Poll

Which US Space Agencies should be involved in enabling space settlement?

None, there is no reason for the US government to enable space settlement
17 (20.5%)
NASA
18 (21.7%)
Office of Space Transportation in FAA
13 (15.7%)
Office of Space Commerce in Dept of Commerce
16 (19.3%)
NOAA
3 (3.6%)
FCC
3 (3.6%)
State Department
9 (10.8%)
Defense Department
4 (4.8%)
Some other agency or agencies which I will name in the comments.
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 42

Voting closed: 12/16/2017 02:47 AM


Author Topic: US Space Agencies and space settlement  (Read 5140 times)

Offline Political Hack Wannabe

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US Space Agencies and space settlement
« on: 11/15/2017 06:24 PM »
Offered without comment
It's not democrats vs republicans, it's reality vs innumerate space cadet fantasy.

Offline Lar

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #1 on: 11/15/2017 08:39 PM »
Poll is flawed.  My answer is ALL of the choices.  No agency SHOULD be involved but all of the named ones WILL be involved. Once one gets involved you want all of the mentioned ones.

Was tempted to just edit it so that was an allowable choice. Still might.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline JasonAW3

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #2 on: 11/15/2017 08:49 PM »
I'm surprised nobody mentioned HUD.
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Offline Political Hack Wannabe

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #3 on: 11/16/2017 01:28 AM »
Poll is flawed.  My answer is ALL of the choices.  No agency SHOULD be involved but all of the named ones WILL be involved. Once one gets involved you want all of the mentioned ones.

Was tempted to just edit it so that was an allowable choice. Still might.
First, why do you say no agency should be involved in enabling space settlement?  I am curious.

Second, no it's not flawed.  I didn't limit people's selection to one vote  - you can, in fact, vote for all of them (It's the reason I said agencies rather than agency - I voted for a collection of them).  That said, I would argue that saying "All the choices" is itself flawed, because one of those choices, choice A (None, there is no reason for the US government to enable space settlement) assumes a position that is contradictory to all of the other options.  (I am sorry if that wasn't clear, I kind of assumed it would be, but...)
« Last Edit: 11/16/2017 01:39 AM by Political Hack Wannabe »
It's not democrats vs republicans, it's reality vs innumerate space cadet fantasy.

Offline Political Hack Wannabe

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #4 on: 11/16/2017 01:35 AM »
I'm surprised nobody mentioned HUD.

The main reason I left out HUD is because right now, HUD doesn't have any area that is considering items related to enabling space settlement.  I will acknowledge it's conceivable that they could play a role in enabling space settlement, but they don't have an internal organization that is set up to even engage on this issue
It's not democrats vs republicans, it's reality vs innumerate space cadet fantasy.

Offline Lar

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #5 on: 11/16/2017 02:46 AM »
Poll is flawed.  My answer is ALL of the choices.  No agency SHOULD be involved but all of the named ones WILL be involved. Once one gets involved you want all of the mentioned ones.

Was tempted to just edit it so that was an allowable choice. Still might.
First, why do you say no agency should be involved in enabling space settlement?  I am curious.

Second, no it's not flawed.  I didn't limit people's selection to one vote  - you can, in fact, vote for all of them (It's the reason I said agencies rather than agency - I voted for a collection of them).  That said, I would argue that saying "All the choices" is itself flawed, because one of those choices, choice A (None, there is no reason for the US government to enable space settlement) assumes a position that is contradictory to all of the other options.  (I am sorry if that wasn't clear, I kind of assumed it would be, but...)

First, because I'm libertarian, I know for sure that the best way to ensure massive, accelerated settlement is if no government is involved at all. Goverment, for the most part, hinders growth, not helps (the exception is ensuring rule of law). 

But a future with no government involvement? Not going to happen.[1] Every one of the agencies you name will *want* to be involved as this is like the opening of the American West, writ large. 99%++ of all the resources in the system are off planet.

Second... it follows, therefore, that your poll is flawed, because there is no way to vote to show that all agencies will be involved and also vote that none should be. The vote limit needs to be 8, or even 9 (with another option "some other agency which I will name in the comments"). So I changed it.

1 - it's also not going to be debated here. This view informs my thinking and I'm stating it so you know where I am coming from, but it's not up for debate whether it's correct or not. (nor is any other view that anyone else expresses as a foundation for *their* thinking, should they choose to) That's general policy debate which we don't do here.
« Last Edit: 11/16/2017 02:49 AM by Lar »
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Online Blackstar

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #6 on: 11/16/2017 03:05 AM »
The Small Business Administration should be on that list. Also, the Department of Agriculture, because of cows.

Offline RonM

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #7 on: 11/16/2017 03:56 AM »
Because of the OST, there isn't a lot of reasons for the government to support space settlement. Settlements can't become new territory, so why should the government be directly involved? I did pick the Office of Space Commerce in Dept of Commerce since the OST requires regulation by the country of origin. Might as well give US companies assistance to succeed (and tax the profits!).

Offline woods170

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #8 on: 11/16/2017 06:29 AM »
Disappointing thread this. As if the USA is the only country capable of enabling space settlement (I speak as someone from Europe).

Offline RonM

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #9 on: 11/16/2017 03:53 PM »
Disappointing thread this. As if the USA is the only country capable of enabling space settlement (I speak as someone from Europe).

You're missing the point. This thread is about US government agencies participation, not the concept of space settlement. If the US doesn't participate, then other nations can lead the way.

Online Blackstar

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #10 on: 11/16/2017 05:53 PM »
Am I the only one who has figured out that this thread is actually a joke?

The FCC is on the list. The FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION. You think they're going to settle planets?

Goofball thread, not to be taken seriously.

Offline RonM

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #11 on: 11/16/2017 06:22 PM »
Am I the only one who has figured out that this thread is actually a joke?

The FCC is on the list. The FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION. You think they're going to settle planets?

Goofball thread, not to be taken seriously.

C'mon, join in the fun. Many of the "what if" threads around here quickly devolve into silliness. Who knows, this could even become a serious thread.

Offline JasonAW3

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #12 on: 11/16/2017 06:37 PM »
I'm surprised nobody mentioned HUD.

The main reason I left out HUD is because right now, HUD doesn't have any area that is considering items related to enabling space settlement.  I will acknowledge it's conceivable that they could play a role in enabling space settlement, but they don't have an internal organization that is set up to even engage on this issue

...yet.
My God!  It's full of universes!

Offline Lar

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #13 on: 11/16/2017 06:39 PM »
Am I the only one who has figured out that this thread is actually a joke?

The FCC is on the list. The FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION. You think they're going to settle planets?

Goofball thread, not to be taken seriously.
The FCC feels they have a role in communications licensing. Does their writ extend beyond GEO? How far beyond? Does it extend to L2 (the location, not our wonderful resource)... to Luna? To Mars?  Did you want to argue that communication isn't required for settlement?

If you don't want to take the thread seriously, don't... But that's a serious question.  Best you just ignore the thread completely.

I mean, I have a hard time taking the general question seriously but I'm trying to be a good forum citizen and maybe I'll learn something I didn't know. ...

Disappointing thread this. As if the USA is the only country capable of enabling space settlement (I speak as someone from Europe).

The author is a US politician (wannabe?)  I agree, though, it does leave out everything else (and the UN and other international bodies such as the WHO, the postal union, etc...). You could start another thread if you were so inclined.
« Last Edit: 11/16/2017 06:43 PM by Lar »
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline jebbo

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #14 on: 11/16/2017 07:19 PM »
The FCC feels they have a role in communications licensing. Does their writ extend beyond GEO? How far beyond? Does it extend to L2 (the location, not our wonderful resource)... to Luna? To Mars?  Did you want to argue that communication isn't required for settlement?

This highlights an issue for us Europeans: the implication that US laws and regulations apply everywhere. And the thread / poll ignores things like the Outer Space Treaty (the flaws of which are many), etc. [ I know you are pushing a point for effect but still ]

Hence, I suspect, the short shrift given above by woods170

--- Tony

Offline Lar

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #15 on: 11/16/2017 07:40 PM »
The FCC feels they have a role in communications licensing. Does their writ extend beyond GEO? How far beyond? Does it extend to L2 (the location, not our wonderful resource)... to Luna? To Mars?  Did you want to argue that communication isn't required for settlement?

This highlights an issue for us Europeans: the implication that US laws and regulations apply everywhere. And the thread / poll ignores things like the Outer Space Treaty (the flaws of which are many), etc. [ I know you are pushing a point for effect but still ]

Hence, I suspect, the short shrift given above by woods170

--- Tony

I took the implication to be that the US was the nation from which entities most likely to be actually doing settlement would be from, not that US laws applied regardless of nation. The OST says the US is responsible if it's a US entity doing things. Unless the OST is modified or abrogated, that means they are subject to US law (sadly).

What other nation has organizations with mottos like "millions of people working and living in space" or "Occupy Mars" ???

Chauvinistic, but realistic, I think.
« Last Edit: 11/16/2017 07:41 PM by Lar »
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline woods170

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #16 on: 11/17/2017 05:53 AM »
Disappointing thread this. As if the USA is the only country capable of enabling space settlement (I speak as someone from Europe).

You're missing the point. This thread is about US government agencies participation, not the concept of space settlement. If the US doesn't participate, then other nations can lead the way.
No, I'm not missing the point. Had the involvement of other-than-US-agencies been considered the thread title would have been something like this:

"Space Agencies and Space Settlement". The "US" part would have been left out.

Despite the name "NASASpaceflight.com", this site and its forum are about everything spaceflight worldwide. Not just the USA. The ludicrous focus of this thread on US space agencies does not fit well within the international scope of this forum.
« Last Edit: 11/17/2017 05:58 AM by woods170 »

Offline chrisking0997

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #17 on: 11/17/2017 03:52 PM »
Am I the only one who has figured out that this thread is actually a joke?

The FCC is on the list. The FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION. You think they're going to settle planets?

Goofball thread, not to be taken seriously.

"involved" was the keyword in the question.  The joke is that ANY of them would make settlement easy or efficient...but I guess that wasnt really the point
Tried to tell you, we did.  Listen, you did not.  Now, screwed we all are.

Offline RonM

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #18 on: 11/17/2017 04:47 PM »
Disappointing thread this. As if the USA is the only country capable of enabling space settlement (I speak as someone from Europe).

You're missing the point. This thread is about US government agencies participation, not the concept of space settlement. If the US doesn't participate, then other nations can lead the way.
No, I'm not missing the point. Had the involvement of other-than-US-agencies been considered the thread title would have been something like this:

"Space Agencies and Space Settlement". The "US" part would have been left out.

Despite the name "NASASpaceflight.com", this site and its forum are about everything spaceflight worldwide. Not just the USA. The ludicrous focus of this thread on US space agencies does not fit well within the international scope of this forum.

So, we can't have specific threads about individual ESA, Chinese, Japanese, or Russian projects because they would not be international enough?

Offline yg1968

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #19 on: 11/17/2017 05:28 PM »
The author is a US politician (wannabe?)  I agree, though, it does leave out everything else (and the UN and other international bodies such as the WHO, the postal union, etc...). You could start another thread if you were so inclined.

A Washington D.C. lobbyist actually (see his early posts).
« Last Edit: 11/17/2017 05:30 PM by yg1968 »

Offline Lar

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #20 on: 11/17/2017 05:32 PM »
The author is a US politician (wannabe?)  I agree, though, it does leave out everything else (and the UN and other international bodies such as the WHO, the postal union, etc...). You could start another thread if you were so inclined.

A Washington D.C. lobbyist actually (see his early posts).
Politicians and lobbyists in DC are pretty interchangeable these days... But yeah.

This is kinda meta and it's fulfilling Blackstar's prophecy.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Political Hack Wannabe

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #21 on: 11/17/2017 05:48 PM »
Disappointing thread this. As if the USA is the only country capable of enabling space settlement (I speak as someone from Europe).

You're missing the point. This thread is about US government agencies participation, not the concept of space settlement. If the US doesn't participate, then other nations can lead the way.
No, I'm not missing the point. Had the involvement of other-than-US-agencies been considered the thread title would have been something like this:

"Space Agencies and Space Settlement". The "US" part would have been left out.

Despite the name "NASASpaceflight.com", this site and its forum are about everything spaceflight worldwide. Not just the USA. The ludicrous focus of this thread on US space agencies does not fit well within the international scope of this forum.

I am tempted to rephrase the question.  I get the impression that people are presuming this is a "when space settlement is happening, what organization from the US government should be involved?"  However, my main intent is to ask what agencies should be about enabling space settlement RIGHT NOW.  Not 50-100 years in the future, but right now.  In that context, there are a lot of activities that we need to be considering.  A few examples
1)  How do we position spaceports/ranges so that they can be launching multiple launch vehicles daily?
2)  How do launch regulations need to evolve as you move to RLVs and a marketplace that has much more launch on demand?
3)  Can we enable the development of markets that would serve a broad marketplace of users for lunar transportation, micro-gravity R&D/production, satellite servicing, satellite communications, etc? 

My point isn't to have a discussion of some form of property rights, but how and where do we start asking the question of making space settlement happen.  I've asked similar questions in the past - for example, what programs does NASA have going on that are settlement enabling right now?  Does SLS/Orion enable settlement?  ISS?  Commercial Crew?  Etc. 


As for non-US government agencies, I know of some of the non-US government agencies that are currently active in the space arena, but not all of them.  For that, I am sorry.  But, given that limitation, and with the specific point of enabling space settlement RIGHT NOW, I decided to just limit it to US government entities.  If you wish to comment on what federal agencies from other governments can and should play a role in enabling space settlement RIGHT NOW, please feel to explain who, and how they could. 
It's not democrats vs republicans, it's reality vs innumerate space cadet fantasy.

Offline Lar

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #22 on: 11/17/2017 08:22 PM »
Thanks for that explanation. I think an open ended discussion might have done better at eliciting useful infomration than a poll "posted without comment" that didn't have this background, causing floundering.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Political Hack Wannabe

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #23 on: 11/17/2017 10:27 PM »
Thanks for that explanation. I think an open ended discussion might have done better at eliciting useful infomration than a poll "posted without comment" that didn't have this background, causing floundering.

I assumed that people would think about near term activities, rather than distant, far into the future speculations (particularly since I focused on specific agencies that are active in space) that don't have much to do with near term policy.  I would view a discussion like that to go into the general thread section. 
It's not democrats vs republicans, it's reality vs innumerate space cadet fantasy.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #24 on: 11/17/2017 11:14 PM »
I am tempted to rephrase the question.  I get the impression that people are presuming this is a "when space settlement is happening, what organization from the US government should be involved?"  However, my main intent is to ask what agencies should be about enabling space settlement RIGHT NOW.  Not 50-100 years in the future, but right now.

Based on your statement above, I answered NONE.

Because government agencies can't, for the most part, determine what they want to do on their own. They work for the President, and are funded by Congress. So it is up to our political leaders to decide if it will be the goal of the United States of America to enable space settlement. And though it may be a goal in the future (and a fuzzy goal at that), as of today there is no effort to start that effort RIGHT NOW.

Now if you want to ask a separate question, ask if the U.S. Government should be involved to any degree in enabling space settlement? And then have the poll choices to be what degree that may be.

And I've been monitoring this poll since it was created, but I only now contributed because it didn't make sense till you helped to clarify what you were looking for. Even then, as I said above, you're not asking the right question.

Ny $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?

Online QuantumG

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #25 on: 11/17/2017 11:52 PM »
I took the question as: when it becomes apparent that Elon isn't just blowing smoke and really intends to put humans on Mars, which government agencies will suddenly become interested in space settlement in a big way?

I hear those things are awfully loud. It glides as softly as a cloud. What's it called? Monowhale!

Offline Jim

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #26 on: 11/18/2017 01:42 AM »
I took the question as: when it becomes apparent that Elon isn't just blowing smoke and really intends to put humans on Mars, which government agencies will suddenly become interested in space settlement in a big way?
Only the ones dealing with laws and sovereignty.

Offline meberbs

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #27 on: 11/18/2017 09:53 PM »
I am tempted to rephrase the question.  I get the impression that people are presuming this is a "when space settlement is happening, what organization from the US government should be involved?"  However, my main intent is to ask what agencies should be about enabling space settlement RIGHT NOW.  Not 50-100 years in the future, but right now.  In that context, there are a lot of activities that we need to be considering.  A few examples
1)  How do we position spaceports/ranges so that they can be launching multiple launch vehicles daily?
2)  How do launch regulations need to evolve as you move to RLVs and a marketplace that has much more launch on demand?
3)  Can we enable the development of markets that would serve a broad marketplace of users for lunar transportation, micro-gravity R&D/production, satellite servicing, satellite communications, etc? 

My point isn't to have a discussion of some form of property rights, but how and where do we start asking the question of making space settlement happen.  I've asked similar questions in the past - for example, what programs does NASA have going on that are settlement enabling right now?  Does SLS/Orion enable settlement?  ISS?  Commercial Crew?  Etc. 

I picked a few agencies, bu with this post I feel like I should clarify why. The main way most agencies can support space settlement is by staying out of the way. Commercial companies at the space council meeting were pretty clear on that. Note that "stay out of the way" does not mean "do nothing," to start with there are regulations that need to adjust for new realities, and then there are places where there is value in explicitly allowing things.

This means that #1 above is probably best served by letting companies do it on their own (See: Boca Chica), though some of the Air Forces range improvements for flight rate help. #2 is the main one that has work involved, and #3 is still mostly a let the market handle it, though this includes the government being a customer for some things (e.g. satellite servicing) and sometimes this includes funding some technology development.

NASA is main agency that can contribute a bit more directly. SLS/Orion is an obvious dead end that doesn't help. Things like ISS and commercial crew are indirectly helpful, which is generally what I feel NASA should aim for. As a concrete example of a potential future course (multiple assumptions made just to make it concrete):

NASA could buy some early BFR flights (after testing) to establish a small research site on the moon, potentially also helping with some BFR development costs. This would create a seed that other organizations could build off of similar to how Axiom and Bigelow want to start with modules attached to the ISS. NASA actually trying to directly build a full settlement on the moon seems like it would end up not working out at all. Large scale growth requires the market to direct it so that it is sustainable. NASA does not feel market pressures, and would almost certainly end up in a dead end just like with SLS.

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