Author Topic: Private Moon Landing in the works?  (Read 96991 times)

Offline robertross

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Re: Private Moon Landing in the works?
« Reply #20 on: 11/16/2012 12:32 AM »
I think I heard of someone, perhaps astrobotic, thinking they could close the business case for a small lander. Lots of people have had some small interest in delivering various packages to the moon but insufficient to fund a lander. If you actually have a lander and can sell cargo space by the kg, even if it is a hundred or hundreds of thousands per kg, there could be quite a few interested parties wanting to land their own miniature scientific cargos.

wiki link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrobotic_Technology#Commercial_payload_pricing
wow.. they are talking about 2million/kg. Im sure there are ways to do way better, at the same time it is totally reasonable to have such inflated prices when there is in fact no way to get anything to the moon right now without years and hundreds of millions in investment.


A two man lander sounds a lot bigger, but there are possibilities for making money from it before many of the expensive manned requirements are in place and also ways it could be much smaller than apollo even when manned if other infrastructure is in place.

Im dying to hear more details.

Keeping a lander at a depot, and re-using it, would save millions if not billions) - crasher stage or whatever.

The greatest challenge, and opportunity to follow, is how much the savings can be by employing specific techniques.

I thought that in some ones this could hurt NASA, in some ways help it give it (or the nation) that extra kick to get it back to the moon, but I think more than anything it can promote better ways of doing things (assuming they work, and in a cost effective manner)
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Offline go4mars

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Re: Private Moon Landing in the works?
« Reply #21 on: 11/16/2012 02:01 AM »
obviously the money is the biggest question here.  How do they intend to pay for all this?

expensive way to kill SLS when if it's such the dinosaur that many seem to imply, it will collapse under its own weight... if it's going to get done at all, it's going to have to be a more or less shoe-string, no-frills
Easy.  Just fund it like a public/private Project Azorian to beat China to Luna.  Just kidding.  It's nice to see that billionaires are starting to reach toward more interesting hobbies. 

Good cover, like manganese nodules.
blink.  I'm not the only one heh?

Sounds a lot like a project I heard about a few years ago, called "Golden Spike".  Several well known names were rumored to be associated with it.
I see.  So "Gold-Member" is clearly the mastermind behind this plan.  ;)

Are you able to give more context?


I'll bet Diamandis has fingers in the pie somehow.
I wouldn't bet against you on that.

Quote from: neilh
* ILC Dover:  http://www.ilcdover.com/Habitats-and-Shelters/
Interesting link.  Thanks.
as for backers, Chris did mention INTERNATIONAL!!! So while I applaud the idea of Caterpillar, there is always JBC in Britain...
Branson got money from the Middle East.  Then there's always the guys who own the shares of your central bank.
« Last Edit: 11/16/2012 02:02 AM by go4mars »
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Offline ciscosdad

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Re: Private Moon Landing in the works?
« Reply #22 on: 11/16/2012 02:19 AM »
Would foreign governments be willing to pay to have their personnel and/or equipment delivered to the Moon? How would that business case compare with (say) Antarctica? There has got to be a significant amount of private contractor support for the government Antarctic programs.

Offline SpacexULA

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Re: Private Moon Landing in the works?
« Reply #23 on: 11/16/2012 02:19 AM »
I suppose that now we should start the guessing game of who is involved.I will start with the obvious candidates: Boeing, SpaceX, and ULA (possibly).

http://ulalaunch.com/site/docs/publications/AffordableExplorationArchitecture2009.pdf

Honestly ULA seems the most obvious partner, even more obvious than SpaceX, only because they only need a check to be written to start a lot of the above program.

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Offline LegendCJS

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Re: Private Moon Landing in the works?
« Reply #24 on: 11/16/2012 03:07 AM »
I suppose that now we should start the guessing game of who is involved.I will start with the obvious candidates: Boeing, SpaceX, and ULA (possibly).

http://ulalaunch.com/site/docs/publications/AffordableExplorationArchitecture2009.pdf

Honestly ULA seems the most obvious partner, even more obvious than SpaceX, only because they only need a check to be written to start a lot of the above program.

It is my opinion that the only rolls traditional Aerospace or SpaceX will play are as launch vehicle vendors, not "partners"
Remember: if we want this whole space thing to work out we have to optimize for cost!

Offline RocketmanUS

Re: Private Moon Landing in the works?
« Reply #25 on: 11/16/2012 04:37 AM »
1 ) Planetary Resources , for asteroid mining
http://www.planetaryresources.com/

2 ) Mars-One , for Mars colonization
http://mars-one.com/en/

3 ) And now this Moon group

Now this could work well for Lagrangian Point Gateways Stations for Lunar, NEA, Mars, and Beyond
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=30127.0

These three with a fourth ( crew return from Mars ) could help build gateway stations to further our ability to explore space and colonize it.
Mars and beyond, human exploration
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Online HIP2BSQRE

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Re: Private Moon Landing in the works?
« Reply #26 on: 11/16/2012 04:51 AM »
What are the legal ramifications?  Could this commerical group claim part of the moon say a 10 miles square for its own use?  The materail I assume that they get is theirs?

Offline RocketmanUS

Re: Private Moon Landing in the works?
« Reply #27 on: 11/16/2012 04:57 AM »
What are the legal ramifications?  Could this commerical group claim part of the moon say a 10 miles square for its own use?  The materail I assume that they get is theirs?
For:
1 ) landing sites
2 ) mining
3 )bases
4 ) ect.

There with have to be agreements made before any claim is made.

I hope it will be set up better than the California 1800's gold rush claims. As some sites will be better for bases as others are better for telescopes.
« Last Edit: 11/17/2012 02:39 AM by RocketmanUS »
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Online KelvinZero

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Re: Private Moon Landing in the works?
« Reply #28 on: 11/16/2012 05:08 AM »
Honestly ULA seems the most obvious partner, even more obvious than SpaceX, only because they only need a check to be written to start a lot of the above program.

I wonder if ULA have decided there is some sort of value to having a spaceX-like vision-or-dream and have decided to compete for that space in some sense.

I don't know exactly what that value is, but I have been wondering for a while if SpaceX's vision is also a carefully planned part of their business strategy. Just look at how much talk they generated with a sentence or two about something called 'MCT', before even defining what it stood for.

Offline Hyperion5

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Re: Private Moon Landing in the works?
« Reply #29 on: 11/16/2012 05:11 AM »
Just look at how much talk they generated with a sentence or two about something called 'MCT', before even defining what it stood for.

According to one of our forum members who recently attended a lecture by Tom Mueller, Mueller said MCT stood for "Mars Colonial Transport", which really got tongues wagging over on the MCT thread. 

What are the legal ramifications?  Could this commerical group claim part of the moon say a 10 miles square for its own use?  The materail I assume that they get is theirs?

9/10ths of the law is possession.  If they start laying claim to land on the moon, the only thing stopping them might be the US government (less likely) or a UN treaty on space (more likely).  That said if they're on the moon and no government's there to enforce other claims, they would be de facto owners anyways, which in legal terms is significant.  I still would predict a legal logjam of international proportions were they to start claiming parts of the moon, but them actually landing on and using land on the moon would surely help their case.  It's not like anyone else buying property on the moon can claim that. 

Remind me again, which firm was it that sold land on the moon?  I suspect they'll be watching this commercial venture very carefully. 

Online KelvinZero

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Re: Private Moon Landing in the works?
« Reply #30 on: 11/16/2012 05:26 AM »
Just look at how much talk they generated with a sentence or two about something called 'MCT', before even defining what it stood for.

According to one of our forum members who recently attended a lecture by Tom Mueller, Mueller said MCT stood for "Mars Colonial Transport", which really got tongues wagging over on the MCT thread.   

Yeah I heard that.. on the other hand it did seem initially that the term referred to an engine rather than a vehicle. I joked at the time that research might consist of a SpaceX engineer reading the MCT forum and picking the best acronym. In any case the first very short leak and the later confirmation could well have been carefully planned. Alongside grasshopper demonstrations it creates a real impresson of a company going somewhere. As I said, Im not exactly sure what the value of that is, but Im sure it has one so it seems reasonable to assume it is considered.

(But this is OT for this thread so I'll quit my conspiracy theories here)

Offline Archibald

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Re: Private Moon Landing in the works?
« Reply #31 on: 11/16/2012 08:34 AM »
Quote
Sounds a lot like a project I heard about a few years ago, called "Golden Spike".  Several well known names were rumored to be associated with it.

Sounds interesting. More details on this ? I think a bold future in space await us. The next decade will be quite interesting.

Offline MP99

Re: Private Moon Landing in the works?
« Reply #32 on: 11/16/2012 12:11 PM »
I wonder if ULA have decided there is some sort of value to having a spaceX-like vision-or-dream and have decided to compete for that space in some sense.

They're not allowed.

Would have to be Boeing or LM.

Cheers, Martin

Offline Danderman

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Re: Private Moon Landing in the works?
« Reply #33 on: 11/16/2012 02:56 PM »
What are the legal ramifications?  Could this commerical group claim part of the moon say a 10 miles square for its own use?  The materail I assume that they get is theirs?

The legal ramifications are described in the 1967 Outer Space Treaty.

The Moon has been mined, and the proceeds have been sold commercially.

Offline neilh

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Re: Private Moon Landing in the works?
« Reply #34 on: 11/16/2012 03:05 PM »
I wonder if ULA have decided there is some sort of value to having a spaceX-like vision-or-dream and have decided to compete for that space in some sense.

They're not allowed.

Would have to be Boeing or LM.

Cheers, Martin

This is actually something I've often been confused about: what exactly are the limitations on what ULA can/can't do in regards to development?
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Offline Heinrich

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Re: Private Moon Landing in the works?
« Reply #35 on: 11/16/2012 03:19 PM »
Can the C-Star guys be involved?

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Private Moon Landing in the works?
« Reply #36 on: 11/16/2012 03:55 PM »
ry exciting, and would be a big kick in the britches to NASA and the US Government, which –could- be a very good thing. ...

On the flip side, there might not need to be a specific commercial “customer” per se.  If Musk and Bigelow want to do it, and can get enough people to invest in it, the business model could very well be to develop a system and operation model that NASA/Congress could find attractive. ...

Be interesting on what that would mean for SLS though, which would be quite far along by the time this consortium would look actually legitimate or not, and might be both hard to justify, and hard to cancel for political and PR reasons. 

Pretty much totally agree.

There is a third point, that everyone I think is missing. 

And that is you don't necessarily HAVE to have a commercial market for each and every piece of the system.

Yes, and a fourth point.  On 04-15-10, the BTDT argument was officially raised, and totally bought by Congress.  Shortly thereafter, the Adminstrator was instructed to stonewall Congress on funding prioritization, wrt commercial.  Congress has been effectively distracted by this play, and SLS is proceeding with much of the old "optimistic" managerial approach intact.  The Republicans have lost the election because they've been distracted by fundamentalism.  If this is a success, can we expect twelve more years of a Democratic presidency?

Barring a black swan event, economic recovery should occur on Mr. Obama's watch, giving four years of implied support, politically and economically, to this new commercial undertaking, increasing their chances of success.  Leading to eight further years of Democratic presidencies?

So, can political games and strategy be played to this depth?  Or am I inhaling too much?

Well if nothing else this proves that people (specifically Americans) haven't lost the desire to colonize space.

It never went away.  It's being actively ignored by our government.  That's why they and the press ridicule the idea every time it is brought up.

BTW, what about Shackleton Energy?
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Online Warren Platts

Re: Private Moon Landing in the works?
« Reply #37 on: 11/16/2012 04:00 PM »
I suppose that now we should start the guessing game of who is involved.I will start with the obvious candidates: Boeing, SpaceX, and ULA (possibly).

http://ulalaunch.com/site/docs/publications/AffordableExplorationArchitecture2009.pdf

Honestly ULA seems the most obvious partner, even more obvious than SpaceX, only because they only need a check to be written to start a lot of the above program.

The problem (besides the obvious corporate inertia) is that ULA is too expensive: e.g., $3.5B for ACES, $3.0 for the depots, $5B for the lander, $10B for "basic" surface systems, $XB for non-basic (mining) systems. While this is probably a lot less expensive than if, for example, MSFC tried to design all this stuff themselves, it's still too much for a lean 'n' mean commercial operation.

In any case: all of the above stuff is not needed for what seems to be proposed: human precursor missions (sorties) sent to check out the resource.
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Offline Galactic Penguin SST

Re: Private Moon Landing in the works?
« Reply #38 on: 11/16/2012 05:55 PM »
From Chris' latest article:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/11/exploration-alternatives-propellant-depots-commercial-lunar-base/



source information acquired by L2 this week revealed plans for a “game-changing” announcement as early as December that a new commercial space company intends to send commercial astronauts to the moon by 2020.

According to the information, the effort is led by a group of high profile individuals from the aerospace industry and backed by some big money and foreign investors. The company intends to use “existing or soon to be existing launch vehicles, spacecraft, upper stages, and technologies” to start their commercial manned lunar campaign.

The details point to the specific use of US vehicles, with a basic architecture to utilize multiple launches to assemble spacecraft in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). The details make direct reference to the potential use of propellant depots and fuel transfer technology.

Additional notes include a plan to park elements in lunar orbit, staging a small lunar lander that would transport two commercial astronauts to the surface for short stays.

The architecture would then grow into the company’s long-term ambitions to establish a man-tended outpost using inflatable modules. It is also understood that the company has already begun the design process for the Lunar Lander.

More details ahead of the announcement are expected in the coming days and weeks


Sounds a lot like a project I heard about a few years ago, called "Golden Spike".  Several well known names were rumored to be associated with it.

Interesting to see that others have started to pick up this story, with a little bit of new detail:

Quote
NASA Watch ‏@NASAWatch
Company named "Golden Spike" composed of Shuttle, Apollo & planetary science veterans apparently working on a commercial human Moon mission

https://twitter.com/NASAWatch/status/269511346649968641
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Online Chris Bergin

Re: Private Moon Landing in the works?
« Reply #39 on: 11/16/2012 06:18 PM »
And @NASAWatch
"Golden Spike" commercial lunar exploration company includes Wayne Hale, Jerry Griffin, Alan Stern

You've heard of them! ;D

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