Ed Belbruno is a mathematician who worked at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the 1980s. While he was there, he devised a way to use chaos theory to help change the course of spaceships and put satellites into orbit for far less fuel than had ever been used before. His inspiration came from painting. Painting the Way to the Moon is a documentary, currently raising money on Kickstarter, that hopes to tell Belbruno's story and help people understand the links between art and science.

2 Responses to “Help fund a documentary about art and rocket science”

  1. LintMan says:

    Looks interesting.  Backed.

  2. Jens Alfke says:

    The description on the Kickstarter page seemed sort of handwavey (I’m always skeptical of “chaos theory” being invoked as a solution for problems), but I dug up an actual research paper and the science does seem legit as far as I can tell, which isn’t very far. Chaos theory is definitely applicable, as orbital transfers are four-body (at least) problems which can’t be solved algebraically.

    http://www.edbelbruno.com/Belbruno-Efficient-Cis-Lunar-Trajectories(2012).pdf

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