the 1st and 2nd conferences, SSI will combine these papers with those from the future (15th) Space Manufacturing Conference into one volume for purchase. We are working on plans for the 15th Conference at this time and will announce venue and dates shortly. In the interim, this approach will guarantee the widest possible distribution.
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SSI held the 14th Conference on Space Manufacturing and Space Settlement at the NASA Ames Research Center on October 29-31, 2010. This marked a successful return of our influential meeting. Since the last conference, there has been huge progress in some technical areas and little in others. In particular, there has been excellent progress in automated and teleoperated mining technology, great progress in developing highly reusable rocket engines, and much improved knowledge of the distribution of extraterrestrial resources. Except for the SSI work on closed environment life support systems completed a few years ago, there has been little progress in this critical technology for space settlement.
The panel discussion “Moon, Mars or Asteroids: Where Do We Go First For Resources?” was enlightening. The consensus was that the Moon would be the first body to be used for non-terrestrial resources. The advantage the Moon has over asteroids is logistical. Travel times to asteroids are long and mission opportunities are few, and the longer physical distance makes teleoperation of mining equipment impossible. A successful asteroid mining expedition would involve a human crew with a mission duration of years. Resupply would be difficult with current technology. The Moon, on the other hand, is only three days away and has multiple flight windows per month. Teleoperation with a lunar time delay is known to be possible, and spare parts or a human repair crew could be sent with comparative ease. Continue reading Space Studies Institute Update Winter 2011→
Excellent content developed by conference chairs John Lewis and Lee Valentine, and session chairs Gary Hudson, Michael A’Hearn, Taber MacCallum, Red Whittaker, Peter Schubert, Philip Chapman and Brad Blair.
Produced and directed by Robin Snelson, Haley Jackson, Douglas Messier, Henry Vanderbilt, Joshua Nelson, Nicole Thom, Gary Marx and Mark Ciotola.
Video archives, presentations and published proceedings coming soon. Watch this space.