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Micro-Space Update - Astronauts Wanted

Published by Rob on Tue Mar 18, 2008 11:37 pm
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Micro-Space is in negotiations with Investment Groups for funding of our efforts to develop and operate “Ultralight” human spaceflight systems for landing on the Moon and Mars. Three key questions concern investors:

(1) What is the economic upside potential?

(2) Is the plan technically feasible?

(3) Are there qualified “astronaut” participants willing to journey in an “austere” craft on a dangerous mission?

It doesn’t take “a rocket scientist” to recognize that an audience approaching or exceeding the 500 Million estimated for the Apollo 11 landing would have major value to commercial sponsors. The answer to question (1) is at least “Large”.

Since Micro-Space has operationally demonstrated radically reduced mass space systems, using well proven technology, the answer to question (2) is “Yes”. Further demonstrations on Earth and in space will confirm this fact. By reducing the landing mass of the Apollo LEM by a factor of 30, and using commercial launch vehicles to reach Earth orbit, an “Ultralight” human Moon Landing can cost less than $ 40 Million: comparable to the two year budget for an IndyCar(tm) auto racing team.

Question (3) is the focus of this posting: Are there any qualified individuals who would be willing to travel to the Moon or Mars in an “austere” craft and face dangers comparable to those faced by the Apollo 11 crew, by Charles Lindbergh, and by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay on Mount Everest?

(None of these efforts used equipment which had been tested in its intended environment or knew what dangers they might face.)

No commercially sponsored space expeditions will occur unless there are competent (but interesting) individuals willing fly them in lightweight craft.

With the current cost for taking a pound of equipment to the surface of the Moon and back exceeding $200,000, one hundred pounds of unnecessary mass will create a $20 Million cost penalty. Adding the Apollo LEM mass would cost 50 times this. Some of the techniques used to make pocket cell phones must be used to create lightweight craft, and modern SCUBA and mountaineering techniques must be used as well. But these systems exist. (Modest cost reductions are possible short term, and I assume a reduction to ½ in mission cost estimates. But large reductions are decades away.)

Tomorrow’s Space Adventurers, like Polar Adventurers a hundred years ago, will select themselves.

If an all expense paid round trip to the Moon (Or Mars) interests you, don’t hold back: send your name and qualifications as a response to this forum. You will have ample opportunity to assess the risks of a particular mission and refuse it: but you may never have another opportunity to enter your name. This applies to Micro-Space expeditions and potentially to any other lightweight missions. Given the stubbornly high cost of space access, no private citizen will be able to afford the cost to reach the Moon or Mars in a “Flying Submarine”, with or without sponsorship. Additionally, few viewers (and thus few sponsors) are interested in “low risk”, guaranteed outcome activities.

Richard P. Speck, Micro-Space, Inc.

Please feel free to discuss this topic further in the official Micro-Space Forum…

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