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Apollo-NG is a mobile, self-sustainable, independent and highly-experimental Hackbase, focused on research, development and usage of next-generation open technology while visiting places without a resident, local Hackerspace, so that any joining Hacker or Hacker-to-be can get the opportunity to work together on exciting projects and to share fun, food, tools & resources, knowledge, experience and inspiration. Obviously someone has to fly the Odyssey, so it also has to serve as a mobile, tiny habitat for a nomadic hacker: The pilot.
Operation needs to be completely self-sustainable, to prove that today the technology exists, to actually live and work in a tiny, independent off-grid environment, with absolutely minimal power consumption but without losing considerable comfort. Due to its mobile nature, it is also a very demanding experiment to evaluate “green” technology. All of this is documented in the Lab and the Mission-Log and a real-world, hardcore-testbed for the products we have asked to get from our Sponsors.
The whole Hackbase has to be powered by renewable solar/wind/water/biomass energy, depending on which energy-source a certain location can offer - thereby proving or disproving with long term data, that we as people can drastically reduce the amount of energy we consume (energy footprint per person) and satisfy our remaining energy needs in a sustainable manner, with locally generated small-scale smart-grid power.
It also means, that all electrical systems in use, have to provide their designated function (i.e. lights, computers, navigation, station keeping, music, network, wifi, storage, soldering iron, oscilloscope etc.) but use only a fraction of the power a generalized, industrial, mass market system would consume.
The most basic principle of Apollo-NG is to always try to increase efficiency of any given process or technology. It can be generalized as a level of performance that describes a process which uses the lowest amount of input resources (power, time, labor, etc.) to create the greatest amount of outputs. Simply put: Being efficient means reducing the amount of wasted input resources.
The capacity of social, economic, environmental or technical systems to absorb shocks and recurrent disturbances so as to retain essential structures, processes and feedbacks.
Research, development and prototype-fabrication is the primary driving element of non-biological evolution, defined as systematic, creative work which aims to enlarge knowledge and also comprises activities exploring new applications for existing knowledge. In essence, it's exactly what hackers do, only on a larger and less individual scale.
Therefore, it should be a common goal to support and encourage R&D worldwide. Instead, the “free market system” actually penalizes companies, which invest more than 15% of their revenue in R&D, by heavily reducing their credit-risk rating (except for military and pharmaceutical development). As a result, industrial companies spend only ~3.5%, high-tech companies ~7% of their revenues in R&D.
At the moment, the major part of R&D activity worldwide is funded and controlled by companies which - by design - have to focus on annual growth and maximizing revenue rather than the development of cost-effective, efficient, sustainable and resilient products that can last very long. The conflict of interest couldn't be more obvious.
Apollo-NG's RDF-Lab and all Hackerspaces/FabLabs worldwide, invite creative people who are currently working alone or in companies and may have become frustrated to develop & engineer products and solutions, they know could have been better, if they weren't handicapped by the need of the company to “grow” and the budget wasn't artificially capped to avoid rating penalties or by simple greed. Share your knowledge & experience with the world, become involved in projects that aren't driven by money, work together with other enthusiasts and make a real difference by helping to shape the world of the future.
No matter what invention, after all, it were always people who created them. Let's start to hack the planet on this matter: Let's join together, to create things made by people, for people.
Apollo-NG's size and mobile set-up makes it a perfect test-bed to try out new approaches in the development of society, economy, environment and technology.