These planning pages (circa 1999) are kept here for reference. The ongoing project is now here.

No single design for such a community or technology will please everyone, or even many people. Nor would a single design be likely to survive. So the project will gather information and develop tools and processes that all fit together conceptually like Tinkertoys or Legos.

The recipes database will consist of primarily macro and micro manufacturing technology. It may also include some information applicable to nanotechnology manufacturing (such as the atomic composition of products, or ways to combine nanosynthesized components). The database will include information about patented processes with an eye towards the future when such patents have expired and can be freely used in space habitat construction.

In addition to the recipes database, a cross-platform simulator will be developed that will allow users to select recipes from the database and simulate an arbitrary technological infrastructure, such as one based primarily on extruded plastics (with feedstock derived from corn or algae). It will also be possible to print detailed reports on such infrastructures.

The simulation will be able to be used in a scenario mode in which simulated settlers are provided for by the users' actions. Several users may collaborate while the simulation runs to support the settlers by building a web of manufacturing processes selected from the recipes database. The goal of the scenario will be to construct a schematic connecting the resources of the solar system (sun, moons, asteroids, comets, etc.) to the web of manufacturing processes in order to deliver manufactured goods to the settlers. The simulation will evaluate the sustainability of the users' choices based on time constants (for example, time to depletion of air, water, or a critical material or tool). This will create an intrinsic motivation to explore the database as well as to contribute to it.

Eventually, various design and simulation tools will be created to assemble and organize this information in order to design communities with various levels of self reliance (given specific inputs of energy, raw materials, and manufactured goods). The software will also help to determine the minimal amount of technology needed to create these various communities and infrastructures (as a "seed" factory deployed onto in-situ resources such as an asteroid). At some point ten to forty years in the future, seed factory designs created using this database and simulator will be created and launched at near-earth asteroids to bootstrap space settlements.

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