Monday, December 20, 2010

$1.4 billion...

...represents the commercial demand for launch services today. This is less than 1 percent of end user spending on space-based products and services. More on this later.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


No shit, Sherlock.
Mostly, this is a very good thing. The rise of China, and the related, albeit slightly slower, emergence of India, is the story of hundreds of millions of very poor people joining the global economy and getting a little richer. Gross domestic product per capita in those two countries was basically stagnant from 1820 to 1950. Then, it increased 68 percent from 1950 to 1973, and a whopping 245 percent from 1973 to 2002.

But we need to be careful not to draw the wrong lessons from China's resurrection. The most dangerous one is that authoritarianism works.

No, authoritarianism doesn't work.  Having a middle to upper class that outmasses the entire American population does.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


That's about as good as it gets to move a family of four across the Atlantic with all their belongings. In terms of the specific transportation cost of spacelift, it's the breakpoint between jawing about exploration and getting serious about immigration.

Mission creep

When it comes to a government agency losing sight of its raison d'etre, let it never be said NASA's without competition.

The national debt is the single biggest threat to national security, according to Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Tax payers will be paying around $600 billion in interest on the national debt by 2012, the chairman told students and local leaders in Detroit.

“That’s one year’s worth of defense budget,” he said, adding that the Pentagon needs to cut back on spending.

Looking enviously on money you don't have to spend doesn't inspire confidence in your budget cutting credentials.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Once Upon A Time in Heaven: Jim Webb on White Privilege

Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) injects some much needed reality into the recent unpleasantness in his Wall Street Journal op-ed.

Forty years ago, as the United States experienced the civil rights movement, the supposed monolith of White Anglo-Saxon Protestant dominance served as the whipping post for almost every debate about power and status in America. After a full generation of such debate, WASP elites have fallen by the wayside and a plethora of government-enforced diversity policies have marginalized many white workers. The time has come to cease the false arguments and allow every American the benefit of a fair chance at the future.

NewSpace Conference

Go here for the latest. Obvious topic of discussion, House Science Committee's latest blow to commercial space. Which leads us naturally to...

Congress to America's future in space: Go fuck yourself

Here's some news to shove down the throat of the next idiot who suggests there's any difference between Democrats and Republicans where it concerns the sanctity of science.

The House Science and Technology Committee marked up its $19 billion Fiscal 2011 NASA authorization draft July 22, setting the stage for a House-Senate conference to reconcile differences in their two versions of the bill.

Building on work kicked off with the Senate Commerce Committee’s draft of a three-year NASA authorization bill, the Senate Appropriations Committee adopted its $19 billion NASA spending measure for Fiscal 2011 on July 21 (Aerospace DAILY, July 22).

The long logjam over U.S. space policy is breaking up, as the impasse between the White House and Congress evolves into serious negotiations over details of a compromise approach that would accelerate a heavy-lift launch vehicle and preserve the Orion crew exploration vehicle. But it remains to be seen if all of the work can be done in time to avoid a continuing resolution when the fiscal year ends Sept. 30.


Both authorization measures also pay for their changes from the original NASA budget request by backpedaling the administration’s centerpiece commercial human spaceflight plan.

Bottom line, Congress sets national science and engineering priorities by one metric only--jobs per district. FY2011 already showed the gap between the Augustine Commission's pie-in-the-sky dreams and the Administration's seriousness concerning space policy. Congress apparently couldn't suffer the idea of being outdone in rank foolishness. Here's to another decade of dicking around in LEO with nothing to show for it.

Here's a comparison of the House and Senate versions of FY2011, by the Space Foundation with respects to phantomdj at

Cost Plus

Over at Selenia Boondocks, contributor John Hare has a few choice things to say about government contracts:

If government contracting would quit worrying so much about how much profit a company makes, and start worrying about what is being delivered for the dollar, more companies would try for the contracts. A possible contract with 25-50% profit potential will attract more players. As more players enter a field, some will have better people or ideas which translates to lower costs, which becomes lower bids. When faced with real competition, Lockheed and Boeing can both find cost saving options when it is in their best interest to do so and they can make higher profit margins doing it.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Obama space policy ripped by Air and Space blogger

Dr. Paul D. Spudis is a smart guy, pretty apolitical and keeps up a damn good blog for Air & Space Smithsonian on issues relating to space exploration and its future settlement. His latest uncharacteristically tears into "Flexible Path," or as I like to call it--"Vision for Space Exploration minus the Vision and the Space Exploration."

Here are the highlights:

The space community has fractured since the disastrous roll out of NASA’s “new direction.” Preceding the administration’s budget announcement, endless delays and rampant speculation about administrators, rockets, and program design and direction kept people guessing. The current trench warfare is not a pretty sight, but it is not unexpected given the lack of a clear direction. Word has it that more detail will come out early next week...

Word to the didn't.

...adding yet another layer to this growing space onion. The undirected, unfocused, unproductive spin cycle NASA (and the entire space community) has twirled around in for the last 18 months is instructive. It is real time, 20/20 insight on how the new direction will play out during the proposed five-year study hall being scheduled for NASA to find their “right stuff.”

The latest attempt to explain NASA’s new direction is an article published in by Clara Moskowitz. She tries to “correct” some alleged “misunderstandings” about the Obama administration’s new direction and budget for NASA. Her article quotes several space luminaries, who opine that the new path is simply “not understood” by a few petulant detractors who stubbornly refuse to accept Flexible Path as advertised. Responding to the criticism that the new path was conceived in secret by a small cabal without detailed thought, Moskowitz quotes my friend Jim Oberg as saying that the administration’s space proposal is “extremely similar” to a report issued by the International Astronautical Academy (IAA) and so (in effect) the new direction has been studied extensively by an “international astronautical group.”

Here're the money shots:

A glaring difference between the IAA report and the administration’s budget proposal is that the IAA report specifically recognizes the Moon’s surface as a valid objective (as does the VSE).


Civilizations thrive and advance when not in retreat. The administration’s chaotic proposal for NASA retreats from human space exploration. Many in the space community have serious doubts and concerns about this new direction. Labeling these doubts and concerns as “misconceptions” does not make the new direction valid nor change the reality that we are in danger of losing our capability as a space faring nation.

There's a not so marginal deal to be said in praise of Flexible Path. Killing Constellation--which would (by the grace of God) only produce an LEO vehicle in this decade--saves up to $7 billion a year going forward. There's supposedly a new look at EELV launchers for trans-lunar missions. And of course commercial space aid is going up north of a billion.

But that's literally it. FY2011 reveals at the Administration's aimlessness. ISS, cosmic navel gazing and climate change advocacy are the big winners, space technology gets as low as a third of the Constellation savings per year. Constellation may have been a huge, expensive mistake in execution, but the expenditure alone fit was the clearest articulation of the only mission worthy of NASA--the opening of space for American benefit. FY2011 reads like the budget for a university whose principle mission is to make Greens and internationals feel good about themselves.

The good news is even with this budget, in five to seven years some President will have the tools to proceed with a Vision for Space Exploration that's roughly back on track. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like this President is all that interested in picking up the torch.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Once Upon A Time In Heaven: Commercial Space Takes Off

Commercial space takes off

First off, a much belated congratulations to Elon Musk and the folks at SpaceX for last month's successful test launch of the Falcon 9 vehicle. The video is as spectacular as the story of a company, that for pennies on the dollar, hbas shown a path to reducing launch costs by a whole order of magnitude. A month on, and SpaceX's work is already paying off:
Space Exploration Technologies has signed a $492 million deal to carry Iridium Communications' mobile telecommunications satellites into space starting in 2015.
Space Exploration, better known as SpaceX, said Wednesday that the deal represents "the largest single commercial launch deal ever signed." Iridium provides mobile voice and data services around the globe.

This comes right on the heels of SpaceX scoring a major contract with Taiwan's civilian space agency.

Not quite sure what to make of Boeing's CST-100, a capsule without a launcher (for the time being) developed with assistance from the same commercial space development program as Falcon 9 and Dragon. More digging to come.

NASA mission adrift?

Canceling Constellation was a good thing, but not at the cost for the Vision to Explore Space. The new Administration "strategy," if you could call it that, accomplishes some good in expanding spending for aeronautics and support for commercial space, but to what end? The recent brouhaha over Administrator Bolden's Al-Jazeera interview hardly inspires confidence.

Rand Simberg takes Bolden to task at Pajamas Media, while Paul Mirengoff over at Powerline has this to say:
n the video below, Charles Bolden, head of NASA, tells Al Jazeera that the "foremost" task President Obama has given him is "to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with predominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering." Thus, NASA's primary mission is no longer to enhance American science and engineering or to explore space, but to boost the self-esteem of "predominantly Muslim nations."

Exploring space didn't even make the top three things Obama wants Bolden to accomplish. The other two are "re-inspire children to want to get into science and math" and "expand our international relationships,"

This is more evidence, if any were needed, of Obama's lack of interest in American achievement or, indeed, American greatness. He seems to believe we've achieved enough (or perhaps too much) and that the trick now is to make nations that have achieved little for centuries feel like we couldn't have done it without them (in the video, Bolden goes on to talk about how much NASA owes the Russians and the Japanese).

I draw no general conclusion about Obama's views on America's role in the world, but I agree with sentiment that internationalism is infecting American space policy to its detriment. If you absolutely have to play psychotherapist for a third of the world's population, use the State Department. Unfortunately, I fear that the Administration's disinterest in space--despite the $6 billion in increased funding over the next five years--has left NASA on autopilot, and that we're on the road to an even more embarrassing clash with reality than Constellation ended up as.

End over end in space

In 2003, the Decadal Planning Team laid down some major ground work for the long vision of VSE--exploration (and the kernel of settlement) beyond low earth orbit. One of the architectures they considered for a Mars mission was AG-NEP (Powerpoint slides), a vehicle that would tumble end over end to produce artificial gravity as its engines would constantly thrust it towards its destination. One of the problems, though, was keeping the engines aligned on course. Well, Kirk Sorenson over at SeleniaBoondocks details a solution drawing an interesting innovation from his work on tethers--the Canfield joint:
He called it a “Trio-Tristar Carpal Wrist Joint.” I thought that sounded like a real mouthful so I just called it “Canfield’s joint” and eventually everyone (except Canfield) began to call it a Canfield joint. It was kind of a crazy looking thing that you couldn’t figure out what to do with it unless you held it in your hands and started playing with it. Unfortunately, in a blog post I can’t reach out of your screen and hand you your own Canfield joint to play with, because if I could you’d figure out in a few seconds what I’m talking about, but the real magic of the Canfield joint is that you can point the joint anywhere in a hemisphere without winding up anything.

The joint has several parts. There’s the “base plate” which stays attached to whatever the joint is mounted to, like your spacecraft, and then there’s the “distal plate”, which points to whatever it is that you want to point at. There are six legs on the joint, in three units. The joint is called a “parallel structure” because there’s more than one load path for the loads to follow, and this is what gives it its potential strength. Where the legs mount to the plates is a simple revolute joint. I didn’t know what that meant so I asked Canfield and he said that it just meant that it was a simple, one-degree-of-freedom (one way to move) joint or hinge. Where the two legs come together you could have a spheric joint (a ball and socket with two degrees-of-freedom) or you could have three revolute joints in series. That’s what we usually do.

This is from the second of a series of three blog posts (1, 2, 3), which you should really read in order to fully appreciate an example of the ingenuity engineers bring to tackling problems. Bottom line, the Canfield joint solves the problem of how to keep engines properly aligned on a tumbling spaceship, and Sorenson has finally produced animations (1, 2, 3, and the grand finale) to visualize how cleverly the solution works.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Did Costner just invent our way out of the offshore drilling debate?

From ABC News:

BP has turned to "Waterworld" star Kevin Costner to help clean up the oil slick that is spreading across the Gulf of Mexico. The actor demonstrates a machine he funded that can separate oil from water.

Costner has been funding a team of scientists for 15 years in hopes of developing a technology to clean up massive oil spills, and his research has created a powerful centrifuge that he claims can separate oil from water and dump the oil into a holding tank.

Costner and representatives of Ocean Therapy Solutions, the firm that developed the machine, demonstrated the centrifugal device for BP officials in New Orleans last week. "I believe they'll want to do the right thing," Costner told reporters at the time.

Ain't that something? Best line from Dances with Wolves: "[Ocean Therapy is] prepared to go out and solve problems, not talk about them." The man's a Democrat, but this is the sort of Democrat the country needs.

If Ocean Therapy works as advertised (it probably doesn't, but if the Army Corps of Engineers is signing off on it, I'm prepared to except that reality's within an order of magnitude of the brochure), a single machine of the largest type can separate 99 percent of oil leaked into the water processed at a rate of 288,000 gal/day. The low end estimate for the Deepwater Horizon blowout is 210,000 gal/day. The largest device Costner's selling prices at $24 million a pop. Do the math.

So how does this compare to to today's separators? At first glance, 288,000 gal/day is small potatoes compared to something like JBF 6001, also known as the Valdez Star. This 600 ton giant oil skimmer was still in the design stages when Exxon Valdez, and apparently can clear slicks at 7 times the rate. I don't know the tonnage or bulk of the technology JBF uses for clean up, but we saw the device Costner intends to test in the Gulf. It fits on the back of a small flatbed truck. We also don't know how precisely, if at all, an array of such devices can be mated to recovery vessels needed to tank the recovered oil.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Not convinced our space policy is in the shitter? The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee met yesterday to reveal its penultimate ignorance and lack of ambition in what had to have been two-thirds self-laudatory fluff followed by the most ignorant kabuki dance between Congresscritter and Executive branch flunky you could imagine.

What's really disturbing is that we're so damned caught up on the LEO component. In fact, the sharpest criticism I've heard from the Augustinophiles pertains to Ares I/Orion. Ares V and Moonshoot II simply drop off the radar--the principal objective of Constellation--doesn't even get on the radar in these overheated debates. For all the bitching about Ares I's costs, FY2011 doesn't do a damn thing new in terms of commercial private spaceflight. Falcon 9 was already on track in all phases of the COTS program; in fact, we've been playing games with the SpaceX's funding for a year now. FY2011 finally commits $369 million towards bringing COTS and CRS towards initial delivery, but don't be fooled--we would've gotten there whether or not the Administration decided to axe the only decent reason for us to be in space in the first place.

Augustinophiles over at NASA Watch are still pissed at Mike Griffin:

According eye witnesses, Neil Armstrong and Gene Cernan showed up a little early today before their hearing on Capitol Hill. They arrived at the special ante room (waiting room) mentioned by Sen. Rockefeller at one point in the hearings. According to these eye witnesses, Armstrong and Cernan were accompanied by Mike Griffin. This synchs with the widely-held suspicon that not only did Griffin help write Neil Armstrong's prepared comments, but also that Griffin has been spearheading much of the behind the scenes lobbying against the Obama Space policy on Capitol Hill. Gee, I hope he is registered ... Stay tuned.

Mike Griffin has more vision in his thumbnail than all of the guys at NASA Watch combined. As much as I wish we wouldn't spend $20 billion a year to look down on Earth on the specious theory that children are inspired by looking at hurricane tracks and images of oil spills, that's about all that's allowed by the imaginations of today's space "advocates."

Clark Lindsey dismisses astronaut testimony as a stunt:

Arguments from authority are among the weakest of all arguments. Being chosen as the first and last visitors to the Moon did not include authorization as life long final arbiters of space policy. As the Washington Post article points out, there are a number of astronauts who disagree with them. If, for example, Buzz Aldrin and Sally Ride had been there instead, not only would they have argued from authority but from the knowledge gained by long involvement in the issues and the tough budget choices that must made.

Which is exactly why Ride and Aldrin were on the Augustine team. You'll find an astronaut to support any of the countless constituencies NASA has, even more so once you move past the Apollo generation. Unfortunately, it seems that the dream of actually conquering space was lost amongst our later generations of spacefarers--who seem to fall into Aldrin's camp of restricting space access to a select club of would be superstars. Ultimately, you'll end up with an astronaut of Charles Bolden's character--a man whose vision is limited to his own 9-5 ambitions.

I don't disagree with Lindsey on any particular point, or Rand Simberg for that matter. I also don't necessarily buy Captain Cernan's argument that Newspace will cost three times its advertising price or Charles Bolden's reported concerns that commercial space will face some cost exploding obstacles in the years to come. What I do object to is the notion that a ten-year expenditure estimated over a wide variation of $1 to $1 billion is a gospel solid constraint mandated by the dead hand of some vague budget reality, or that we need to give up the Moon--our only hope for settling space--in order to keep a lethargic satellite launch industry alive. I also don't buy the argument that commercial services to the Space Station will magically birth private manned spaceflight in the same environment. You don't have to be an astronaut, rocket scientist, engineer, or even an economist to know that there's nothing in LEO.

Anyways, Flex Path diary rant--check. Moving on.

ISS resupply for $200 million a month, anyone?:

The second of ESA's ATV automated cargo craft has been cleared for shipping to the launch site in Kourou. Its launch on an Ariane 5 to the International Space Station is scheduled for late this year.

ATV-2, named after German astronomer and mathematician Johannes Kepler, has undergone extensive system testing at EADS Astrium's site in Bremen, Germany, over the last few months and has now been given the go-ahead for shipping.

It will be dispatched to Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana in several sections, accompanied by 59 containers with test equipment. In Kourou, it will be assembled and extensively tested before being loaded with cargo and fuelled. The launch is now planned for the end of 2010.

"After an internal review of ATV Johannes Kepler, we have given Astrium 'consent-to-ship', which is an important milestone," says Simonetta Di Pippo, ESA Director for Human Spaceflight.

"This demonstrates the ability of European industry under the lead of Astrium to provide the requested status of the vehicle on time and with the requested quality."

"When the US Space Shuttle retires, ATV will be the largest vehicle supplying the ISS. Considering its technological challenges, like automatic rendezvous & docking, ATV is the most sophisticated space vehicle ever built in Europe."

I'd love if Newspace beat out the Europeans in cost, but I'm not so sure they'll do it in time. SpaceX makes a lot of noise about delivery by 2012, but until I see the Falcon 9 with a Dragon payload launch and rendezvous with ISS, I'm not holding my breath.

Shyeah, right

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea claimed Wednesday that its scientists succeeded in creating a nuclear fusion reaction, but experts doubted the isolated communist country actually had made the breakthrough in the elusive clean-energy technology.

Nuclear fusion stories generally piss me off. They usually fall into two categories. Endless boring budgetary news about constructing the next biggest tokamak, or unvetted press releases from individuals, companies and societies of dubious authority.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


China's manned space program still on track:

Yet another media report from China has confirmed the basics of their latest group of astronauts. Five men and two women are being trained for Shenzhou missions. In keeping with China's typical policy of secrecy, we don't know their names or faces yet, but analysts are making educated guesses from previously disclosed lists of candidates.

All the astronauts are experienced pilots from China's Air Force. So far, China has not taken the step of diversifying its astronaut corps with scientists or medical doctors. It's possible that "mission specialist" astronauts will be recruited before China launches its large space station around 2020.

What is unclear is whether the PRC will pursue Tiangong 3, the half-Mir space station planned for ten years from now, or take the experience it gains from Tiangong 1--the 9 ton Skylab-like contraption which launches next year--and pursue a moonshot program. NASA has for sometime seen China as pursuing a high launch rate strategy of reaching the moon using existing platforms. Remains to be seen if this is a cost effective alternative to heavy-lift.

Forget is "Constellation too big to fail," try the friggin' Space Shuttle's too big to fail:

The U.S. Space Shuttle program may not come to an end this year, Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said in a statement, citing International Space Station (ISS) manager.

According to Michael Suffredini, the space shuttle Atlantis may be launched to the ISS in summer 2011.

"In this case, additional scientific equipment and components for system of water regeneration from condensate could be delivered to the U.S. segment of the station," the statement said. "However, funding for this flight has not been provided so far."

Coming on the heels of SFF's lecture on how "failure" should be met with a shot to the head, the Augustinophiles in the blogosphere should have gone into terminal apoplexy upon this latest announcement. What do we see? Nada.

More directionless masturbation from the Space Review:

When a new president finally makes time in his busy schedule to decide on a direction for his space agency, he lays out a vision in words calculated to seem Kennedy-esque in decades to come. President Reagan envisioned a mammoth space station functioning as an orbiting maintenance facility for satellites. The first President Bush said that we should go to Mars as soon as ever we could. President Clinton said that we should build a space station in a way that explored new reaches in cooperation among nations of the Earth. And George W. Bush said to put Apollo on steroids and shoot the Moon. Now it’s President Obama’s turn. With an industrial gray, metal staircase as a backdrop, he passed up the soaring rhetoric and sci-fi visions and instead charged NASA to build its future step by step through the industrial gray work of inventing and maturing technology.

No president in the post-Apollo era has offered this kind of vision.

Yes, because no President figured he could sound Kennedy-esque by channeling Master Po. While NASA's busy figuring out how "to be nothing while giving everything else to others," we'll still be wading around in low Earth orbit, servicing a space station that serves no unique purpose whatsoever, and keeping the dumbest launch vehicle ever devised flying for yet another year.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Fun with LaTeX

Here's Schroedinger's equation:

$latex i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial t}\left|\Psi(t)\right>=H\left|\Psi(t)\right>$

Here's Einstein's field equations in terms of the Ricci curvature tensor and Ricci scalar.

$latex R_{\mu \nu} - {1 \over 2}g_{\mu \nu}\,R + g_{\mu \nu} \Lambda = {8 \pi G \over c^4} T_{\mu \nu}$

Once Upon A Time In Heaven: Roundup

Heavy-lift, alive but knee-capped.

In his April 15 speech at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla., U.S. President Barack Obama said the space agency would spend the next *five years* studying new technologies and materials before settling on a heavy-lift rocket design. But NASA documents and comments from agency officials suggest the White House already has a design firmly in mind.

The document was revised between May 3 and 5 to eliminate a particularly foolish fuel constraint. Spaceref has the modified request.

Summary: We're going to take five years to reinvent Ares V, and God knows how long to actually build, test and the fly the damned thing...if at all.

Nothing of interest from the ISS.

Summary. People woke up, ate breakfast, popped pills, vlogged, and tightened bolts.

Ice and chemicals on 24 Themis:

Scientists using a NASA funded telescope have detected water-ice and carbon-based organic compounds on the surface of an asteroid. The cold hard facts of the discovery of the frosty mixture on one of the asteroid belt's largest occupants, suggests that some asteroids, along with their celestial brethren, comets, were the water carriers for a primordial Earth. The research is published in today's issue of the journal Nature.

"For a long time the thinking was that you couldn't find a cup's worth of water in the entire asteroid belt," said Don Yeomans, manager of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "Today we know you not only could quench your thirst, but you just might be able to fill up every pool on Earth – and then some."

Outstanding. Now how about finding a similar near Earth asteroid that we can actually use?

Another conservative drinks the Flexible Path kool-aid:

We free-marketers know that the free market can make improvements, cut costs, and make innovations based on the actions of the competitive marketplace. Manned space flight as conducted by NASA over the last fifty years had none of this. As a result, we have a 35-year-old design (shuttle) that flies very little and is increasingly accident-prone. In the 35 years from the Wright Brothers' first flight in 1903 to 1938, we went from the Wright Flier to the B-17. Why hasn't there been similar progress in manned space flight? The answer is that it has been a government monopoly for fifty years.

We're coming up on the 25th anniversary of the Commercial Space Launch Act, we've grown a quarter trillion dollar industry that has all but run out of excuses to launch satellites, and we were moving towards commericial transport to the ISS *five years* ago. The problem isn't government sponsored manned space flight--which is the only reason anyone's up there in the first place. It's that government manned spaceflight has *no* direction whatsoever. Flexible Path is just the first time a White House has had the balls to come out and say it.

Colin Doughan has a blog, interviews Alan Wasser on property rights in space:

Sending astronauts to the Space Station will be the first revenue stream for private space development. The second revenue stream will be space tourists, starting with the very rich, of course, but expanding as soon as possible to an ever widening segment of the public.

Unfortunately, however, those and all other currently identified revenue streams added together aren't enough to attract real venture capitalists, only enough to attract rich philanthropists.

Interesting. So, how do you get to your new lunar homestead?

Paul Spudis on lunar water:

A significant amount of water at the poles of the Moon is present, with many billions of metric tonnes at each pole (detailed estimates of the water reserves are in progress). Such an amount is more than enough to support both permanent, sustainable human presence on the Moon and for export to cislunar space.

We *know* we can live on the moon. We've got good reason to believe we can industrialize the Moon. So why do we have a space policy that isn't focused on getting us back there as soon as practically possible?