Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Practical Timelines and Funding for Establishing Permanent Outpost on the Moon and Mars using Propellant Producing Water Depots and SLS and Commercial Launch Capability (Part I)

Two SLS launch vehicles with 10 meter payload fairings. The vehicle to the left will be able to deploy at least 70 tonnes of payload to LEO. The vehicle to the right with its  EUS upper stage will be able to deploy up to 105 tonnes to orbit (Credit NASA). 

by Marcel F. Williams

Part 1: NASA & the DOD

Establishing a permanent human presence on the surface of the Moon is the most  expedient and economical way to eventually  establish a similar permanent human presence on the surface of  Mars. But as  long as NASA continues to spend $3 to $4 billion a year on its big LEO program (the ISS), it is doubtful that the American space agency can adequately  fund its beyond LEO efforts--  without a significant increase in its annual human spaceflight related budget. 

So under this scenario, the ISS program is continued. But starting in 2019,  an additional $3 billion is added to NASA's human spaceflight related budget by the DOD (Department of Defense).  In exchange,  NASA will be committed towards eventually deploying  microgravity and artificial gravity habitats, and lunar and martian surface outpost for the exclusive use and occupation by DOD personal. And such habitats will be derived from similar habitats used my NASA or the private space industries.   

Under this scenario,  DOD funding would also require NASA to provide military astronauts with access to LEO through private commercial spacecraft  and to its beyond LEO habitats either through NASA or private spacecraft.  

So for less than  0.6% ($3 billion) of the annual DOD budget, the ISS program and NASA's beyond LEO program could both be adequately funded while also enabling  DOD personal to have a permanent strategic  presence within cis-lunar space and eventually on the surfaces of the Moon and Mars.

Private American commercial space companies and their astronauts and paying customers will soon  be joining NASA and foreign space agency personal in the New Frontier. So it will be  important for  US companies to know that their investments, hired  personal, and their paying customers will be protected from possible intimidation and coercion from  foreign governments and other hostile organizations. 

The DODs role in space would, therefore, be similar to the role that the US Coast Guard has in America's territorial waters on Earth. And this should prevent  private companies from having to spend money developing  their own private space defense forces  in order to protect their property and personal in space from the  potential hostile  interest from potentially  hostile strategic  competitors such as China and Russia. 

Positions of the Earth-Moon Lagrange Points (Credit: Maccone)

A DOD Earth-Moon Lagrange point presence at EML3, EML4, and EML5 would allow the US military to deposit, protect, and to quickly deploy backup satellites in case US satellites of strategic importance are seriously damaged by terrorist or a hostile foreign power. 

DOD habitats could also be a place for emergency refuge and medical treatment for DOD and NASA astronauts, personal and customers from private space agencies, and for personal from foreign space agencies. So the first extraterrestrial sickbays and hospitals in the New Frontier might be operated by the DOD. So military physicians and nurses might be an important part of the military personal deployed to  all extraterrestrial  habitats under the control of the DOD.

In  2018, Russia intends to charge NASA  $81 million for each NASA astronaut transported too and from the ISS  aboard Russian launch vehicles and spacecraft. Additional funding for NASA's beyond LEO efforts could also come from charging foreign space agencies $150 million for each foreign astronaut participating in a NASA beyond LEO mission.  This could save NASA at least $150 million or more, depending on how many foreign astronauts are allowed to participate in a  beyond LEO mission. NASA could also allow foreign astronauts participating in a mission to the Moon or Mars to  eventually return  to the Earth with up to 10 kilograms  of material retrieved from the lunar or martian surface for their  own space agency's (an absolute bargain) that also helps to reduce NASA's recurring cost for  human missions.  

Part II of this article (The Moon) will be posted next week. 

Marcel F. Williams

Links and References

The Case for a US Miltary Presence at LEO and Beyond

Declassified: U.S. Military's Secret Cold War Space Project Revealed (Newly released documents describe the U.S. Air Force's secret cold war project known as the Manned Orbiting Laboratory)


NASA is paying Russia more than $70 million to bring an astronaut home in this spaceship tonight

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Reusable Heavy Cargo and Crew Landing Vehicles for the Moon and Mars

Notional ETLV-4 rendezvous with propellant producing water depot @ EML1 with orbiting solar power plant (where propellant depots dock when converting water into LOX/LH2) in the background.
by Marcel F. Williams

In 2018, NASA will launch the first unmanned test flight of its wide body super heavy lift vehicle, the Space Launch System (SLS). That first launch will also test the first uncrewed version of the Orion spacecraft. Coincidentally, 2018 will also be the same year that private companies, thanks to  the  financial help of NASA, will return American astronauts into orbit aboard private spacecraft. Crewed Orion/SLS missions are not scheduled to occur until at least the year 2021.

Congress has directed NASA to reveal the design of a  microgravity Deep Space Habitat (DSH)  by 2018. Unfortunately, the American space agency continues to ignore the use of a DSH as a gateway for crewed missions to the lunar surface while simply ignoring the significant  physiological problems associated with potential multiyear interplanetary missions within a microgravity environment.

Orion MPCV docked @ SLS propellant tank derived Deep Space Habitat (Credit NASA)

 The primary purposes for a  Deep Space Habitat (DSH) should be to:

1. Serve as a gateway to the lunar surface. Astronauts traveling from the Earth or from the lunar surface could dock their spacecraft at an EML1 habitat, taking temporary advantage of the more spacious accommodations before transferring to vehicle fueled destined for the lunar surface.  

2. Serve as a storm shelter during the occurrence of major solar events. This will probably require at least 30 cm of water shielding for the areas within the habitat that the astronauts will be occupying. Major solar events can last for several minutes to several hours.

3. Serve as a maintenance and repair station for reusable lunar shuttles (ETLV) and orbital transfer vehicles. Flex Craft docked at the DSH could also be utilized  for extravehicular repairs to  nearby water/propellant depots and associated solar arrays at EML1.

4. Test the effectiveness of various levels of water shielding required to mitigate cosmic radiation and potentially brain damaging heavy nuclei. In theory, 20 cm of water would be enough shielding to to stop the penetration of the heavy nuclei component of cosmic rays while 30 cm of water would reduce overall  annual cosmic radiation exposure to less than 25 Rem per year during solar minimum conditions. Solar storm events would also be significantly mitigating with 30 cm of water protection. Minimizing the mass of radiation shielding required for safe interplanetary travel would be essential for reducing the amount of propellant required for such missions.

5. Test the integrity and reliability of the pressurized habitat structures that might also be used for habitats on the surface of the Moon and Mars and for rotating  artificial gravity habitats for space stations placed in cis-lunar orbits, Mars orbit, and for crewed interplanetary journeys. 

Of course, a  DSH would be a-- destination to nowhere-- without developing vehicles capable of transporting humans and heavy cargo to the surfaces of the Moon and Mars. And, in my opinion, most Americans and members of Congress will continue to believe that  America's glory years in space are in the past until American astronauts are once again  walking on the surfaces of other worlds-- this time to stay.

NASA's beyond LEO ambitions are severely  hampered by the fact that it continues to operate a relatively expensive (~$3 billion/yr) LEO program (ISS) without a significant increase in the NASA budget for its beyond LEO program. While it has been presumed that much more funding will be provided for NASA's beyond LEO missions once the ISS program comes to an end, there are still efforts to extend the ISS program beyond 2024, again, without increasing the NASA budget in order to pay for its continuation.

Bigelow Aerospace plans to deploy its first private commercial space habitats to LEO  in 2020 aboard the ULA's Atlas V rocket. If this private space company is successful then there's really no reason for NASA to continue the ISS program beyond 2020 since private companies will be able to do  research and development at LEO.   This, of course, would allow NASA to use ISS related funds to develop the cargo and crew landing vehicles, habitats, and related infrastructure for crewed missions to the Moon and Mars.

 Allowing foreign astronauts to participate in NASA's beyond LEO program could provide additional funding for NASA. By 2018, Russia plans to charge NASA,  $81 million per astronaut for transport  to an from the ISS. NASA could charge  foreign space agencies $150 million for each astronaut participating in one of its  beyond LEO missions. The Orion MPCV is capable of accommodating as many as six astronauts. If two of those astronauts were from foreign space agencies paying NASA to join the mission then  NASA could save $300 million per crewed SLS launch.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has estimated that the cost of developing a crewed two stage lunar lander  at approximately $12 billion. Former NASA director,  Charlie Bolden,  estimated the cost of developing a lunar landing vehicle at approximately $8 to $10 billion.

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the surface of the Moon just seven years after NASA invited  eleven private firms  to submit proposals for the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) in July of 1962. So if we assume that it will take seven years to develop an extraterrestrial landing vehicle or vehicles ( using a COTS type of funding for more than one vehicle), then annual development cost over the course of seven years might range from approximately $1.1 billion  to $1.7 billion. We can also assume that an additional  $1.1 billion a year to $1.7 billion a year over the course of an additional seven years would then be needed to fund the development of a future Mars landing vehicle.  Such annual funding for  extraterrestrial landing vehicles would still leave ample funds for financing the development of lunar and martian habitats and the associated infrastructure.

Boeing Aerospace 2.4 meter Super Light Weight cryotank (Credit Boeing Aerospace)
However, the development time, cost, and recurring cost  for an extraterrestrial landing vehicle (ETLV) could be substantially reduced if: 

1.  A single stage vehicle, or vehicles,  were developed instead of a-- two stage vehicle

2. An ETLV was developed that was largely derived from technology that either already exist or is currently in development

3. An ETLV was developed that utilized LOX/LH2 common bulkhead propellant tanks instead of two different tanks for liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen

4. An ETLV was developed that were capable of transporting cargo and crews to the surfaces of both the Moon and Mars and back to the orbits of the Moon and Mars

5.  An ETLV was  developed that had pressurized habitat and airlock areas derived from re-purposed ETLV propellant tanks. 

6. An ETLV was  developed that was  capable of being reused for at least for ten round trips to and from their destinations (the surfaces of the Moon or Mars)

7.  An ETLV was  developed that was capable of also being utilized for unmanned robotic and cargo missions

8.  An ETLV was  developed that was capable of also being utilized as a crewed orbital transfer vehicles between LEO, Low Lunar Orbit, and the Earth-Moon Lagrange points

Front view of notional singe stage reusable ETLV-4 derived from 2.4 meter in diameter cryotanks
Side view of notional singe stage reusable ETLV-4 derived from 2.4 meter in diameter cryotanks


Up to 40 tonnes of LOX/LH2 propellant in four 2.4 meter in diameter propellant tanks 

Four RL-10 derived CECE engines 

2.4 meter in diameter propellant tank derived central crew habitat area with lower heavy ion shielded storm shelter   

Twin 2.4 meter in diameter propellant tank derived airlocks 

Inert mass without heavy ion water shielded area: ~12 tonnes 

Inert mass with heavy ion water shielded area (22 cm of water): ~17 tonnes 

Gross mass: 57 tonnes 

specific impulse: 445 seconds

Due to reduced vehicle mass, reductions in vehicle components, and reduced vehicle complexity, Lockheed-Martin  concluded that the development  cost and recurring cost for a lunar lander could be substantially reduced if a reusable single stage vehicle were developed instead of a two staged spacecraft.   NASA reached a similar conclusion back in the late 1980s when JPL proposed its own single stage LOX/LH2 lunar landing vehicle.  

Boeing developed and tested a 2.4 meter cyrotank as a prelude to its development of a 5.5 meter in diameter, Super Light Weight Tank, that might possibly be used for the 5.5 meter LOX tank for the SLS upper stage (EUS). The 2.4 meter tank was successfully filled with liquid hydrogen chilled at  –423 °F  and cycled through-- twenty-- pressurization and  vent cycles.  If Boeing's 2.4 meter tank were utilized in a common bulkhead configuration for storing LOX/LH2 propellant in an Altair-like vehicle then such tanks could be utilized for a reusable single staged spacecraft. 

Four RL-10 derived CECE (Common Extensible Cryogenic Engine) engines, currently in development by Aerojet Rocketdyne,  could enhance vehicle safety with engine out capability and would be capable of up to 50 restarts. This should enable the vehicle to be used for at least 10 round trips from the surfaces of the Moon or Mars and to various orbital regions near each celestial body.  The CECE engines are also supposed to be designed to have a throttle capability ranging from 104% of thrust down to just 5.6%, which should allow an extraterrestrial landing vehicle to land on worlds as large as the Moon and  Mars or as small as the moons of Mars. However, thrusters near the bottom of an ETLV could also be used to land on the surfaces of the small low gravity martian moons.

Utilizing Integrated Vehicle Fluid (IVF) technology currently being developed by the ULA, helium and hydrazine would no longer be required for an extraterrestrial spacecraft with some ullage gases even being utilized for  attitude control. With the addition of  NASA emerging cryocooler technology, solar powered cryocoolers could reliquify some ullage gases, eliminating the  boil-off of hydrogen and oxygen.

Pressurized crew areas and airlocks derived from re-purposed ETLV propellant tanks, could further reduce development and recurring cost.  The twin cryotank derived airlocks allows more room within the cabin while allowing astronauts to leave the vehicle without having to decompress and then re-pressurize the crew cabin.  With the airlocks positioned just a few meters above the landing pods, pressure suited astronauts could depart the vehicle just few meters above a planetary surface, reducing the difficulty and risks associated with exiting and entering the spacecraft.   The low position of the airlocks should also make it convenient for mobile robotic vehicles to be deployed to the surface of a the Moon or Mars or the moons of Mars for robotic exploration and potential sample  returns to orbit.

NASA's ADEPT deceleration shield concept (Credit NASA)
Developing a  landing vehicle that could be used for crewed missions to both the lunar and martian surfaces would, of course, substantially reduce development cost.  A spacecraft capable of transporting astronauts from surface of Mars to Low Mars Orbit (~4.4 m/s delta-v)  would also be easily capable of transporting astronauts from the surface of the Moon to Low Lunar Orbit or to any of the Earth-Moon Lagrange points (less than 2.6 m/s delta-v).

Landing such an extraterrestrial landing vehicle on the surface of Mars, however, would require the development of a deceleration shield. NASA is currently doing research on two types of deceleration shields: HIAD and ADEPT. The rigid ADEPT deceleration shield could allow spacecraft to deploy up to  40 tonnes of payload  practically anywhere on the surface of Mars. After the ADEPT deceleration shield was discarded, a delta-v of less than 0.6 meters per second would only be required to land the vehicle on the martian surface

Notional ADEPT deployment of 40 tonnes of cargo to the martian surface (Credit NASA)

An extraterrestrial landing vehicle capable of transporting astronauts from the surface of Mars to low Mars orbit would also be capable of transporting astronauts from LEO to Low Lunar Orbit or to any of the Earth-Moon Lagrange points. Utilizing the ETLV in such a manner, however,  could make the Orion MPCV obsolete,  allowing astronauts to be transported into orbit by Commercial Crew vehicles and then transferred to a propellant depot fueled  ETLV  for easy access to the Earth-Moon Lagrange points and Low Lunar Orbit and to the lunar surface.
Notional CLV-7B cargo lander derived from 2.4 meter diameter cryotanks

A cargo lander (CLV) derived from the crew version of the ETLV could easily be derived using all seven 2.4 meter in diameter pressurized tanks to carry propellant. With a  diameter of at least 7.2 meters, such a cargo transport could deploy large and heavy structures as large as 8.6 meters in diameter to the surfaces of the Moon and Mars. Pressurized habitats derived from an SLS propellant tank technology with diameters up to 8.4 meters  could easily be deployed to the surfaces of the Moon and Mars by such an ETLV derived CLV. 
ATLETE robots could be used  for offloading heavy cargo to the surfaces of the Moon and Mars aboard a notional CLV-7B (Credit: NASA)


Up to 35 tonnes of LOX/LH2 propellant in seven 2.4 meter in diameter propellant tanks 

Four RL-10 derived CECE engines 

Specific impulse: 445 second

Inert mass without payload: ~8 tonnes 

Gross mass without payload: ~43 tonnes 

Capable of accommodating cargo with diameters as large as 8.6 meters 

Notional SLS propellant tank derived  regolith shielded habitat for the Moon and Mars with an 8.4 meter in diameter pressurized habitat area that could be deployed to the lunar or martian surface using the CLV-7B and ATHLETE technologies. 

Once the cargo lander is  on the surface of the Moon and after its payload is deployed,  water bags could be securely attached to the top of the  CLV-7B. This could allow the CLV to be reused as a water transport tanker capable of transporting  at least 35 tonnes of water from the surface of the Moon to EML1. Using its CECE engines for ten round trips could enable the CLV to  deliver more than 300 tonnes of water to   propellant producing water depots located at EML1.

With the capability of landing crews and payloads on the Moon and Mars, the ETLV-4 crew lander and the CLV-7B cargo lander should also be capable of  someday landing crews and cargo on the surfaces of the planet Mercury and on Jupiter's moon, Callisto, two other viable worlds for potential commercialization and human settlement. Within Jupiter space, automated unmanned ETLV-4 spacecraft operated from an outpost on Callisto could transport mobile robotic vehicles to the Jovian moons within Jupiter's deadly radiation belt (Ganymede, Europa, and Io) for continuous robotic exploration and sample returns from these interesting but heavily radiation inundated  worlds.

Links and References

Composite Cryotank Technologies; Demonstration

CECE (Common Extensible Cryogenic Engine)

An Integrated Vehicle Propulsion and Power System for Long Duration Cryogenic Spaceflight (ULA)

 The SLS and the Case for a Reusable Lunar Lander

Finally, some details about how NASA actually plans to get to Mars


Private Space Habitat to Launch in 2020 Under Commercial Spaceflight Deal

Russia is squeezing NASA for more than $3.3 billion — and there's little anyone can do about it

Apollo Lunar Module

Substantially Enhancing the Capability of the SLS Architecture by Utilizing EUS Derived Propellant Depots and Reusable Orbital Transfer Vehicles

ADEPT Technology for Crewed and Uncrewed Missions to the Planets


Landing on Mars with ADEPT Technology


Inflatable Biospheres for the New Frontier 


Living and Reproducing on Low Gravity Worlds

Friday, February 3, 2017

Leasing the Moon

The near side of the Moon
by Marcel F. Williams

At the bottom of the world lies an icy continent larger than Europe-- but with only 5000-- temporary-- residents. While the continent of Antarctica can be explored, this polar condominium cannot  colonized or commercially exploited in order. It is argued that this is the only way to protect Antarctica's pristine environment.

Of course, the same environmental philosophy could also be argued for Earth's other continents: North America, South America, Africa, Australia, and Eurasia.

 But some have advocated that the Moon should also be under the same environmental protection as Antarctica. This, of course,  would prevent the colonization of the Moon and the commercial exploitation of lunar resources.

On the Earth's surface, only about 3% of the land area is urbanized with cities, towns, and suburban areas.  But the human utilization of the Earth's surface grows to 43% if we include the amount of land used for agriculture.

I happen to be  a strong advocate for preserving the Earth's environment and the environment and natural beauty of the other major worlds in our solar system. Trying to convert Mars into an Earth-like world would be an abomination, in my opinion.  But I don't believe that people should object to a reasonable level of commercial exploitation and colonization of other worlds -- if it proves to be possible to do so under a lower gravity environments.

And this should also apply to Antarctica, in my opinion.

The 1% Rule

What if the nations of the world passed an international law that allowed up to 1%  of the terrestrial environment in Antarctica to be commercially exploited and even colonized (up to 140,000 square kilometers of territory) by the other nations of the world while also preventing at least  99% of the rest of the continent from being settled or commercially exploited? That would mean that up to 140,000 square kilometers of land could be colonized or commercially exploited on the Antarctican continent.

Under this scenario, individual nations would be   allowed to lease territory in Antarctica for $1 million  per year for one square kilometer of land (100 hectares).  While probably only the wealthiest nations would be able to afford to lease and exploit territory in Antarctica,   the  revenue-- from the leases-- would be equally divided amongst every nation on Earth. Because of the need to administer the leases, the UN (the United Nations) as an entity would also a receive a share of the revenue equal to that of the individual nations.  So, in theory,  as much as $140 billion in annual revenue could be annual generated from the leasing of 1% of the territory on Antarctica.

I'd also charge-- a  renewal fee-- of $1 million per square kilometer of leased territory  every 20 years.

Nations leasing territory in Antarctica would have the right to sublease some or all of its territory to private entities. If governments subleased territory for  perhaps $100,000 a year per hectare, each square kilometer of territory could potentially be worth up to $10 million per year.

Antarctica (Credit: Wikipedia)
To prevent enormous blocks of land from being leased in a single region by a single government, I'd limit the amount of continuous land that can be leased in Antarctica by a single nation to just 25 square kilometers within a radius of five kilometers. I'd also forbid a nation from leasing  land in Antarctica that is less than 100 kilometers away from other lands that they are leasing in Antarctica. I'd also forbid other nations from leasing land that is within 5 kilometers of land being leased by another nation. This would allow potentially valuable regions in Antarctica to be colonized or exploited by multiple nations within a particular region. 


Surface area: 14 million square kilometers

Maximum leasable land area (1%): 140,000 square kilometers ($140 billion per year)

Maximum continuous area allowed to be leased by a single nation: 25 square kilometers within a 5 kilometer radius

Minimum gap between leased areas among different nations: 5 kilometers

Minimum gap between  areas leased by the same nation: 100 kilometers

The Lunar Territories

I would also advocate a similar international law for  the exploitation and colonization of the lunar surface and the preservation of at least 99% of the lunar environment on the lunar surface. A maximum of 1% of the lunar surface could be leased to national governments who would be allowed sublease parts of their leased territories to private individuals and commercial companies.  

I do believe, however,  that there are some areas on the lunar surface that need to be more carefully managed and even banned from potential commercialization and colonization.  I think it should be internationally agreed that territory  on the far side of the Moon below 70˚ north or south (well beyond the polar regions) should be banned from commercial exploitation and colonization.

Positions of the Earth-Moon Lagrange Points (Credit: Maccone)
Because the far side of the Moon is blocked from electromagnetic noise emanating from the surface of the Earth, this region of the lunar surface has always been viewed as the perfect location for future radio telescopes and phased array detectors. However, the prospect of outpost and colonies located at the EML4 and EML5 Earth-Moon Lagrange points would shrink the radio shielded areas on the backside of the Moon to a territorial radius of 910 kilometers extending from the lunar equator at a 180˚ longitude. Again, forbidding nearly all of the territory on the far side of the Moon from being leased would prevent it from being explored or used as an astronomical observatory. But it would prohibit the permanent deployment of spacecraft and potential habitats at EML2.

Protected Antipode circle on the farside of the Moon (Credit: Maccone)

 I'd also prevent the ice at the lunar poles from being-- over exploited--  by limiting the maximum leased area within the polar regions to 1%. Since it is estimated the north and south poles of the Moon may contain as much as 6.6 billion tonnes of water ice. Assuming that areas in the polar regions that don't contain significant amounts of ice are avoided, perhaps up to 10% (660 million tonnes) of the ice in the polar regions could eventually be exploited under these rules.   Over a 200 year period of maximum legal exploitation, up to 3.3 million tonnes of water ice could be mined each year.  About 1000 tonnes of water per year would be required for NASA's human cis-lunar and Mars operations during the next 25 years. A lunar population of more than 450,000 people could probably be supported over a 200 year span, a lot more if a significant portion of the water is recycled and oxygen from the lunar regolith is exploited for air.

Probable ice deposits in the lunar south pole (Credit: NASA)

While such a large and growing lunar population might put intense political pressure on allowing even more polar ice to be exploited, it might be more sustainable for future Lunarians to start importing hydrogen from other regions of the solar system: the NEO asteroids, Mars, Mercury, Callisto, Jupiter's atmosphere, the asteroid belt, the Greek and Trojan asteroids of Jupiter's orbital arc. Water and energy could be produced  By using the Moon's almost limitless oxygen resources, hydrogen can be converted into  water and energy.   The import of substantial amounts extraterrestrial hydrogen into cis-lunar space could also give the Moon the economic advantage of exporting its  oxygen resources to LEO and the Earth-Moon Lagrange points for propellant and to produce water and energy.


Surface area: 38 million square kilometers

Maximum leasable land area (1%): 380,000 square kilometers ($380 billion per year)

Maximum leasable area in polar regions (1%)

Regions not available for leasing: Regions on the far side of the Moon below 75 degrees latitude (north and south) including the Protected Antipode Circle,  a circular piece of land 1820 kilometers in diameter on the far side of the Moon shielded from potential radio signals from orbital habitats and colonies located at EML4 and EML5. 

Maximum continuous area allowed to be leased by a single nation: 25 square kilometers within a 5 kilometer radius

Maximum continuous area allowed to be leased in the polar regions by an individual nation: 16 square kilometers within a 3 kilometer radius 

Minimum gap between leased areas among different nations: 5 kilometers

Minimum gap between  areas leased by the same nation: 100 kilometers

Minimum gap between  areas leased by the same nation in the polar regions: 50 kilometers

Under these rules,  the 51km in diameter Shoemaker crater alone would have enough area to legally exploitable area to accommodate ice mining by  more than a dozen countries. Even with the 100 km gap between leased regions, the US could still lease several ice rich areas in the lunar south pole.

The Martian Territories

With a surface area of nearly 145 million square kilometers, nearly 1.45 million square kilometers of land could be exploited or colonized by the nations of the Earth with a potential revenues of nearly $1.45 trillion a year if all the territories legally allowed to be occupied were leased. But because Mars is much larger world, I'd allow up to 100 square kilometers of continuous land to be leased by an individual nation within a radius of 10 kilometers.

Map of the martian surface (Credit: NASA)


Surface area: 145 million square kilometers

Maximum leasable land area (1%): 1.45 million  square kilometers ($1.45 trillion per year)

Maximum continuous area allowed to be leased by a single nation: 100 square kilometers within a 10 kilometer radius

Minimum gap between leased areas among different nations: 5 kilometers

Minimum gap between  areas leased by the same nation: 100 kilometers

I think its obvious, under these rules, that far less than 1% of the land area on these extraterrestrial worlds would ever have to be leased in order to sustain human civilization in the solar system over the next 1000 years.


Links and References

Antarctica - Wikipedia

“Protected antipode circle on the Farside of the Moon,” Acta Astronautica 63 (2008), pp. 110-118. 


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Destination Moon

glennwsmith said... Very nice, Marcel. This is one of the most beautifully put together, forward-looking, and yet also understated videos which I've yet seen from a major space agency -- and it just goes to show that there's a lot of good material out there if you know where to find it.

G. W. (Glenn) Smith


Stena Line to Covert Passenger Ferry to a Methanol Fueled Sea Vessel

michael jordan said...

Stena Germanica RoPax ferry is the first commercial marine vessel to run on Methanol.It is the largest ferry in the Nordic region and second biggest Ro-Pax ferry in the world.For this overall project cost comes to nearly $25.5m.It measures 240m long and 29m wide and lane metres of 3,907m.It is going to accommodate 300 cars and 1,300 passengers and freight capacity of 46,353t.