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ID No : 566   Edit
Title: Mission and Implementation of an Affordable Lunar Return
Summary / Review : This report challenges both the process and the conclusions of the NASA bureaucracy its US government oversight, by showing how we could establish a lunar polar base to produce water and other products, starting with a variety of current day launch vehicles, initial basic robotics and equipment, and culminating in a human settlement, within certain budget thresholds set by the US government.

The paper starts by reviewing the official NASA 2004 Vision for Space Exploration (VSE), the Exploration Systems Architecture Study (ESAS), and the questionable process which resulted in the conclusions of the Augustine Commission in 2009 and cancellation of the return to the Moon goals by President Obama due to the extremely high cost.

Author(s) : Spudis, Paul D., [Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston TX 77058]
Lavoie, Tony, [NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville AL 35812]
Publication Type : Paper within a Parent compilation, or Presentation at a Professional conference
Parent Publication : Space Manufacturing 14, Space Studies Institute, Princeton NJ
Publication Date: 2010
Pages : 30
# of References : 16
Copyright By : Authors
Category(s) : Business plans
Government and politics
Missions / Lunar
Bases, industry and manufacturing / Mining / Lunar
Progress Type: A ( A=Analysis only, D=Design, T=Testing, C=Completed or Commercial product )
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NTRS : 20110004368
Submitted by : MEP
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MEPJanuary 2, 2013, 4:52 amThe authors are government contractors, and the aim of this paper appears to be to offer an alternative to the above mentioned ESAS in cost and timeline. This alternative is still a ridiculously high priced < $88 billion and drawn out 10-15 year process, as a government contractor scenario, which results in production of 150 tons of water plus 100 tons of propellant per year. However, it does take a more reasonable approach of using robots to build the lunar base and establish infrastructure before the expensive humans arrive.

Of course, the private sector normally produces things at a fraction the cost and on much shorter timelines.

Various elements of the project are discussed, which are useful for reviewing for any analysis and plan.