Credit: NexGen Space LLC

Credit: NexGen Space LLC

 

A new study had outlined how best to cut the cost of human space exploration by a factor of 10.

The report’s top line finding is that, enabled by public-private partnerships, NASA’s current human spaceflight budget is sufficient to return humans to the surface of the Moon and develop a permanent lunar base.

Furthermore, mining fuel from the Moon’s poles and transporting it to lunar orbit for use by other spacecraft, reduces the cost of sending humans to Mars and other locations beyond low Earth orbit. These commercial fuel depots in lunar orbit have the potential to cut the cost of sending humans to Mars by more than $10 billion per year.

Moon mining base. Credit: Anna Nesterova

Moon mining base.
Credit: Anna Nesterova

The study was done by NexGen Space LLC and is titled “Economic Assessment and Systems Analysis of an Evolvable Lunar Architecture that Leverages Commercial Space Capabilities and Public-Private-Partnerships.”

Leveraging commercial capabilities

NexGen assembled a team of former NASA executives and engineers who assessed the economic and technical viability of an “Evolvable Lunar Architecture” that leverages commercial capabilities and services that are existing or likely to emerge in the near-term.

The report contends that a permanent commercial lunar base might substantially pay for its operations by exporting propellant to lunar orbit for sale to NASA and others to send humans to Mars, thus enabling the economic development of the Moon at a small marginal cost.

Pump and dash - a fuel depot gasses up Mars-bound vehicle. Credit: Anna Nesterova

Pump and dash – a fuel depot gasses up Mars-bound vehicle.
Credit: Anna Nesterova

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To read an executive summary of the report, go to:

https://spacefrontier.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Executive-Summary-1.pdf

The entire report is available here:

http://www.researchgate.net/publication/280099331_Economic_Assessment_and_Systems_Analysis_of_an_Evolvable_Lunar_Architecture_that_Leverages_Commercial_Space_Capabilities_and_Public-Private-Partnerships

One Response to “Moon Seen as Gateway to Lower Space Exploration Costs”

  • Attractive portion of content. I simply stumbled upon your web site and in accession capiital to say that I get actuslly loved account your weblog posts.

    Anyway I’ll be subbscribing ffor your augment aand even I achievement you get entry to persistently
    fast.

Leave a Reply

Griffith Observatory Event