SpaceElevatorNextSteps

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Let's keep this as a running list of things between us

Activities

As we have been discussing, the primary activities will focus on:

1) Setting up a SE development resource site Check out [1]

   a) Wiki based
   b) Include all the material I have accumulated and know is available in the community in an organized way
   c) Set down a baseline SE in sufficient detail to allow people to work with it
   d)  Set-up simulation and modeling code for analyzing SE components
   e) Organize a network of individuals to get involved and working on specific aspects of the elevator
   f) Create a public face for the site that will be exciting for the general public
   g) Work with artists to create 3D models available for general use and manipulation
   h) Promote the Wiki site

2) Compile material from above efforts for potential inclusion in a version 2 of my book

3) Develop a business plan for long-term stability of the SE development effort

   a) Lay out an exciting plan 
   b) Compile a list of potential funders
   c) Meet with funders
   d) Develop plan for dovetailing this effort into Space Orlando, Industrial Nano or ???

I can start immediately on organization and the business plan at around half time. My wife is also leaving on July 18th as I mentioned so for a month I will be able to put in many hours. This by the way is how I did the original work - I worked fulltime at LANL and then many hours outside on the SE - can you say "no social life".

Okay. I re-organized it because I think that a wiki with a lot of stuff to show people is better than a business plan with a lot of promises. For the first 6 months - 2 years I am committed to funding this. Friends tell me that bootstrapping the money is the way to go. The business plan is needed for long-term sustainability, I agree.

Job

Brad talks to Vlada. Keith commits to 1 year @ 100k or $50 / hour. 2 years might very well be possible, but I will know a lot more in 9 months. Keithcu

Rightfully so, my wife has concerns of job security, medical coverage and the likes. I would like to see how we can turn this into a long-term effort without depending on you covering me forever.
I propose to pay you a salary which allows you to purchase your own medical coverage. The nice thing is if you find something yourself it will be portable, it will be the same for you no matter where your money comes in or you end up working. I also think that you might be able to negotiate part-time work with your company.
There are many way to turn this into a long term effort: money from angel investors, the book, donations, etc. Part of the job here ought to be spending time making a business plan etc. so that you can solicit money from various people. How can I give you security?
Job security is a challenge for all start-ups and your offer addresses it as best it can. This is something I want to do (how many people get a chance to work on something like the space elevator?) so if we can work out a good plan then we should be able to answer the job security issue for my family.

Time

Brad considers part time work on this, and how to balance this versus work on the book and his other things. How passionate do you feel Maybe you break your work up into blocks: Wiki / blog, book, sensor work, industrial nano / Orlando / etc. This needs to be thought about. Doing this at the same time as the book is good because it gives you feedback that gives you enthusiasm to work on the book. And it could even be a research vehicle for your book!

All of these at once will be too much to do any well. IN and Space Orlando are simmering along - I am waiting for others. If either happens then this effort is the beneficiary because they are all closely related and IN or SO will generate revenue to pay me permanently. The book is good for continued revenue and general public outreach but the online Wiki has more value in the technical development and has its own outreach potential to a different audience.
Yes, time is one of my biggest concerns as well. I actually think that if you spend in the long term 1/2 time on the wiki compared to the book, you will be fine. (Maybe to jumpstart you spend equal for a couple of months.) What time can you commit to, assuming you had job security?
If we do this I will make the time. Immediately I can start half time, mid July my hours will ramp up dramatically and by mid August we can get a good idea of how things are developing.

Website

Brad finds some available URLs that he likes and puts them here: spaceelevatorfoundation.com, SERFoundation.com, etc.

Just thoughts... Available: SEDev.info, SEDevelopment.org, sedp.org (Space Elevator Development Project), theascent.org, leavingtheplanet.org, openSE.info, seopen.org, seopensource.com
Okay. Those are good names. I will get some advice and think about it. How about a mission statement? I want to help but I want you to pick something you will be passionate about. You are the expert.
Also, what about this: http://www.spaceelevator.com/archives/2008/05/? I'm happy to join his efforts, or offer to have him join ours. He hasn't done anything in the 6 weeks since he announced he was going to setup a wiki. It takes 20 minutes to set one up!

Brad thinks about whether there are some servers he'd like to consolidate.

Keith purchases domain, sets up server and creates wiki. (If the old wiki is available on the Internet, I can do a port of all the data over.)

Brad dumps all the simulations, spreadsheets etc he has scattered around into the wiki (even proprietary formats are fine for a start. I can help convert them.) Don't put the actual book text which you will want to update and sell. The wiki will be live with live numbers and live simulations, whereas the book will be a timeless, readable, high-level, linear snapshot.

Keith prefers to pay for wiki and help with wiki. Keith has ideas about the book and wants to read a new version, and thinks the book is important and can be a source of income and would be interested in helping with that, but wants to attempt to build a community that achieves critical mass and is doing real science. We are too small to afford to do fake things.

Other

Brad hears back on Industrial Nano.

Brad thinks about how the nanotube portion of this wiki could dovetail with his nano company. Maybe it could be a research vehicle and a source of customers for his nanotube company!

Yes, these two would feed each other nicely.
We are about to put a dealine on IN - it either starts in teh next few weeks or we take a step back and maybe replace some people or just not do it for a while.

Brad thinks about what list of things should be in the wiki to ensure it reaches critical mass? How could http://people.nas.nasa.gov/~deepak/home.html and people working on the space elevator games help contribute to this?

Brad reads Keith's book and takes notes.

On page 29. Editing comments so far.

Brad thinks about the Open Dynamic Engine physics engine (C# wrappers are ODE.Net which are much better to program in) and other simulation tasks. The Internet is filled with cool technology and we need to be on the lookout for it. One of the biggest tasks for my other project is to find all the best codebases for what we want. There are sometimes two or more free codebases. One might be a Ford, and the other a Ferrari. Both are free, so we'd be stupid not to make the right choice. Of course, figuring out which codebase is better is not a totally trivial task. We are too small to afford to do everything ourselves.

How would one build a Boeing airplane as an open distributed effort? We need to build a database of component parts using as many things we find on the Internet as possible. This is an example of the archaeology process that Brad should be doing. Keith can help with this and also provide programmers, etc. Building a simulation of something as increasingly realistic as a Boeing airplane ought to be our task. If some people want to build scale models, they could just chuck a bunch of the complexity. It is easy to throw away complexity. There is no reason to build virtual toys. A software simulation is as good as you want it to be.

Brad installs OpenOffice 3.0 beta (it is stable) for mac: http://openoffice.bouncer.osuosl.org/?product=OpenOffice.org&os=macosxintelaquawjre&lang=en-US&version=3.0.0beta

Finished items or items handled elsewhere

Brad: Installed and using OpenOffice - I like it.


Brad: Installed and using Sketchup - learning. It is limited in many respects and a bit flakey but usable.

Working on first climber model in Sketchup - taking parts from the 3D Warehouse where I can.

Getting basic pages in and starting to get the right material together.

Brad: Transferring over to AOI for graphics, cleaned up some spreadsheets, finishing baseline SE, establishing work that needs to be completed by people for the SE. Talking with Ben and Dave Lang and getting them interested. Once more of the site is up I will get a few more people in on it.