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Consortium Conference

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  • frank_stratford
    Hi everyone. As part of our plan for developing a consortium model for funding a humans to Mars program we have decided that a good first step is to organize
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 7, 2009
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      Hi everyone. As part of our plan for developing a "consortium" model for funding a humans to Mars program we have decided that a good first step is to organize a round table conference to bring together potential players who might one day consider being part of the consortium, and to use this conference to let discussions and partnerships happen organically- government and private sectors together. It all starts with a dialogue though.

      The idea is to bring together representatives from as many companies and space agencies (at various levels), to get them looking at some human mission designs (more than one) and working out solutions to fund this all. It will be unlike any space conference before it because it will contain both public and private round table discussions, and will be designed to get these players talking to each other.

      To do this, we need to raise a certain level of funds and of course have the representatives attend. Lot's of organizing involved, and fundraising, and of course our own mission design. We want to raise $45,000 to do this as a starting amount, and whether anyone helps us or not, this is something we will be doing, even if it takes 2 or 3 years. I may even pay for it myself. To me, this is the most important concrete step we can take towards making real missions to Mars happen in our time. Get the money people talking to each other. Have all options on the table. Get the people that matter together to talk to each other.

      We can assist and guide the process, and that is an extremely valuable role to play- with mission designs as well. Ron mentioned that our DRM 2.5 was designed to appeal to Lockheed Martin for example, and no doubt we will have others, but I want us to keep our options open and think bigger on this matter. A consortium will need a design that appeals to ALL, not just one. So this takes the pressure off of us to design for one company or space agency.

      United Space Alliance was a partnership of Lockheed and Boeing, so again, don;t worry too much about appealing to one company because no single company can do all this anyway. Most space agencies now accept that humans to Mars will be a partnership of many nations and companies, so this conference is designed to move that process along. Our design should not be constrained by "fantasy LV" vs "realistic", because right now, if you want to be technical, the realistic LV's are those which are being launched today. ALL paper LV's are just ideas right now, and none of them have any more credibility than any others in their range (say from space agencies or aerospace companies). This argument about NASA not going for a 12metre diametre load is one part of this issue. The reality is none of us know what NASA is going to choose. They did provide a 12m option, THEY did it. Not Mike, not me. They can change this, they can go up or down or do nothing at all.

      Having said that, it is useful to use their ideas (because they are NASA), but not get too worked up about their next steps. It seems to me that NASA, if they do go for a Mars mission, will build a completely new LV system, and they will decide what size the chunks will be, not us. But what they can't control is the funding side. So with the consortium conference I am starting off the fundraising drive by asking for your help, and to ensure that we stay on track with the direction we go in now. If anyone can help with the $45,000 aspect, let me know, but for now, let's keep moving with the design, work through the steps Ron outlayed.
    • davidgooding16
      Frank, I m afraid I don t have $45,000 lying around at present to invest in such a venture (or anything else for that matter). Having said that I would be
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 7, 2009
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        Frank,

        I'm afraid I don't have $45,000 lying around at present to invest in such a venture (or anything else for that matter). Having said that I would be prepared to make a donation. But…

        Are we ready to do this and do we have the credibility, technically? In principle one could arrange and facilitate such a conference without any great technical input, however, what then would be our "value added" contribution? Would we be listened to and taken seriously?

        The technical credibility issue concerns me somewhat. Alright, we have DRM 2.5 and we could go with that. But if we were to do this, I think that we should take the mission design to a further level of detail, consider the physiological aspects that I know you are particularly concerned with and undertake a safety assessment and so forth.

        If we go with another mission, such as is currently being worked here, I would note that progress in the last six months since I have been around has been a little slow, with only a small number of people actively working on it. In that time, we haven't even settled on a route to go down, let alone actually gone down it to any significant extent. [This has been a source of some frustration for myself and consequently I am keeping out of these change-of-direction discussions until things settle down a bit; in the meantime I'm trying to work up a little more on the "mission plan III" proposed by Ron]. If we could progress something to a respectable level of detail and/or have been able to show that we have a possible route through the various problems associated with a manned Mars mission, across the whole breadth of issues (rather than a specific concept for a particular part of a mission), then this would be something of value that we could bring to the conference.

        Also, what are we looking for as an outcome from the conference? Private companies can be a little "hard nosed" about doing work with no prospect of return. R&D work that aerospace companies undertake on a privately-funded basis tends to be on the basis that there is possibly something at the end of it, even if it is just to take them to a point of being in "pole position" when bidding for likely future work. Unless they perceive a political will for something like this, leading to possible contracts in the future, or, unless they think they can make money out of it in some other way, they will be unlikely to be that interested. There has to be something in it for them. I'm assuming that we won't be in a position to place any significant contracts, either technically, or financially. What is our funding model (or models) for a manned Mars mission? We'd have to present this at the introduction if we wanted to host such a conference.

        Having said all that, in summary I think that yes it's a good idea. If (a) if we know what we want out of the conference and know how to appeal to the possible attendees, and (b) can establish a degree of technical credibility by having done substantial work either on a good detailed DRM and/or on resolving the various problems associated with manned Mars missions then, yes, I'd be prepared to make a significant contribution to the costs of this. But I reckon, based on current progress, achieving (b) might take some time. In the meantime, I'm happy to make more modest donations towards running costs and will do so from now on an ongoing basis.

        Regards,

        Dave G

        --- In marsdrivemission@yahoogroups.com, "frank_stratford" <frank_stratford@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi everyone. As part of our plan for developing a "consortium" model for funding a humans to Mars program we have decided that a good first step is to organize a round table conference to bring together potential players who might one day consider being part of the consortium, and to use this conference to let discussions and partnerships happen organically- government and private sectors together. It all starts with a dialogue though.
        >
        > The idea is to bring together representatives from as many companies and space agencies (at various levels), to get them looking at some human mission designs (more than one) and working out solutions to fund this all. It will be unlike any space conference before it because it will contain both public and private round table discussions, and will be designed to get these players talking to each other.
        >
        > To do this, we need to raise a certain level of funds and of course have the representatives attend. Lot's of organizing involved, and fundraising, and of course our own mission design. We want to raise $45,000 to do this as a starting amount, and whether anyone helps us or not, this is something we will be doing, even if it takes 2 or 3 years. I may even pay for it myself. To me, this is the most important concrete step we can take towards making real missions to Mars happen in our time. Get the money people talking to each other. Have all options on the table. Get the people that matter together to talk to each other.
        >
        > We can assist and guide the process, and that is an extremely valuable role to play- with mission designs as well. Ron mentioned that our DRM 2.5 was designed to appeal to Lockheed Martin for example, and no doubt we will have others, but I want us to keep our options open and think bigger on this matter. A consortium will need a design that appeals to ALL, not just one. So this takes the pressure off of us to design for one company or space agency.
        >
        > United Space Alliance was a partnership of Lockheed and Boeing, so again, don;t worry too much about appealing to one company because no single company can do all this anyway. Most space agencies now accept that humans to Mars will be a partnership of many nations and companies, so this conference is designed to move that process along. Our design should not be constrained by "fantasy LV" vs "realistic", because right now, if you want to be technical, the realistic LV's are those which are being launched today. ALL paper LV's are just ideas right now, and none of them have any more credibility than any others in their range (say from space agencies or aerospace companies). This argument about NASA not going for a 12metre diametre load is one part of this issue. The reality is none of us know what NASA is going to choose. They did provide a 12m option, THEY did it. Not Mike, not me. They can change this, they can go up or down or do nothing at all.
        >
        > Having said that, it is useful to use their ideas (because they are NASA), but not get too worked up about their next steps. It seems to me that NASA, if they do go for a Mars mission, will build a completely new LV system, and they will decide what size the chunks will be, not us. But what they can't control is the funding side. So with the consortium conference I am starting off the fundraising drive by asking for your help, and to ensure that we stay on track with the direction we go in now. If anyone can help with the $45,000 aspect, let me know, but for now, let's keep moving with the design, work through the steps Ron outlayed.
        >
      • Michael Bloxham
        I m a uni student and so am perpetually broke (and will continue to be for a looong time) :-(   I agree with what Dave is saying here. We need to work on
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 7, 2009
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          I'm a uni student and so am perpetually broke (and will continue to be for a looong time) :-(
           
          I agree with what Dave is saying here. We need to work on (b).
           
          With this mobile-hab based architecture I think we have made some huge advances with regards to crew safety, radiation exposure, dust exposure, mission safety, crew psychology, and better science return for the investment dollar.
           
          I believe that we really do have something revolutionary here. But as Dave mentions, we need to work on it a bit more.
           
          I too am a bit frustrated with the lack of real progress. However, I do recognize that it is better to spend the time getting the mission plan right, rather than forge ahead at full steam on the wrong mission plan.
           
          We've got to make sure that the plan is actually as safe as we say, and that it is as achieveable as we say. As Ron says, its got to have credibility.
           
          - Mike

          --- On Mon, 9/7/09, davidgooding16 <davidgooding16@...> wrote:

          From: davidgooding16 <davidgooding16@...>
          Subject: [marsdrivemission] Re: Consortium Conference
          To: marsdrivemission@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Monday, September 7, 2009, 3:44 PM

           
          Frank,

          I'm afraid I don't have $45,000 lying around at present to invest in such a venture (or anything else for that matter). Having said that I would be prepared to make a donation. But…

          Are we ready to do this and do we have the credibility, technically? In principle one could arrange and facilitate such a conference without any great technical input, however, what then would be our "value added" contribution? Would we be listened to and taken seriously?

          The technical credibility issue concerns me somewhat. Alright, we have DRM 2.5 and we could go with that. But if we were to do this, I think that we should take the mission design to a further level of detail, consider the physiological aspects that I know you are particularly concerned with and undertake a safety assessment and so forth.

          If we go with another mission, such as is currently being worked here, I would note that progress in the last six months since I have been around has been a little slow, with only a small number of people actively working on it. In that time, we haven't even settled on a route to go down, let alone actually gone down it to any significant extent. [This has been a source of some frustration for myself and consequently I am keeping out of these change-of-direction discussions until things settle down a bit; in the meantime I'm trying to work up a little more on the "mission plan III" proposed by Ron]. If we could progress something to a respectable level of detail and/or have been able to show that we have a possible route through the various problems associated with a manned Mars mission, across the whole breadth of issues (rather than a specific concept for a particular part of a mission), then this would be something of value that we could bring to the conference.

          Also, what are we looking for as an outcome from the conference? Private companies can be a little "hard nosed" about doing work with no prospect of return. R&D work that aerospace companies undertake on a privately-funded basis tends to be on the basis that there is possibly something at the end of it, even if it is just to take them to a point of being in "pole position" when bidding for likely future work. Unless they perceive a political will for something like this, leading to possible contracts in the future, or, unless they think they can make money out of it in some other way, they will be unlikely to be that interested. There has to be something in it for them. I'm assuming that we won't be in a position to place any significant contracts, either technically, or financially. What is our funding model (or models) for a manned Mars mission? We'd have to present this at the introduction if we wanted to host such a conference.

          Having said all that, in summary I think that yes it's a good idea. If (a) if we know what we want out of the conference and know how to appeal to the possible attendees, and (b) can establish a degree of technical credibility by having done substantial work either on a good detailed DRM and/or on resolving the various problems associated with manned Mars missions then, yes, I'd be prepared to make a significant contribution to the costs of this. But I reckon, based on current progress, achieving (b) might take some time. In the meantime, I'm happy to make more modest donations towards running costs and will do so from now on an ongoing basis.

          Regards,

          Dave G

          --- In marsdrivemission@ yahoogroups. com, "frank_stratford" <frank_stratford@ ...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi everyone. As part of our plan for developing a "consortium" model for funding a humans to Mars program we have decided that a good first step is to organize a round table conference to bring together potential players who might one day consider being part of the consortium, and to use this conference to let discussions and partnerships happen organically- government and private sectors together. It all starts with a dialogue though.
          >
          > The idea is to bring together representatives from as many companies and space agencies (at various levels), to get them looking at some human mission designs (more than one) and working out solutions to fund this all. It will be unlike any space conference before it because it will contain both public and private round table discussions, and will be designed to get these players talking to each other.
          >
          > To do this, we need to raise a certain level of funds and of course have the representatives attend. Lot's of organizing involved, and fundraising, and of course our own mission design. We want to raise $45,000 to do this as a starting amount, and whether anyone helps us or not, this is something we will be doing, even if it takes 2 or 3 years. I may even pay for it myself. To me, this is the most important concrete step we can take towards making real missions to Mars happen in our time. Get the money people talking to each other. Have all options on the table. Get the people that matter together to talk to each other.
          >
          > We can assist and guide the process, and that is an extremely valuable role to play- with mission designs as well. Ron mentioned that our DRM 2.5 was designed to appeal to Lockheed Martin for example, and no doubt we will have others, but I want us to keep our options open and think bigger on this matter. A consortium will need a design that appeals to ALL, not just one. So this takes the pressure off of us to design for one company or space agency.
          >
          > United Space Alliance was a partnership of Lockheed and Boeing, so again, don;t worry too much about appealing to one company because no single company can do all this anyway. Most space agencies now accept that humans to Mars will be a partnership of many nations and companies, so this conference is designed to move that process along. Our design should not be constrained by "fantasy LV" vs "realistic", because right now, if you want to be technical, the realistic LV's are those which are being launched today. ALL paper LV's are just ideas right now, and none of them have any more credibility than any others in their range (say from space agencies or aerospace companies). This argument about NASA not going for a 12metre diametre load is one part of this issue. The reality is none of us know what NASA is going to choose. They did provide a 12m option, THEY did it. Not Mike, not me. They can change this, they can go up or down or do nothing at all.
          >
          > Having said that, it is useful to use their ideas (because they are NASA), but not get too worked up about their next steps. It seems to me that NASA, if they do go for a Mars mission, will build a completely new LV system, and they will decide what size the chunks will be, not us. But what they can't control is the funding side. So with the consortium conference I am starting off the fundraising drive by asking for your help, and to ensure that we stay on track with the direction we go in now. If anyone can help with the $45,000 aspect, let me know, but for now, let's keep moving with the design, work through the steps Ron outlayed.
          >


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