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Cameron M. Smith: Private, Open-Source Reinvention of Basic Space Exploration Technologies

Abstract: Most space exploration technologies are small-scale, smaller than a school bus. Once earth's Gravity well is left behind, space exploration uses such small and relatively simple technologies for much of its work (e.g. exploring planetary surfaces). Most of these technologies are radically more expensive than they should be, and many have not been updated since the late 1960's. I discuss how everyone can participate in space exploration by rethinking and reinventing fundamental space exploration technologies such as camping equipment or fixed-wing aircraft for the exploration of Mars.

Profile: Dr. Smith (Department of Anthropology, Portland State University)is a prehistorian, but also has strong interests in the human future. In recent years he has joined Icarus Interstellar's project to design worldships and propulsion systems for reaching exoplanets, and he has privately developed a lightweight, inexpensive launch-reentry garment or 'space suit'. He has given invited presentations to NASA, NASA-DARPA, the 100-Year Starship Conference, the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, TEDx Brussels, TEDx Portland, the Rose City Astronomers and this Fall will speak at the Second Interstellar Congress at Drexel University.