Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin tweeted out this picture of Endurance, the ship that polar explorer Ernest Shackleton sailed aboard during an ill-fated expedition to Antarctica in 1914.
The tweet has prompted a lot of speculation about what Bezos’ rocket company will announce next week, and how it connects to a British explorer who has been dead for nearly a century. (For more about Shackleton, see Who Was Ernest Shackleton? A Brief Biography)
My best guess is it will relate to Blue Orgin’s previously announced plans to make cargo deliveries to a crewed lunar base at a crater named for Shackleton at the moon’s south pole.
1. Monday, Sept. 14, 2015: 2-3:30 PM PDT (5-6:30 PM EDT; 4-5:30 PM CDT): We welcome back DR. PAT HYNES to discuss the upcoming ISPCS Symposium in Las Cruces, NM Oct. 7-8, 2015. For more information, visit www.ispcs.com.
2. Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015:,7-8:30 PM PDT (10-11:30 PM EST, 9-10:30 PM CDT): We welcome back ROBERT ZIMMERMAN for space industry news and updates. Visit his website, www.behindtheblack.com.
3. Friday, Sept. 18, 2015; 9:30 -11 AM PDT (12:30-2 PM EDT; 11:30-1 PM CDT): We welcome back JIM KERAVALA for updates with Shackleton Energy lunar updates.
4. Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015: 12-1:30 PM PDT (3-4:30 PM EDT, 2-3:30 PM CDT): We welcome back ANTHONY YOUNG who will be discussing his new book, “The Twenty-First Century Commercial Space Imperative.” See www.springer.com/us/book/9783319189284 for details.
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.
1. Monday, Dec.10, 2012, 2-3:30 PM PST (5-6:30 PM EST, 4-5:30 PM CST): We welcome back BOB ZIMMERMAN for his space perspective, 2012 summary, and crystal ball gazing for 2013 space development & exploration.
2. Tuesday, December 11 , 2012, 7-8:30 PM PST (10-11:30 PM EST, 9-10:30 PM CST):OPEN LINES. All space & STEM topics welcome. We encourage new callers & participants. We have one toll free line so please be patient if it is busy.
3. Friday December 14, 2012, 9:30-11 AM PST (11:30- 1 PM CST, 12:30PM-2:00 PM EST): We welcome JIM KERAVALA of Shackleton Energy to discuss their lunar exploration plans.
4. Sunday, December 916 2012, 12-1:30 PM PST (3-4:30 PM EST, 2-3:30 PM CST). We welcome TABITHA SMITH and associates to discuss nuclear propulsion from a different perspective.
The crowd has not been very kind to the Shackleton Energy Company (SEC).
The lunar mining start-up’s attempt to get its business off the ground through crowd source funding via RocketHub.com fell a bit short of its goal. The Texas-based company had aimed to raise as much as $1.2 million in a campaign that began in November. When the effort finished at the end of December, the amount contributed was only $5,517 given by 53 contributors.
I’m not really surprised. The company didn’t seem to have a clear plan for how to publicize and promote their financing effort. And it seems to me that the timing — during the big holiday gift-giving season — might not have been ideal. But, $5,517 isn’t nothing.
SEC plans to launch a mission to moon’s South Pole by 2019 to mine water and other consumables that it would sell to governments and commercial companies doing business in space.