Sunday, August 26, 2007

Orbital Design Challenge - Space Tourism Society

The July 15 Space Show radio show discussed the Space Tourism Society. The discussion included an Orbital Design Challenge (link currently under construction as of this post) the society plans to hold.

Here's my take on the Orbital Design Challenge part of the interview; check out the radio show link for more details, or just to make sure I got it right (I have trouble hearing sometimes).

The Space Tourism Society wants to change the language of space so it isn't directed just to aerospace engineers. (This seems reasonable to me; after all, cruise liners don't merely invoke ideas of marine engineering). They want to emphasize the entire "Space Tourism Lifestyle". When thinking about space tourism destinations, they don't want you to think about space stations, but rather about shopping, entertainment centers, and all the other types of things you do when you vacation on Earth. Just get in this frame of mind, and then take this idea to the outer space environment.

The plan is for the the Orbital Design Challenge to be a multi-year event. They plan to start with an architectural challenge using the Bigelow Nautilus destination as a framework. This year's contest will be treated as a testbed, so they will be focusing their attention on getting competitors from schools related to architecture and/or space.

The plan is for the winner to have their work showcased at the 2008 Space Experience Symposium and also in Second Life. The competition will be held in LA and in Second Life.

In future years, they plan to focus on other aspects of the space tourism lifestyle, including fashion, interior design, and food design.