The Grand Challenge: Create a sustained capability to send humans in the solar system to stay indefinitely. Rapidly and cheaply robotically scout the Moon, Mars, asteroids and other deep-space destinations to find safe and interesting sites for humans to visit. Understand the space-resources available to humans enabling us to one day “live off the land.” Understand the hazards that places pose in their local environment, as well as prevent hazardous encounters with Earth. Synthesize robotic and human exploration, exploiting the strengths of each. Look at new designs, new materials, and new technologies that will transform not just where we can go but what we can do when we get there.
The Space Team of GSP10 at Singularity University surveyed breakthrough and game-changing technologies needed to create a sustained capability to send humans in the solar system to stay indefinitely. To Boldly Stay drew upon the full matrix of technologies covered in the ten program tracks of the Singularity University curriculum, particularly from the fields of biotechnology, bioinformatics, nanomaterials & nanotechnology, AI, Robotics, embedded networks, quantum computing and human-machine interfaces. We explored the existing and anticipated exponential trends across all these areas of technology, and identified developments that help to address the problems facing a sustained human presence in space.
To Boldy Stay sought Enabling exponential technologies focused on: Rapid and cheap robotic scouting of the Moon, Mars, asteroids and other deepspace destinations to find safe and interesting sites for humans to visit; Options for mitigating the effects of long duration space travel by considering advances in biotechnology and nanotechnology; Utilization of space resources to “live off the land,” and reduce the cost and complexity of our foundation-building forays into space; Options for characterizing the hazards that these future destinations pose in their local environment, as well as preventing hazardous encounters with Earth; Robotic & Human Solutions: Synthesizing robotic, AI and human exploration will be emphasized, examining how to use the strengths of each to meet NASA’s needs; Space application of Biotech & Regenerative Medicine: The use of specially engineered bio-organisms; bioinformatics; bionics; neurocomputer interfaces and regenerative medicine will be explored for space applications.
NASA will receive an Exponential Technology Impact Report that identified six opportunities to examine in more detail:
Biological Enhancement Space Technologies (BEST) Materials, tools and biology-inspired space structures.
Escape Dynamics Fully reusable space launch system to defeat the fundamental limiting factor of access to space.
SWARM The possibility of a shared cloud of nanosatellites in low-Earth orbit to enable space-based services with minimal infrastructure.
AI Labs Imagines the application of general artificial intelligence to increasingly autonomous remotely operated robots and synthetic biology to help create survivable environments, overcome disease and aging, and extend human presence in space.
Made in Space Explores building spacecraft, tools and other infrastructure in space using 3-D printing technologies.
SpaceBio Labs Investigates providing cheap and easy access to highly functional biological experiments in space on automated platforms to enable long-duration experiments.