June 27, 2011

Moon Express talk by Barney Pell

Moon Express, Inc. (MoonEx) is targeting mining the moon.

Major Moon Markets

* Mining for Space and Terrestrial Markets
* Generating space-based solar power
* space-based manufacturing, research and development
* space tourism and entertainment

Mining the moon
* water. at least 1 billion tons in the poles
* precious metals (platinum, other platinum grade metals)
* Lithium, gallium
* Helium-3
* Silicon 28 (400% higher heat dissipation, although silicon 28 is 92% of the earth silicon, so maybe the wrong isotope number)
* Industrial metals (aluminum), cheaper than bringing from the earth for space based industry

Four disruptive technologies lead to successful moon mining

1. Commercial launchers
2. Micro-miniaturization (eg. cubesats)
3. new propulsion systems
4. space architecture elements (earth launch systems,lunar landers, space tugs, fuel depots and refineries, lunar mining infrastructure, lunar manufacturing infrastructure, lunar power generators, habitation systems - including life support)

Each is independently valuable.

* make the smallest system that can get to the moon and create fuel from water on the moon into a fuel depot
* then it becomes free (other than getting to low earth orbit) for the follow on systems to make more materials and fuel mining
* $10 to 20 billion total or less.

Shackleton Energy Company was formed in 2007 in Del Valle, Texas with the explicit goal to prepare the equipment and technologies necessary for mining the Moon. Shackleton is a subsidiary of Stone Aerospace.

Barney Moon Express talk starts at 1:04

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