Category Archives: Lunar Exploration and Development

The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Lunar Transportation Schemes: Part 4–Propellantless Horizontal Soft-Landing Methods

As mentioned previously in Part 2 of this series, one of the key elements in establishing a lunar beachhead is developing ways to safely and affordably land payloads and people on the lunar surface. In Part 3, we discussed a … Continue reading

Posted in Lunar Commerce, Lunar Exploration and Development, Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Lunar Transportation Schemes, Space Development, Space Settlement, Space Transportation, Technology | 29 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

Lunar Orbital Facility Location Options

For travel throughout cislunar space, I’ve long been an advocate of having depots on both ends of the journey. The LEO depot provides a refueling stop at the first practical point after leaving the ground, and also a spot for … Continue reading

Posted in Lunar Exploration and Development, Propellant Depots, Space Development, Space Transportation | 15 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

Summary of Some ULA Papers from AIAA SPACE 2015

ULA has often used the AIAA SPACE conferences as a venue for discussing technical ideas they were working on. In fact, I’ve written several blog posts over the years summarizing or commenting on previous versions of their papers. This year’s … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Space, Launch Vehicles, Lunar Exploration and Development, Orbital Access Methodologies, Propellant Depots, Space Transportation, SpaceX, ULA | 19 Comments

Random Thoughts: Lunar Magneto-Lithobraking

One of the big challenges in lunar exploration and development is the amount of delta-V needed get down to the surface and back again. On planets like Earth, and to a lesser extent Mars, spacecraft can dump momentum into the … Continue reading

Posted in Lunar Commerce, Lunar Exploration and Development, Technology | 21 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 | 13 Comments

Random Thought: Simulating Mars Speed-of-Light Delays on ISS

[Note: I’m almost positive this isn’t a new idea, but I figured I would share it, just in case.] One of the many concerns with deep-space human spaceflight missions, is that all of NASA’s experience has been with missions close … Continue reading

Posted in Lunar Exploration and Development, NASA, NEOs, Space Exploration | 16 Comments