Former NASA Astronaut Harrison Schmitt advocates a private, investor-based approach to returning humans to the Moon—to extract Helium 3 for energy production, to use the Moon as a platform for science and manufacturing, and to establish permanent human colonies there in a kind of stepping stone community on the way to deeper space. With governments playing a supporting role—just as they have in the development of modern commercial aeronautics and agricultural production—Schmitt believes that a fundamentally private enterprise is the only type of organization capable of sustaining such an effort and, eventually, even making it pay off.
|Publisher:||Springer New York|
|Edition description:||Softcover reprint of hardcover 1st ed. 2006|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.36(d)|
About the Author
Harrison Schmitt is, as of this date, the 12th and last human to have stepped on the Moon. As an astronaut, pilot, geologist, academic, businessman, and United States Senator, he has had a distinguished career in science and technology practice and policy. Schmitt was the first scientist to go into space specifically to explore the Moon as the Lunar Module Pilot and field geologist on the last Lunar Mission, Apollo 17. He is active in private and government sponsored research into a return to the Moon, and in fusion technologies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he is Adjunct Professor of Engineering. In his role as a Senator (R-NM, 1977-1983) he was chairman of the Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space.
Table of Contents
Introduction: 25 Years from Today.- The Legacy of Apollo: The geopolitical, cultural, and scientific legacy of Apollo, including the discovery of lunar energy resources.- Global Energy in the 21st Century: The increasing future demand for energy and the alternatives to meet that demand including lunar Helium-3 fusion.- Fundamentals of Helium-3 Fusion: The basic principles of Helium-3 fusion including its advantages and disadvantages relative to other energy alternatives.- Lunar Helium-3 Resources: How much we know about the concentration, distribution, and geology of lunar Helium-3 and related resources.- Economic Approaches to a Return to the Moon: Comparison of various combinations of private, federal, and international approaches to funding and managing a return to the Moon.- Lessons from Apollo Management: The nature of the Apollo management system and the lessons that can be drawn from its successes and failures.- Private Business/Investor Approach: The details and milestones in a private business and investor-based approach to a return to the Moon.- Bridging Businesses: Bridging businesses that apply helium-3 fusion technologies; in particular, positron emitting isotope production for medical diagnostics (PET), and a general discussion of other, follow-on bridging businesses.- Lunar Resource Production Operations: The essential elements of the initiation and early operation of a lunar resource production and processing endeavor.- Ancillary Businesses: The use of technologies developed for accessing and using lunar Helium-3 for space exploration, astronomy from the Moon, space tourism, diversion of asteroids and comets, and national security.- Space Law Related to Lunar Resources: Lunar resource development in the context of international law and specifically of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967.- Human vs Machine Roles in Space Exploration and Development: The relative merits of human and robotic systems in space.- Long-term Implications: The long-term implications of the development of lunar resources on the betterment of the human condition, the advancement of civilization, the settlement of space, and the defense of the Earth.