Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Integrated Space Plan

Sean Ragan of MAKE magazine posted this really cool graphic. It was created in the 1980's by analysts at Rockwell International and was called the “Integrated Space Plan.” Ragan had seen the poster in the late 90's and finally tracked it down last year. He was able to was able to connect with a generous donor willing to entrust an original copy of the poster to him long enough to have it scanned at high resolution.

So what is it? Essentially, it is a really really detailed flow chart for establishing a permanent human presence in space.

This is a small, pretty hard to see version. For a serious close-up, I recommend getting the PDF version (linked below) and taking some time to scroll around. At first glance it looks like your monitor has effed up with all the lines. But upon closer inspection you will notice that is organized chronologically from top to bottom, the arrowed lines denote “Evolutionary, Supporting, or Synergistic Relationships” and “Communication/Data Links,” and big circles are “Plateaus of Human Technological Achievement.” The nodes include goals like “Interstellar Traversing World Ships” and “Create New Moons for Mars If Required.”

Put simply, this is amazing!

Integrated Space Plan (.PDF)
Integrated Space Plan (.PNG)

Note: Should you decide to go with the PNG image, know that it is not large in terms of data, but in terms of pixels, it is huge: 16800 x 27000. That means that your browser may not be able to display the image. If this happens, try  right-clicking on the link, selecting “Save as…”, and then opening it in a dedicated image-viewing and/or editing program.

Story Links:

Make's "The Rockwell International Integrated Space Plan"
Grist: "Exposed: Manufacturing conglomerate’s plan for moving humans off of Earth"
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