On Rapid Development, Launch, Deployment, and Operations
The 2rd Reinventing Space Conference was officially titled RS2 and took place at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Los Angeles between 19-22 April 2004.
It was organised by the founder of Responsive Space, Jim Wertz of Microcosm. It was sponsored by the LA and Orange County Sections and the Space Systems Technical Committee of the AIAA.
The first Responsive Space conference in April, 2003, set the stage for responsive space, asked where we are today, and how we can get to a vision that the community embraces and America needs – data from space returned within hours of an identified need. While there wasn’t unanimity of opinion, there was a general consensus on several issues:
The need for responsiveness has been brought home by unfolding events-9/11 and the war on terrorism, the war in Iraq, and the Columbia disaster
We’re not there yet, and, in some respects, have gone backward since the days of Apollo and the opening of the space program.
We must make progress if we are to respond to the challenges of today and prevent a recurrence of past events
We must have not just responsive launch systems (although these are critical), but responsiveness in all components of the space mission
RS1 looked at all aspects of responsive space, but certainly the attention was focused largely on launch systems. We began with the premise that given responsive launch-ondemand, all else would follow. In RS2, we want to look at what that really means and ask, How do we create truly Responsive Missions? What does it take to return data within hours and how will responsive missions differ from current missions?
An example of this is orbit design. Traditional missions looked for orbits that were long-lived and global, since we did not know in advance where future needs would develop. In contrast, “Responsive Orbits” might fly lower in the atmosphere or higher in the radiation belts, since immediate, useful results are more critical than long life. Orbit inclinations will be adjusted to provide the best coverage for a particular region of the world or specific event of set of events.
Payloads must be able to return data on first or second orbit, not after months of outgassing or calibration. If the orbit is unknown until launch, then data retrieval must be both flexible and low-cost. And in today’s space mission high bandwidth is critical and more is needed.
To make technical progress, we must be able to fly experiments quickly and at low cost-and they must be sufficiently economical to be built to inventory, ready for launch when needed. We need to be able to launch student experiments while the experimenters are still students and before cadet experimenters have retired from active duty.
While we have some topics in mind (as listed below), we would like to hear about all aspects of Responsive Missions – what are the needs and applications (in defense, science, education, and human spaceflight), what are the barriers and how can we overcome them, what are the technology elements that are needed to create truly Responsive Missions.