Category Archives: Space Development

An Updated Propellant Depot Taxonomy Part VI: Roving Depots

In the last post in this series, I discussed the idea of large-scale depots for human spaceflight applications, which operate in fixed, low-orbits. While the final post in this series will investigate human spaceflight depots that operate in fixed higher … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Space, ISRU, Launch Vehicles, Lunar Exploration and Development, Mars, NASA, NEOs, Orbital Dynamics, Propellant Depots, Space Development, Space Exploration, Space Transportation, ULA, Venus | 8 Comments

An Updated Propellant Depot Taxonomy Part V: Human Spaceflight Fixed Depots (Low-Orbit)

For this next depot taxonomy post, we’ll finally be talking about what people usually think about when they hear the term orbital propellant depot — larger, cryogenic refueling facilities, focused on enabling large-scale human spaceflight missions, performed by a diverse … Continue reading

Posted in Blue Origin, Commercial Space, Launch Vehicles, Lunar Commerce, Lunar Exploration and Development, Mars, NEOs, Orbital Dynamics, Propellant Depots, RLV Markets, Space Development, Space Exploration, Space Transportation, SpaceX, ULA, Venus | Tagged , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

An Updated Propellant Depot Taxonomy

After way too many years in the wilderness, the concept of orbital propellant depots and in-space refueling in general, are finally beginning to be taken seriously again in public circles. A couple of examples include: Elon’s announcement that he is … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Space, ISRU, Lunar Commerce, Lunar Exploration and Development, Mars, NASA, Orbital Dynamics, Propellant Depots, Space Development, Space Exploration, Space Transportation, Venus | Leave a comment

On Avoiding Some of the Mistakes of Apollo

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. With a blog named Selenian Boondocks, I figured it probably made sense for me to say something. Earlier this year, thanks to some good advice from several friends, I … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Space, COTS, Lunar Commerce, Lunar Exploration and Development, Propellant Depots, Space Development, Space Exploration, Space Policy, Space Settlement | 21 Comments

Research Papers I Wish I Could Con Someone Into Writing Part I: Lunar ISRU in the Age of RLVs

One of the things I’d love to do if I were successful enough at Altius to afford it would be to sponsor graduate-level research into space technology, business, economics, and policy topics that I’m interested in. Not just because I … Continue reading

Posted in BFR, ISRU, Lunar Commerce, Lunar Exploration and Development, Research Papers I'd Like to Con Others Into Writing, Space Development | 21 Comments

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 | 60 Comments

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

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 | 18 Comments