Category Archives: ISRU

SpaceX Mars Plans: Jon’s First Take

I’ve had a lot of friends ping me today about my thoughts on Elon’s Mars talk today. I was in a meeting when it happened, and literally was pinged by half a dozen people during the meeting… Now that I’ve … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Space, ISRU, Launch Vehicles, Lunar Commerce, Mars, NASA, Propellant Depots, Space Development, Space Exploration, Space Settlement, Space Transportation, SpaceX, ULA, Venus | 18 Comments

Random Thoughts: Which is a Better ISRU Propellant on Venus/Mars–LOX/LH2 or LOX/CH4?

I’m not sure if someone has already run the analysis, but I’m kind of curious about which ISRU-derivable propellant combination is better for locations like Venus or Mars where there is plenty of CO2 available in the atmosphere, but limited … Continue reading

Posted in ISRU, Mars, Venus | 14 Comments

The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Lunar Transportation Schemes: Part 0–An Elevator Pitch for the Moon

[Note: After getting a few posts into this series on the “how” of alternative lunar transportation concepts, I realized that some commenters were asking about why we should even be going to the Moon, or what we’d be doing there. … Continue reading

Posted in ISRU, Lunar Commerce, Lunar Exploration and Development, Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Lunar Transportation Schemes, Space Development, Space Exploration, Space Settlement | 15 Comments

The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Lunar Transportation Schemes: Part 3–Intentional Hard Landings

The first advanced lunar transportation concept is the idea of intentional hard lithobraking landings of bulk raw materials. The idea was recently suggested by frequent Selenian Boondocks commenter Paul Dietz in the comments to this previous post. Basically you would … Continue reading

Posted in ISRU, Lunar Commerce, Lunar Exploration and Development, Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Lunar Transportation Schemes, Space Development, Space Settlement | 50 Comments

The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Lunar Transportation Schemes: Part 2–The Beachhead Analogy

This observation may already be bleedingly obvious to everyone else, but I feel it is worth explicitly stating: One of the top priorities of early missions to any destination in the solar system should be to drive down the cost … Continue reading

Posted in ISRU, Lunar Commerce, Lunar Exploration and Development, Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Lunar Transportation Schemes, Space Settlement, Space Transportation | 30 Comments

ESIL-8 Elements of Lunar Commerce Presentation

I was invited to give a talk on lunar commerce at a Emerging Space Industry Leaders workshop last week hosted by ULA at their Centennial, Colorado campus, and put on by my friends at Advanced Space LLC and the FAA … Continue reading

Posted in Altius Space Machines, Business, Commercial Space, ISRU, Launch Vehicles, Lunar Commerce, Lunar Exploration and Development, MHD Aerobraking and TPS, NASA, NEOs, Propellant Depots, Space Development, Space Settlement, Space Transportation, SpaceX, Technology, ULA, Variable Gravity | 36 Comments

Venus ISRU Latest Thoughts

A friend sent me this YouTube video earlier this morning: While this video really covers a lot of the same ground as previous posts in my Venus ISRU series, it still got me thinking about where we stand as far … Continue reading

Posted in ISRU, Venus | 32 Comments

Why the Moon?

In spite of my interest in the Asteroid Redirect Mission, I’m still a firm believer that the Moon has a major role to play in space settlement. While Mars and Venus (at the cloud level) may have atmospheres more conducive … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Space, International Space Collaboration, ISRU, Lunar Commerce, Lunar Exploration and Development, NASA, NEOs, Space Development, Space Exploration, Space Settlement, Space Transportation, Venus | 14 Comments

YHABFT: MIT MarsOne Analysis — Alternative Solutions to the Excess O2 Problem

A few months ago, a group at MIT did an analysis of the MarsOne mission that was fairly critical of the concept, on technical grounds. This week’s FISO telecon featured an update on the analysis they performed, particularly on the … Continue reading

Posted in ISRU, Space Settlement | 15 Comments

Top 10 Reasons Why Something ARM-like Is Worth Doing

[Up-front Disclaimer: My space startup is being paid under the Asteroid Redirect Mission BAA to do a study contract on one possible way to do the Option B mission. Even though we’re not dependent on follow-on work, I figured it … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Crew, International Space Collaboration, ISRU, Lunar Exploration and Development, NASA, NEOs, Space Development, Space Exploration | 25 Comments