History of CSTART

From CSTART Wiki


[edit] AskReddit post

On the 27th of October, 2009, a user of the popular social bookmarking website Reddit, calling themselves "stickman13", made a submission to the "Ask Reddit" section of the site with the title "Could we put a man on the moon (you and me)?". This submission asked:

 As the internet has made more and more information part of the public domain,
 things which were previously only possibly for highly specialized and financed
 companies can now be accomplished by amateurs and sometimes students. If things
 as complicated as operating systems can be built and financed using completely
 user generated/ open source material, then do you think we could all get
 together and build a functional rocket or some other incomprehensibly cool
 physical device? Armstrong first did it in 1969, that's 40 years of knowledge
 we have on those NASA p****s. What do you guys think it would take to actually
 do this?

By and large the question was not taken particularly seriously, with many pointing out the obvious difference from the open source operating systems which the internet has so readily produced: software can be produced effectively for free, whereas the physical machinery needed to reach the moon costs real money. Nevertheless, the idea inspired a number of optimistic "Redditors" who discussed the possibility further.

[edit] "To the moon" subreddit

In response to the discussion stimulated by the AskReddit submission, a new section of the Reddit site (a "subreddit"), named ToTheMoon, was created on the same day by the user "quailman67". A small group of Redditors who read the original submission and thought the question was worth exploring further began making submissions to the new subreddit, discussing exactly what would need to be done to achieve such a thing, and linking to relevant material around the web.

[edit] The birth of CSTART

It quickly became apparent that a lot more than discussion on Reddit was going to be needed to even come close to achieve the goal of putting a man on the moon. More appropriate web facilities as well as some kind of legal entity and cash supply would be necessary. On the 4th of November 2009, the regular users of the ToTheMoon subreddit decided amongst themselves on the name CSTART for the new project which would carry the moon dream beyond Reddit. The user "Zvan" kindly registered the domain name cstart.org and on the 8th of November a WordPress blog appeared at that address, followed by a forum on the 12th and a Wiki on the 20th.

TODO: Mention brmj's temporary Wiki

With these new facilities, work on the lunar landing project, by then known as CLLARE, continued. At the same time, the team began to forge a clear sense of purpose and identity for itself, using the forums and Wiki to create the CSTART Mission Statement, Social Contract and Design Philosophy. Versions 1.0 of these documents were declared finalized on the 16th of December.

[edit] Finding friends

Shortly after the formation of CSTART, the members began to realise that their group was not as alone as they had originally thought. Other projects like Copenhagen Suborbitals, the Portland State Aerospace Society, Project Frednet, and the Open Luna Foundation were discovered, making it clear that other people were interested in using open source philosophies to explore space. The early members of the CSTART team began discussing plans to make contact with these other groups, in order to raise awareness of CSTART and invite the cooperation of other interested and skilled people. Unexpectedly, members of the Open Luna Foundation made contact with CSTART first, after a Google search by one of them turned up thes discussions in the CSTART forums! The OLF expressed their interest in working with CSTART toward their common goals. Pleased with this early result, work began on the Friends of CSTART program to present a consistent form of initial contact toward the remaining organizations.

SOON TO ADD: By the xth of December 2009, contact had been made with each of the groups mentioned above. LET'S MAKE THIS HAPPEN!

[edit] Incorporation

Currently in progress!

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