Who owns the Moon? You stand in a temple on Vesta, in what direction is Mecca? Space technology can be used to launch intercontinental missiles and is therefor embargoed by all space-faring nations. Must everyone else invent it for themselves? How warped are people going to be out there? Really? Such are the imponderables to ponder as humans graduate to multiplanetary status. Looking for answers will require interesting new combinations of disciplines. This is the idea of ASU’s Interplanetary Initiative. Part of this initiative is to have a laboratory to be a physical anchor.
This past year I’ve been advising on the construction of this lab and now in March I have become the lab’s first director. Its a 6000 sq ft space which is setup as a cross between a traditional university cubesat lab and a maker space. Anyone at ASU students, faculty, staff can, after some training, become a user. Outside companies can also become users for a fee. Users are allowed to use the lab space and equipment during open hours under staff supervision.
The lab officially opened in Februar and now we are in setup mode! The goal is to offer full design, build, test, fly cubesat capabilities. The biggest initial investments vibration and thermal vacuum capabilities.
Tech specs and user for various testing capabilities are listed at interplanetary.github.com (updated regularly)