[extropy-chat] Re: SPACE: where are we?

Robert J. Bradbury bradbury at aeiveos.com
Sat Feb 7 16:45:50 UTC 2004

On Fri, 6 Feb 2004, Russell Evermore wrote:

> Getting back to Robert Bradbury's original puzzlement over why Nasa/JPL
> seems a little stingy with the goods. Honestly guys, I can't believe you're
> having difficulty with this one. Think meta-perspective and you will soon
> begin to see how the pieces fit together.

I'm not buying it completely -- NASA is not the JPL.  The comments on /.
suggest that the JPL made a poor choice for the operating system for the
landers (and its probably a closed source OS).  But that is no reason
to keep the applications running on top of it closed as well -- as Mike
has pointed out they have some of the sim on Earth software available
(or is this closed source as well???).

*But* I think it was the NOVA show on the Mars landers where Dr. Squyres
made the point that when they were ready to launch the software had not
been fully developed and that they were planning to install upgrades
during the voyage to Mars.  One has to wonder what open source development
of the Mars Rover software might have been capable of?

Though Mike's comments make some sense -- I would love to see the
responses for FOI requests for the complete blueprints to the S-V
or the Space Shuttle (or even the SSME).  You can make lots of security
arguments vis-a-vis the rocket (or "missile") technology -- though
I would love to know what the European arguments relative to the
A-4 or A-5 plans would be (since there is a lower component of the
U.S. v. Soviet Union paranoia).

The days when the excuse of "well its too much information and we
could never deliver it all" (which might well be justified for
something like the S-V blueprints) would appear to be fading.
We know the lander code is less than a gigabyte.  It will
certainly fit on a DVD or even a CD -- for more robust email
systems it can probably even be sent as a (rather large) attachment.

It would be interesting to start an effort that *if* the U.S. (using
taxpayer dollars) is going to return to the Moon or Mars to insist
that all of the data (hardware blueprints, software code, etc.) be


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