Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Moon, lunar resources, space economy, space exploration - Is anyone looking up?

Have been reading Ian A. Crawford's paper and he mentions the names of several companies that have stated an interest in the lunar resources and that more information could be found at their websites so I asked Google to find some of them. 

 [ Recently, there has been renewed interest in these possibilities, with several private companies established with the stated aim of exploiting extraterrestrial resources (these include companies with the names Astrobiotic Technology, Deep Space Industries, Golden Spike, Moon Express, Planetary Resources, and Shackleton Energy Company; details may be found on their respective websites).]

Being lazy I used the whole list of names of the companies above and Google mentioned that Astrobiotic might be Astrobotic. :-)

Astrobiotic Technology, Deep Space Industries, Golden Spike, Moon Express, Planetary Resources, and Shackleton Energy Company

The first link I saw was for NewSpace (see below) and the list of company names, active and not so active is rather long.  
It looks like I have a bit of reading to do.
Let me get back to that.
Maybe you will see something of interest.

One thought, I remember back in the 1980s as new PCs were offered you often had to place an order with money to get a kit because the company needed your money to put the kit together.  Software got the name, "Vaporware

[In the computer industry, vaporware is a product, typically computer hardware or software, that is announced to the general public but is never actually manufactured nor officially cancelled. Use of the word has broadened to include products such as automobiles.]

We may need to watch for some of the same with those saying they are planning to go to the Moon,- soon -.  :-)



Lunar Resources: A Review
Ian A. Crawford
(Submitted on 25 Oct 2014)

There is growing interest in the possibility that the resource base of the Solar System might in future be used to supplement the economic resources of our own planet. As the Earth's closest celestial neighbour, the Moon is sure to feature prominently in these developments. In this paper I review what is currently known about economically exploitable resources on the Moon, while also stressing the need for continued lunar exploration. I find that, although it is difficult to identify any single lunar resource that will be sufficiently valuable to drive a lunar resource extraction industry on its own (notwithstanding claims sometimes made for the 3He isotope, which I find to be exaggerated), the Moon nevertheless does possess abundant raw materials that are of potential economic interest. These are relevant to a hierarchy of future applications, beginning with the use of lunar materials to facilitate human activities on the Moon itself, and progressing to the use of lunar resources to underpin a future industrial capability within the Earth-Moon system. In this way, gradually increasing access to lunar resources may help 'bootstrap' a space-based economy from which the world economy, and possibly also the world's environment, will ultimately benefit.

Lunar Resources: A Review 
Accepted for publication in Progress in Physical Geography 

(Note that, to comply with the publisher’s policy, this preprint is the originally submitted version. The accepted peer-reviewed version, which differs from this only in minor respects and includes some additional references, is available from the author on request). 

Ian A. Crawford, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Birkbeck College, University of London, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HX. 

Keywords Moon, lunar resources, space economy, space exploration 

Help me out here.  See if there are any companies you would like to know more about and we can check with our favorite search engine.  :-)  (or as the granddaughter tells me, "Ask your phone."  :-)
- LRK -



Well take a look at what is being taught at the THE UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN ONTARIO
- LRK -

GEOGRAPHY 2090a (Space Exploration)
Fall 2014

This course concerns the exploration of 'outer' space, past, present and future, and looks at many ways in which space exploration interacts with our lives and our culture. We will look at space as a place, as a newly accessible part of the domain of human activity. In ancient times Geography was the study of different lands, territories which could be reached only after undertaking a voyage. Now we can look to new lands, new continents far away, but within reach of our senses, our robots and we ourselves, if we choose to make the journey. We will look at these new places as geographers, studying their physical characteristics, their resources and hazards, and the ways we can interact with them: scientifically, politically, economically, legally, artistically, or just as interested spectators. Many of my attitudes to this subject are expressed in Carl Sagan's book Pale Blue Dot - not a text for this course, but well worth reading.
It is important to note that this is not an astronomy or planetary science class. We will look at topics related to these fields, but not in great detail. NOTE: the old designation for this course was GEOG 136.
The objective of this course is to demonstrate the wide range of human activity now associated with space, including connections to all our lives. The many links from lecture pages serve in place of a text book. Students are expected to spend time browsing among these links. It is impossible to read everything, but the lectures indicate the more important topics to be looked at. Students are expected to attend all classes, and to be suitably prepared for the in-class tests. Preparation for classes should include having read through the lecture page for that week before class.
Lecture 9: Space commercialization: a new era
Space commercialism - a new era

Space exploration was at first so expensive that it was limited to the global superpowers of the 1960s. It cost a lot because everything was being done for the first time, and on an unrealistic schedule. But like a lot of other things, space has become much cheaper. Now many nations large and small want to launch and operate satellites for economic or security reasons, and individuals or companies want access to space for science, commerce, and even tourism. Private companies and individuals are beginning to commercialize space, and at this stage we can't tell how far they will go. Will the first people to return to the Moon be NASA astronauts, or Chinese Taikonauts, or employees of a private company?

Making money in space - big business

First, of course, no money is spent in space. Apollo went to the Moon, but all its funds were spent here - on the people who mined the iron, aluminum and titanium ores the rockets were made from, or cleaned the offices where the spacecraft were designed, as well as all the salaries of the scientists, engineers and managers. Big businesses also make money from space activities, primarily building launch vehicles or satellites for communications and remote sensing. NASA spreads its work out all over the United States so the maximum number of electoral districts depend on NASA jobs and funding. Companies like Lockheed Martin and Boeing build or operate launch vehicles, and other companies like Spot Image (now called Airbus Defence and Space), Intelsat and Digital Globe fly satellites to provide TV broadcasts or to sell images for research, press use etc. Businesses and countries around the world are part of this story, making money, or trying to, in space or from space. The links below are just a few of the many possible ones.

Others are writing about who is doing what so when I get distracted just ask your search engine and wake me up with a link or two that you found interesting. Some of you have been doing that for years and much appreciated.
- LRK -

Private Sector Seeks Profit, Adventure Beyond Earth Orbit

by Doug Messier

on February 25, 2013, at 9:42 am

in News
Tags: asteroids, deep space industries, eric anderson, eric schmidt, esther dyson, golden spike company, google, google lunar x prize, inspiration mars foundation, jim french, larry page, mars, mars one, max vozoff, moon, northrop grumman, peter diamandis, planetary resources, rick tumlinson, ross perot jr., shackleton energy company, soyuz, space adventures.

By Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

With human flights beyond Earth orbit not expected to occur for at least eight years, the private sector is increasingly eying deep space for a series of ambitious robotic and human missions for both adventure and profit.

Nine programs are currently underway that include robotic and human landings of the moon, human flybys of the moon and Mars, the mining of the moon and asteroids, and even a settlement on Mars. Backers of these initiatives include the X Prize Foundation, Google and its executives, and the world’s first space tourist, Dennis Tito.

The table below show the deep space initiatives now being pursued by the private sector.

A lot of reading to do to see just what is happening in the now.  It may be that others that are a bit younger will be the ones to actually see the boots on the Moon again, but robots will do for now.  That I may see. Anyone ready to launch?

Thanks for looking up with me.
- LRK -