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Sunday, August 24, 2014

SIXTy-7eVEN: it's been a while

Yep I am lazy. Haven't been doing much for the past couple of months. If I were in space, I'd be dead by now.

I just added three more links to my list. One is a kickstarter for a Canadian rocket company to do small satellite launches. The other two are also rocket companies that are developing rockets for the small satellite market. All attempting to use carbon composites, and Firefly is planning to use aerospike engines. They want to enable smaller companies that have 5 or so million dollars to spend to fly their own hardware to LEO as primary payload.

Overall it seems I am consistently being visited by bots, which is a good sign. At least the servers and search engines are paying attention to my ramblings.

I have stalled on my game dev project,  but I started messing with Unity again. So fingers crossed I might have that game up and running by the end of this decade.

Oh, and enjoy the new failed haiku of the month.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Sixty-SIX: crowd-doing


I found this in my facebook feed. This is exactly what I would like to do but with the addition of crowd funding, and an addictive game to get ourselves spending money on technology that we need to get off this rock.

Friday, February 28, 2014

SiXty-FIVE: progress?

I have a space survey on "hold" as it is at the moment, and I have a buggy gamestub up and running on the blog to scare any real people visiting the hell out of here.

According to my calculations at this rate I will be able to get enough money from selling lame annoying games I develop in Unity to pay for a ticket to the moon in around 73935 years + or - 10000 years.

I need to do a lot of work on that stub to make it into something less annoying and maybe even somewhat entertaining.

I am still optimistic though, FSS FTW!!!

p.s.: play around with mouse clicks, mouse scroll, wasdr, and if you feel adventurous throw in a couple q and e here and there. Enjoy the bugs.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Sixty-Four: DEATH!

Hi Bots, Crawlers, and other critters of the web!

It was time to me to put another rant up, and add some updates.

 No, this project is not DEAD.

"That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death may die."

What happened? I ran out of stuff to rant about. For a couple of months I was just not feeling like doing anything on the internet apart from getting my usual fix of science and space related news. I was also thinking about the game that I have claimed I wanted to make. I still want to make it and I have eventually got off my ass and started on the project.

First in December last year I finally downloaded Unity after reading about it all over the place, and after looking at the icon for a couple of extra weeks I finally clicked it and started doing tutorials. Now I am burrowing through the scripting reference page, the unity forum, and other resources slowly building something that one day might actually be playable.

Learning basic Java programming 2 years ago was a good move. Though it would have helped if I practiced it cause then maybe it wouldn't take me 2 hours to get a 10 line code compile and do what I want it to do.

Anyway I have an actual concept for a Game now. I have the outline of the game mechanics, and the background story. I have a location chosen that will be the "scene" for at least the first game. I have other scenes and ideas and they all connect through this "story" idea I have also been thinking about for the past 10 years probably.

I am working on the physics now. I still need to figure out the "art", the looks and sound of it. Trying to keep it as simple as possible, but it still is a steep learning curve.

It will be a series of 2D or 2.5D games, and hopefully they all go viral so I can channel all that money towards space exploration and science through the development of freespaceships. :) My "dreams" sometimes are a bit too hard to kill. /I will probably make 2 dollars from selling the game to myself and will finally give up on this stupid idea/

Maybe my revenue goal should be making enough money to cover my current FSS related expenses. The yearly domain name purchase, and the CopenhagenSuborbitals membership. Speaking of which, they are going to be testing their full scale Heat2 engine soon.

The space survey isn't dead either. I really do need to do it to find out what sort of games space crazy people like myself play / if any at all/. I might condense the relevant sections of it and put it on surveymonkey or some similar website. 

And last but not least. I recently saw the results of a survey that said people were generally disinterested in space exploration. The short sightedness of humanity pissed me off, so I thought maybe throwing a rant at the internet might change 1 person's perspective. If they by accident would stumble upon it, and for some miraculous reason decided to read it. I might have to spam my friends on facebook with it. :)

I noticed the steady increase in the hits to the website and after checking the sources it seems I am popular amongst the phony bots from shady countries. 

It's time to change the haiku at the top. I might be back later with that rant about why everyone should be extremely interested in space exploration. I need to continue my struggle with Unity, my baby is still a long way away.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

SiXtY - thrEE: surveys, makerlabs

Finally I managed to get to a meeting of Footscray Maker Lab. It was extremely educational just meeting new people. I am more convinced now that setting up such groups as nodes for the "freespaceships" network is the way to go. The network would get input in terms of manhours, expertise and the the makerlabs could get more funding and also people influx if there is sufficient interest amongst the "space enthusiasts".

So the goal seems to be to try and match the supposedly large crowd of space nerds with their local makerspaces and convince them to get involved and contribute in as many ways as they can afford and feel like.

This takes me to the other point I wanted to talk about. The survey/market research/study I have ranted about before that would be about researching the "space crowd". I started a google document last weekend, and started asking around for input in my immediate network. /spacefellowship, permanent, moonmars, planetary resources vanguards, open source space exploration community on google+, spaceGAMBIT group on facebook/

At the moment it is just about collecting questions aimed at people interested in space related activities. I was hoping people could add questions or topics they wanted to query the crowd about, then after sufficient amount of editing we put the survey online on it's own website, and finally the data is fed back into the crowd to be used by anyone for anything they want.

The project is open source in the sense that the questions are free to view and edit for anyone who has the link:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ORa7yHqHiMZaWIPTiDpzIH4tZ8YP-nHZNIlp5Go1A8I/edit

The next step will be to edit the questions, figuring out answer options, figuring out hosting, title, some legal issues etc... and then eventually actually posting it online.

I have had a lot of great comments from the various groups and already many people contributed which is awesome. I think I will make this my official first proper project because it is something I can actually do /still probably not well, but I don't think that matters/

To close this all off with some "spam".

The Arkyd campaign is in it's final days, if you think the project is cool put some money towards it. :)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

SIXTY_TWO: beamed power, even more networking

Hello Internet!

As usual I have been lazy and haven't done much work on my Udacity courses. Instead I have been reading about beamed power launch systems, and ranting about it on moonmars.org and spacefellowship. Technically I was trying to get some input from others because I thought that beamed power might actually be the way to go for a "freespaceships" like organisation. /crowd done, extremely large open source space program/.

A couple of days ago thanks to the feeds on my network I stumbled upon Exosphere inc. The project is about designing an open source space shuttle. 

Then while writing this blog entry, after mentioning Exosphere inc. and thanks to my borderline ADHD, I ended up writing to Exosphere inc. Then I came back here an hour later and found this post half done. To save time here is the mail I sent instead of me ranting about the same thing again:

Hi Zechariah,
my name is Balazs. I am an amateur space enthusiast seemingly on the same path as you have set for yourself, albeit lagging behind a couple of years. I have a basic blog /freespaceships.com/ where I rant and collect links to projects or groups such as Exosphereinc. My aim seems to be exactly like yours, a massively distributed and large scale crowd based open source space program. I am hoping to combine a large section of the current maker movement, with crowd funding and management, to collectively create something that could match government and private sector space programs. I dream that we eventually outperform them, but that would require a lot of work from a lot of people.

To cut to the chase, I was wondering if you were aware of Laser Motive, and Dr. Jordin T. Kare's Modular Laser Launch Architecture paper.


I believe the best chance for an open source design launch system that people, small companies, or smaller countries could finance to build would be this system. The biggest advantage of this system is that the vehicle itself is a lot smaller because it only needs to carry reaction mass, it doesn't need to store the energy for the launch on the craft itself. Less chance for nasty explosions, don't need large infrastructure to build or handle the vehicle, parts are smaller so can be manufactured in smaller workshops.

One major drawback is that the ground station is a multi billion dollar installation of a couple of thousand modules of lasers and optical systems that aim the lasers at the craft. In the study the modules are proposed to be around a shipping container in size, each beaming around 100 kW of power.

Another major drawback is the legal issues around working with high power lasers and aiming at the sky with them. So a fair amount of legal political and environmental hurdles need to be solved.

Although the large installation is a major investment, because the craft itself is a lot smaller, both it's mass production, and open source design and amateur assembly might be more feasible than either a Skylon type spaceplane, or any current rocket system we use to access space now. Many iterations of the craft could be designed built and tested by various small groups separately or as joint projects.

Also because the large laser power station is made of identical modules that aren't really large in size, their design, testing and mass production can be done with a reasonably small initial investment that potentially could be crowd funded and workload could be distributed among a large number of makerspaces, or interested small companies.

The launch station could be built by the joint effort of small nations, small businesses, and the crowd. Possibly several could be built around the globe in key locations to enable easy access for all continents.

Once the technology is demonstrated and the facilities are constructed the maintenance and upgrade would possibly be quite easy because it would only mean the switching out of the modules or parts of the modules, and all components could be easily mass produced. /some are already are/

Another advantage is that the these stations need to be in areas where there is a large number of days with clear skies and low humidity /for perfect launch opportunities/, and also as close to the equator as possible to maximise the deltaV gained from the Earth's rotation. These areas would also be ideal for solar power generation, and the two systems combined would make the ultimate cheap green access to space.

That is assuming that this system indeed is feasible with current or very near term technology.

I am unaware of how much of this technology has been patented, and whether Dr. Kare or Laser Motive would be interested in such a proposal. I have been planning to write them an e-mail and ask.

I thought I should share this idea because I recently talked to Blaze Sanders from Solarsystemexpress, and he offered both to help out with his team /some basic feasibility studies, business planning etc/, and suggested he might be able to contact some people from deep space industries as well.

If you are interested in teaming up, you can contact me through e-mail, or could come to moonmars.org where Blaze Sanders from Solarsystemexpress can be found as well. This is really only an amateur proposal. I am just throwing it at people interested in the same stuff I am trying to get some input or thoughts.

Thanks for your time.


Balazs Imri

Should have done more editing and should have organised my thoughts better, but I am too impatient and didn't want to spend more time on it. Same goes for this blog. I have to work tomorrow and today was pretty rainy and cold so I am extra tired.

At least the quality and quantity of lame on this blog I can guarantee.

Have a good night Internet, don't let the bed bots bite!

Friday, May 31, 2013

SIXTY-ONE: telescopes, crowds

It is time for me to blog this. It's been two days since the Kickstarter campaign for the Arkyd started. It is an excellent opportunity to measure the crowd. We get to see general numbers that stand behind the project, but also will see how the support is distributed between different levels of commitment.

If you haven't yet contributed I urge you to do so. Maybe join up with friends and put a couple of dollars together to do a group selfie, or buy a higher level perk like some time on the telescope. There is no reason you have to cough up the money by yourself, this is a community project after all.

I asked my friends/family on facebook to see if anybody wants to join me for a photo shoot. Hopefully it will get some people interested so we can get a cool picture of the moon or some nebula and a group selfie.

I can't believe this, it's been only a year since I ranted about crowd funding a space program, and here we are doing the baby steps and I didn't have to move a finger. I got really excited and motivated to work more on my game.