Startups Developing DIY, Open Source Spaceflight Technology

James Figueroa | Pasadena Star-News | September 8, 2013

Backyard stargazers dreaming of launching themselves into space will like the direction that modern spaceflight is taking: a hands-on, do-it-yourself approach is emerging to fill the gaps behind large commercial companies such as SpaceX, which in turn inherited the low-Earth orbit role from NASA.

“Right now anyone can design their spacecraft from their home, and with their friends from their homes,” said Darlene Damm, co-founder of DIYRockets, via email.

A space company that wants to build an “open space frontier,” DIYRockets teamed up earlier this year with Sunglass, a company that builds online collaboration platforms, to create the 3D Rocket Challenge, a contest with a $5,000 prize for the winning team. The goal: design a 3D-printed rocket engine capable of carrying nano-satellites into space, but only using open-source technology.