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January 28, 2012

Making a Permanent Lunar Base and Overcoming Political Roadblocks

Rand Simberg has noted - It is possible to withdraw from the 1967 Outer Space Treaty with one years notice. A president that wanted to do that would need to get Congressional support. Another method is suggested by the Space Settlement Institute. The U.S. can recognize private claims of non-state actors, which could accomplish the goal of allowing property on the moon without the need to withdraw from the Outer Space Treaty. It would also provide a tradable market in lunar real estate, allowing private settlement ventures to raise funds without the need for taxpayer money. It wouldn’t be a U.S. state, but it might be a settlement of Americans, with American values, which is probably what the former speaker’s goal is.

Rand Simberg also notes a problem for long term government prizes. There would be no guarantee that a future Congress wouldn’t rescind it, creating a great deal of uncertainty and risk for someone who wanted to pursue it. This can be overcome by crafting a series of shorter term prizes.

I would like readers can discuss in the comments, what would be the most efficient and effective series of space prizes to achieve a permanent lunar base. Try to stay in the budget of $2 billion per year from 2013-2020. $14 billion. Also, suggestions for re-allocating other parts of NASA budget can be suggested as well. Things like beefing up support for commercial launch systems.





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