NewSpace 09: Commercial Lunar Opportunities

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PANELISTS:

Bruce Pitman: President, Silicon Valley Space Club; Founding Member, Alliance for Commercial Enterprise in Space (Moderator)
Robert Kelso –
Manager, Commercial Space Development, NASA JSC
Dennis Wingo – Founder, Skycorp, Inc.; CTO, Orbital Recovery Corporation
Tom Taylor – Vice President, Lunar Transportation Systems

Dennis Wingo
Founder, Skycorp, Inc.; CTO, Orbital Recovery Corporation

— Need to extract both oxygen and to make metals…
— If you can make metals on the moon, you begin to transform what you can do on the moon…..can pour landing pads, build habitats, etc.

–need 1 megawatt of power – tipping point at which commercial operations could supply power to NASA bases but also create an industrial base on the moon – transform the world….

–3 out of every 100 craters are nickle-iron objects – most of the material will stay near the crater – millions of tons of metals on the moon….
–we found this during Apollo – may have more information in the coming months from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter….

–Private companies can leverage from NASA’s investment to create an industrial base on the moon….

“The moon will become mankind’s first true spaceport.”

Tom Taylor
Vice President, Lunar Transportation Systems
Las Cruces, NM

His company’s plan is to use existing launch system to send robotic vehicles to the moon….

  • Lunar lander with legs
  • Propellant transporter
  • Propulsion dispenser
  • Payload dispenser

Lander is currently designed for one-way use, but hope to use elements of the spacecraft for logistics operations:

  • Produce oxygen to produce fuel
  • Produce lunar bricks for construction
  • Create capability to make the vehicle round trip

Questions & Answers

Q. Is NASA ready for a lunar COTS?

Kelso: Yes. Orbital transport should not be the only area where NASA should make commercial transport efforts.

Q. Dennis, did you give an consideration to titanium extraction?

Wingo: Yes. But, iron is plentiful, it’s easy to work with. Titanium is not as available, and it is located primarily in areas that receive only two weeks of sunshine per month.