One of my recent commenters was asking a bit about my Prometheus Downport Project, which was a project I started to figure out how to build a commercial lunar settlement. Part of the goal was to figure out how to actually get from where I am right now to where I want to be. Far too many plans have huge old “and a miracle occurs here” steps. The PDP was no exception to the rule, but over the years since then, I’ve been trying to find actual concrete ways to proceed.
I’d just link to the original article itself, but unfortunately, when my school website was finally taken down a few months back, they took that down with it. Carl, the commenter who first asked, was able to find a link on the Way Back Machine, and with a bit of digging, I found an even more recent version, which you can view here.
Looking back, I realize the last time I did a full update was in July of 2000. Although I had an engineering degree by that point, I was only 19, so you should take a lot of my bombast with the appropriate sized grain of salt. I’ve done a bit more baking on those half-baked thoughts since then, but never have had the time to go back and formalize all the changes into something concrete. A big part of why I haven’t sunk much time into it recently (other than not having much time to sink at all) has been my continually evolving opinions about the transportation architecture, and how best to approach the financing/marketting parts of the plan. The biggest changes in my approach to the transportation question are the fact that I now prefer vehicles that carry at least two people, instead of just one, the fact that I’m no longer all that afraid of reusability or on-orbit propellant transfer, and the fact that there are now potential launchers around the corner like Falcon IX that are substantially better than what I had assumed for the original baseline.
But even though a lot of it is obsolete, there is also a decent amount of good discussion in there in case you haven’t read it already.