Space program of the Hacker Scene: For our future

Chaos Communication Camp 2011
August 10th thru August 14th 2011
Finowfurt near Berlin, Germany, Europe, Earth, Milky Way

Origin: Where are we coming from

We call all Hackers of the Planet Earth for a global space program, as the time has come to start. Everywhere you look you see no solutions and a big bang seem unavoidable. There seems to be no big solutions for a better future. Even in the vast space of the universe the earth seems to lie still in the trance of winter: All current space programs by the USA or Europe try to get all projects in the hands of private investors. Here lies the chance for us: Space becomes hackable! All big states start a space program. But the Hackerscene is one global and stateless community, which is located on every continent. They offer laboratories, in which we have learned how the world and the sience behind it works and trying to improve it. This is the next step for a private space program, consisting of enthusiastic and brilliant people, who try for their fun and without any benefit for themselves to improve the whole human race. Our projects are concrete and not only art. You can part them in three big areas: Communication, Research and Humans in Space. The Hackerscene has the benefit to rely on great knowledge in its Hackerspaces, which are located around the globe - for the communication to objects in space one key element. There are a couple of months left until the Chaos Communication Camp. In a collective space program we call all Hackerspaces, Fablabs and every guest to bring their projects to the Camp. In the next few months you can prepare and build your projects. We reach for the stars and our plans are not only imaginations. While some projects need to grow in the community other small hacks and projects can be finished at the camp and be presented at the last day. We want a great Society, where the future can have a future!

Spheres of activity

We see a lot of action in a couple of spheres which are relevant for hackers. Some of them are easy to realise, others are a bit more tricky. There are spheres where we would like to hear lectures about, but there are also projects which are suited for joint building over a couple of days. This is a Call for Participation. There are a couple of concrete projects built into this Hackerspace Space Programm which can be finished up to or at the Camp. These can be covered by single persons or even better in a group like a hackerspace or which have met in the internet. It is also possible that a couple of projects can be finished at the Camp by crafting on them all five days. There is also a lecture area where one can give a roughly one hour presentation about their pet project. This might be the basis for a more deep discussion in one of the so called village at the camp ground.

Annotation

Usually we use the word space when the outer space is meant. Sometimes we also hear the words universe and cosmos. But there are some little differences. The universe is the totality of everything that exists, so it contains the Earth; space or even better outer space is the area behind 100km above Earth's surface – the so called Kármán line. The greek word κόσμος (cosmos) is equal to the latin word universum and stands in contrast to the greek word χάος (chaos). For many people the word cosmos is a term from the time when the two big nations USSR and USA had their space race in the 1950s until the 1970s. In Russian the word Космос stands for outer space.

Communication

Since the founding of the Chaos Computer Club, we stand for the human right of free (at least) worldwide communication. Glas fiber located on federal territories could become a problem for unhampered communication. People in charge could shut them down to produce a congestion. The Hackerscene's task is to etablish communication ways, which do not stop at borders. The creation of earth near networks, where governments cannot interact with, is one big role for free communication.

Satellite communication

Since the 1960s, radio amateurs operate satellites for communication in Space. These trabants, baptized OSCAR (Orbital Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio) allow for communication over far distances. Ham radio operators show how communication with these devices can be established. In addition, the Moon is being used as reflector to transmit in so-called Earth-Moon-Earth (EME) connections. Next to amateur radio communication, various operators of satellites send the received data to the ground station without encryption. Interested individuals will be enabled to, with applicable equipment, receive and analyze the data themselves. As examples serve the data of weather satellites. one might take the chance and communicate with satellites during the Camp. It does not matter if one uses an OSCAR or download pictures from weather satellites and analyze the received data.

Ground station network

When a satellite is not located in geostationary orbit, its data can only be readout in fly by. With a network of ground stations one can collect the data over a longer period of time. For that purpose, a ground station is active during the fly by, and passes the further communucation to the next ground station as soon as the satellite gets out of range. In preparation to the Camp several hacker spaces can set up a (small) ground station network. There is not much equipment needed: a couple of antennas, an operating Internet-connection, some coordination among the hacker spaces and motivated makers for the construction. Establish contact to another hacker space for this project. It would be great to see the demonstration of a reliable connection from a satellite between three ground stations.

Cubesat Development

Sending satellites to space is not expensive. An example is a Cubesat with a length of the edge of 10 centimeters cubed. At this footage one can accomodate yet a few electronic components. The satellite stays in orbit for several years, before Earth takes it back and it burns up. In this time one can perform many experiments. One idea is the accomodation of a WLAN router, which can be received through free visibility onto earth by devices there. With a proper extern WLAN antenna and skillful tracking, everyone can fetch an "IP address out of space". With the integrated XMPP server, one can communicate with others who are on-line at that instant. One might also have a look at the Cubesat Space Protocol for communication inside Embedded Devices. The development and construction of a Cubesat can be established during the Camp. At least, for each problem a specialist can be found who might want to share his knowledge to others.

Long-range communication

The radio waves needed for interplanetary communication already take about 2.7 seconds to reach the moon, and they travel close to the speed of light. For them to reach Mars, however, it already takes somewhere from 3.1 up to 22.2 minutes, depending on the constellation. Additionally, the data bandwidth is pretty small. New ideas are needed to be able to transfer data faster and with better compression. Ideas circumventing the currently accepted laws of physics are welcomed wholeheartedly. Covering the solar system should be sufficient for any thoughts involving range.

Technology development

Are we already living in the future? Take, if you will, the past camps of '99, '03 and '07 as sample points. Many new products have been released to the market by the time of the last camp that were the stuff of science fiction movies back in '99. Whether it's the ongoing improvement of laptop technology, broadband communication networks, smartphones, tablets, LED-based projectors with usable brightness or just the ever-shrinking desktop computer, they're all products that enrichen our daily lives. Maybe we need a little retrospective on what has changed since 1999 that we now take for more or less granted, especially if it was once utter science fiction.

Research

Research serves to develop new technologies as well as answer the ever-popular questions "How?", "Why?", "What?" and more importantly "What for?". Every hacker has the tendency to research and explore - devices are taken apart, to the horror of family or bosses, examined and often enough put together again so that it ends up being optimized or able to be used for an entirely different means. This unconstrained and worry-free approach to dealing with technology greatly enhances the development of products. With constructive designing and experimentation, new things can be created to propel mankind to the future.

Production of energy

That Earth's fossil resources will run low sooner or later is not news. The development of alternative concepts has stalled again and again in the course of the past years due to the current resources' owners' interests. Research has to grapple with energy sources apart of fossil resources more intensely. These are interesting in Space technique, too, as carrying along fuel is intricate and takes up too much ballast. During Camp one might show projects for this subject. For instance, an independent power supply for your tent or caravan without the usage of fossil ressources or the local infrastructure.

Weather balloon

It's possible to explore the dark of space with materials that can easily be produced in an average hackerspace. Wrap a camera up in a protective layer, put in a GPS receiver and a tracking beacon, combine with a weather balloon, and let fly! It works, like this video shows.

Moon rover

Via the Google Lunar X Prize the construction of a moon rover has become interesting again. Inventors all over the world have the goal of disembarking their vehicle on the Moon and let it drive there. One can take the chance and develop a moon rover at the Camp. There is an off-road area located next to the Camp ground which looks quite similar to the moon surface. It's suited for putting a moon rover to the acid.

Transport vehicles

Vehicles with combustion technologies have an extremely low degree of efficiency. Furthermore, one has to bring along fuel at space missions. Much more efficient are electric motors that get fed by energy sources whose resources can be procured in Space, too. In addition it is imaginable that transportation devices designed for humans include muscle strength. The distances at the camp ground are quite long. We want to see a lot of vehicles which can transport people and material without a combustion engine from one end to the other.

Rocket Science

Rocket Science is no Rocket Science anymore. In Denmark, enthusiasts are working at manned space flight as a hobby project: http://www.copenhagensuborbitals.com/ The Camp is situated at an airport, where one is able to launch aircraft. By the way, the cubesat project needs a way to get into orbit, too…

Alternative spaceship propulsion techniques

From ion drive over solar sails to Warp Drive. Which techniques exist? What has future? Will we manage the jump into light speed?

Transporter

Todays location changes are connected with time consuming travels. A technology must be developed that shortens the travelling. Even though we possess many possibilities today to communicate with each other over digital ways, a corporeal visit with joint activities often is of mutual benefit.

Wormholes

The existence of wormholes hasn't been proven. But one assumes that they represent shortcuts in the universe as a sort of "bent" space. The possibilties are literally endless for your average hacker to explore.

Humans in space

The dream of humanity colonizing space surely is as old as the dream of flying. The ideal that began with the space stations of the 1970s is slowly degrading to a kind of space tourism. Permanent outposts with colonies in orbit, on the moon or even other planets are still way beyond our reach. The realization of said idea is stilted by the way society has grown and the lack of advancements in making the inhospitable hospitable.

Social systems of the future

We seek for science fiction societies beyond surveillance dystopia. How does a society change through replicators and basic income? Do anonymous finance and information flows create new societies? And above all: How can we live together at tightest space without falling on each other's nerves? As Frank Herbert (of Dune fame) wrote: "Beyond a critical point within a finite space, freedom diminishes as numbers increase. ...The human question is not how many can possibly survive within the system, but what kind of existence is possible for those who do survive." We would like to hear the announcement of different possible social systems in the future and the upcoming discussions.

Space residence modules

How will we be able to live in a small, confined place with all the necessities? How would the perfect accomodation on a spaceship look like? Which gadgets will be essential? One can create their own space residence module and live inside it during the Camp. Take a cargo container and refurbish it with all things needed for a five day trip in the outer territories knows as the Chaos Communication Camp.

Space Food

Is daintily on Earth, too. In Hacker circles, space saving and strength bringing nutrition is quite popular. The demand for space food is to be filling, supply the humand body with all desired material, that it can be shipped without much cargo space during long trips and it should not become boring while the time during this trip passes by. A start would be to produce an instant soup which does not require a lot of water but fulfills all stated requirements.

Water supply

Water is indespensable for mankind. Regrettably it is also very heavy and bulky, so that carrying it along in spaceships is cumbersome. An alternative is the reclamation and reprocessing treatment of bodily fluids or leftover water. In addition, there comes technique in space household that saves water: the dry dish washer or the try washing machine. With what minimal amount of water a highly effective shower can be constructed that cleanses the whole body? There is a demand for a demonstration of this kind of shower during Camp.

Crop growing

Since several years, the breed in the greenhouse is already a popular field of special interest in Hacker circles. An exchange of information shall take place about which products and automation technique optimize plant breeding to get to results quicker. The advantage is, that there is no need to carry all food for a long trip but that one can grow it during the ride. It would be fun to grow salad during the five days of the Camp.

Waste management

One should think that it does not impose a problem to just disgorge the produced waste in Space. If one is located near an object with mass gravity, this gets adducted after some time. In case of Earth, this already burns up in the Atmosphere. But until then, months or years might pass. That long, garbage in Space is dangerous for other objects, like satellites, rockets and space gliders or space stations. Here one can only prevent through waste avoidance or waste economy. Recycling stations on a space station can gain energy from otherwise futile material. It does not always have to be paper plates or intricate packaging material. The advice for the Camp is: produce as less waste as possible and recycle your remains by producing something new out of them.

Sports equipment

One can produce power with fitness training bicycles. This suffices to operate an LCD panel and a gaming console. That way, the agonizing sports can be sweetened with a bit of fun. Surely there are further projects and ideas for regaining energy with sports, so that it is enjoyable and has a sustainable effect at the same time. Due to the reduced gratitation in space one needs to keep the body in shape. The human body will need the strength for the return to earth or other expeditions to other planets. This strength can only be kept if one does regulary excercise. At the Camp we wish to see a lot of such devices, which are fun to operate and at the same time produce energy. More fun with your body!

Space futurism

How had we imagined Space in the past? How do we imagine it today? In which objects will we travel and live?