As of 2021 there are few fully open source satellites (OSSI-1, UPSat, FossaSat-1, Oresat, some more?) and numerous student groups building and documenting rockets. These projects are intended to be open source from the beginning to the end (design, production, operations etc.).

However, I wonder what are the most open source historical spaceflight missions (manned, unmanned, orbital, interplanetary...) that was not originally intended to be open source and during time, documentation was either released or leaked, software open-sourced, patents expired etc. and considerable amount of information was revealed. Probably every mission has some degree of open-source usually publishing photos of the spacecraft (outer structure known) but I am interested in where the most information is available.

The open source consists of both open source hardware and open source software. Let us try to evaluate the level of open source telling that HW is 50% and SW is 50%. Like this, a fully open sourced hardware and half open sourced software mission would rate 75% overall. The subsystems should be evaluated on a importance scale, if a mission has 5 critical subsystems (power, thermal, navigation, comms, etc.) then each should roughly have a score of 20%.

For example, how much "open source" are the Apollo lunar missions now? Was significant amount of information revealed throughout history, maybe unclassified because space race (or cold war) ended etc? What about Mercury, Gemini etc? Space Shuttle? ISS? Some Russian mission? We could probably divide the answers to missions including/excluding the launch systems since that usually has legal restrictions (ITAR etc.) preventing it from being published.

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    $\begingroup$ Would an answer to this question just be a table of space programs and a % open source for each? It seems that you are asking for a truly incredible amount of research to be done. $\endgroup$ Feb 7, 2021 at 15:57
  • $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble Yes, this is a tough question. A list with %s would be very nice but I actually will be happy for any somehow related answer. Multiple more narrow answers could also form a bigger picture. Answers should give some references to sources. I wonder for example whether the very old space era (Sputnik, Apollo etc.) tends to be rather open now or if there are secrets still kept. $\endgroup$
    – Kozuch
    Feb 7, 2021 at 20:23
  • $\begingroup$ This question may be too broad to be a good stack exchange question. From the help center "our questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much." Not voting to close yet though. $\endgroup$ Feb 7, 2021 at 20:26
  • $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble Will limiting the scope to a "single most open source mission" be not that broad in your opinion? Everyone could submit and answer for his/her best mission and one final mission could be found after some time. $\endgroup$
    – Kozuch
    Feb 7, 2021 at 20:29
  • $\begingroup$ I just don't know how you will know if the answer is correct. If I just made up some numbers and said "Why, the shuttle program is 16.45% open source" how could you check my work? $\endgroup$ Feb 7, 2021 at 20:31


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