Tuesday, May 20 2014 - 12:00 pm, PDT
The International Space Station is a US taxpayers investment estimated at about $70 billion spent over 30 years (with an overall price tag of $100 billion by all member nations), thus it is natural to ask about the ISS’s Return on Investment to justify its continuous operation and existence its scientific payoff. While this is not a trivial financial question, a more appropriate measure for the ISS would be the Return on Innovation phrased from the perspective of: “What is the cost of NOT innovating and NOT exploring in microgravity?” This simply correlates with the otherwise-not-accessible-knowledge, the number of unique “lessons learned” and discoveries, especially those that enable humanity to pursue solutions for global critical problems and open up new avenues in areas at big impasse. To add to it, maybe space is the necessary step that humanity will have to undertake to progress, to change consciousness and awareness and to encourage creative cooperation coupled with a communitarian view of Earths future.
The talk will also touch upon the need for a customized on-demand payload return from the ISS to augment the current payload downmass to Earth and increase the ISS commercialization potential. The existing transportation infrastructure is correlated with the current ISS utilization demands in terms of bulk downmass and schedule frequency and it is operated by the SpaceX Dragon Capsule and the Russian Soyuz with a combined frequency of about three to seven times per year. Based on previous experience with commercial partners it appears that a customized on-demand payload return system better meets the customers' needs and directly encourages potential emerging markets of ISS users. The talk will briefly step through the rationale behind defining a metric (requirements and design functions) that identifies/assigns quantifiable system level parameters to capture the various aspects of the need for a customized on-demand payload return from the ISS.
When & Where
The mission of the SETI Institute is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe.
We believe we are conducting the most profound search in human history — to know our beginnings and our place among the stars.
The SETI Institute is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to scientific research, education and public outreach.
Every week the SETI Institute hosts a lecture series that is open to the public, provides free PB&J's and gives people a unique opportunity to interact with some of the world's leading space scientists.
For past videos, upcoming events and full event details, go to seti.org/talks.