Author Topic: Private-Public Partnership: Return to the Moon, and Beyond(?)  (Read 1789 times)

Offline AncientU

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The possibility of a Private versus Public competition to the Moon is a non-starter for me.  Then again, the Private plus Public model seems to have incredible potential, though significant obstacles*.

*This question has been long discussed/debated/fought over here, but mostly as an underlying set of assumptions, prejudices, biases (like mine toward the private sector -- truth in advertising).  The current administration could make this a quite public debate in the near future...  Ideas in this forum could (should) inform that debate.

Assuming that the best of both is combined in a return to the moon campaign, what can we expect in the next 5-10 years?  Beyond that?  What architectures are optimum for going furthest, fastest, most cost-effectively?  What is the appropriate level of risk we should tolerate?  Should we include/welcome all comers (international collaboration, public and/or private), a select few, or simply just do it?

Note: I've requested of the mods that this be moved if another location is deemed more appropriate.
« Last Edit: 03/04/2017 10:52 PM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
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Offline eric z

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 If no-one else has coined the term "3P" on this site, maybe they have!, I'd like to get a royalty on future use of the term I used on page 41 of the "SpaceX crewed Circumlunar-2018 Thread! When you use it, please send a $5 donation to NSF care of Mr. Bergin,OK? ;)
 3P is a vital,IMHO, methodology to get everybody to have a role to play in humanity's Greatest Adventure, at least for the next 50-100 years; none of this is gonna happen immediately, but to paraphrase the World's Greatest Rock 'n Roll Band, Start us UP! Never stop!
 Thanks, Mattblak... and now over to the experts! 8)
« Last Edit: 03/05/2017 12:42 AM by eric z »

Online MATTBLAK

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What'd I do?! I know I've used the phrase 'Public/Private Partnerships' a couple times in other threads, but I certainly didn't coin '3P'. Take all the credit you want for that! ;)
« Last Edit: 03/05/2017 12:50 AM by MATTBLAK »
"Those who can't, Blog".   'Space Cadets' of the World - Let us UNITE!! (crickets chirping)

Offline eric z

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 Just having fun, no credit deserved--but sometimes a bit more fun could come in handy on some of these SLS debates. Once it blasts off the first time maybe more will want to make use of it. I'll bet this thread will keep the brass very busy,too; ITS liable to get quite heated! Now I've got to get back to "I Dream of Jeannie"; does anyone remember how they almost portray NASA as an arm of the USAF? B. Eden looked great in an old b&w
 western I surfed into earlier; maybe that's why I'm in a good mood. :)
« Last Edit: 03/05/2017 01:03 AM by eric z »

Offline go4mars

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A.    Assuming that the best of both is combined in a return to the moon campaign, what can we expect in the next 5-10 years? 
B.    Beyond that? 
C.    What architectures are optimum for going furthest, fastest, most cost-effectively? 
D.    What is the appropriate level of risk we should tolerate? 
E.     Should we include/welcome all comers (international collaboration, public and/or private), a select few, or simply just do it?
a.  Money from both.  Land/mining speculation and interest.  Withdrawal from the outer space treaty if there is significant hardware to support.  Taxi service.  Capability prizes and demo's from gov side (like Xprizes but bigger), Hollywood.
b.   Colonization and exploitation.
c.   Trans-orbital railroad concept.  Very big and very frequent.
d.   Whatever their waiver says that they signed.  Buyer beware.  Do not over-regulate!
e.   Just do it.  They can try the same on the rides they buy.
Elasmotherium; hurlyburly Doggerlandic Jentilak steeds insouciantly gallop in viridescent taiga, eluding deluginal Burckle's abyssal excavation.

Offline AncientU

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Money from both... hardware from both... expertise and innovation from both.

How to lead and coordinate this multi-party effort is a huge challenge.
Could a multi-party Space Act Agreement establish a leadership structure and other ground rules?
« Last Edit: 03/05/2017 11:17 AM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Money from both... hardware from both... expertise and innovation from both.

How to lead and coordinate this multi-party effort is a huge challenge.
Could a multi-party Space Act Agreement establish a leadership structure and other ground rules?

Many military projects involve getting parts/modules from different suppliers. The Return to the Moon project will require a prime contractor who grants contracts (or Space Act Agreement) to the other contractors. If the parts do not work together it is the prime contactors ass you kick.

Whether the prime contractor is a separate commercial firm, one of the contactors or a NASA site will be a very interesting discussion.

It is for from impossible that this project will result in a space-line company being created. Airlines rarely build their own planes.

Offline Oli

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A propellant depot in cis-lunar space would be an interesting idea. The fuel choice is not crucial, hyperbolics are good enough from there to 1-sol Mars orbit and back or to the lunar surface. Plenty of actors (commercial/international) could launch a hyperbolic fuel tanker to cis-lunar space.
« Last Edit: 03/05/2017 04:07 PM by Oli »

Offline gospacex

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The possibility of a Private versus Public competition to the Moon is a non-starter for me.

I don't know what you mean by "non-starter". To me, it looks that effectively we have exactly this situation right now.

NASA still clings to its guns wrt SLS, and fielding of more and more capable, yet cheap American LVs by SpaceX can't avoid colliding with that (even if Musk does not want that).

The collision happened with the Moon flight announcement, and you only need to reread NASA response to Musk announcement to see it.

The only way this can be resolved is NASA abandons SLS and all other attepts to have its own LVs. Or SpaceX going bankrupt (but even that may not be enough to stop the momentum now).
« Last Edit: 03/05/2017 05:24 PM by gospacex »

Offline AncientU

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The possibility of a Private versus Public competition to the Moon is a non-starter for me.

I don't know what you mean by "non-starter". To me, it looks that effectively we have exactly this situation right now.

NASA still clings to its guns wrt SLS, and fielding of more and more capable, yet cheap American LVs by SpaceX can't avoid colliding with that (even if Musk does not want that).

The collision happened with the Moon flight announcement, and you only need to reread NASA response to Musk announcement to see it.

The only way this can be resolved is NASA abandons SLS and all other attepts to have its own LVs. Or SpaceX going bankrupt (but even that may not be enough to stop the momentum now).

I agree, so why have NASA 'run a competition' as floated by a member of the landing team.  Unless funds were shared equally somehow, which will never happen, it would only highlight the disparity (of who has the money) and antagonize the participants with multiple thumbs on the scale.

I also think the current crew contracts are NOT the model to use.  COTS model is a big step in the right direction, but I'd be in favor of something new that is at least another big of step further away from a top-down, waterfall model.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline sdsds

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I suggest one aspect of this that deserves careful consideration is the role of property "rights" as they apply (or don't) to material found off-planet.

I'm not here going to suggest there is any correct answer to the general question of whether or how property rights should be applied to e.g. lunar ice. I only suggest there is a special relationship between the public sector (i.e. governments) and the private sector (i.e. corporations) in this regard.
-- sdsds --

Online Coastal Ron

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I think the most important thing that a Public/Private Partnership provides is a degree of validation for whatever it's goals are.

Governments can spend money without any real justification, so just because the government is spending money to explore someplace beyond Earth doesn't mean that there is a real valid need/want/desire for humans to go there - and expanding humanity out into space is the only reason to do things in space.

So, for instance, if a Public/Private Partnership was formed to create a settlement of some kind on the Moon, then that would validate that the PRIVATE SECTOR thinks there is a potential business model attached to creating a settlement on the Moon.  Now it could be that the effort eventually fails, for many reasons, but the private sector is used to business models that fail initially.

But overall it's that the private sector is pushing into that new marketplace that is most important, since private sector activity is most likely to spur additional private sector investment.  That normally doesn't happen with government lead initiatives, which I think can be validated when looking at all the money NASA has put into sending humans into space since the 60's, and we're only now getting around to having serious interest in sending humans beyond LEO due to private sector initiatives, not government ones.

My $0.02
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline RDoc

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If there were to be a private investment, as opposed to public funding for private development, I think there has to be some kind of business potential. AFAIK there isn't anything on the Moon or that can be done on or near the Moon that could come within an order of magnitude of even breaking even. I suppose an argument could be made for lunar tourism, but that seems pretty risky when looking at the up front cost vs size of the potential market.

What possible reason would a company have to fund lunar missions?

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