Develop Cislunar Space Next

 


Cislunar is the next destination for America in space


The Goal:  Recover American leadership in space by creating a cislunar space transportation system.


The Strategy:  Incremental, cumulative steps outward from low Earth orbit with people and machines.


The Implementation:  Develop a space transportation system using existing assets to the extent possible, build new reusable vehicles to transit cislunar space, develop lunar resources with the aim of propellant production, emplace staging nodes in LEO (use existing ISS), geosynchronous orbit (GEO), Earth-Moon L-1, low lunar orbit (LLO) and on the lunar surface.


The Rationale:  America needs and Americans expect a vital, active and supportable space program that fundamentally contributes to national economic, scientific and security needs.


Our society is dependent on space assets for weather monitoring, positioning, global communications, remote sensing, national security surveillance, and countless other purposes.


Satellites are located in a variety of orbits, ranging from low Earth orbit to distances beyond the Moon. We currently cannot access these assets for repair, upgrade or removal.


The Shuttle and Station programs proved that people and machines working together can assemble, maintain, repair, and create new large, distributed, highly capable space systems.


Earth’s Moon contains the material and energy resources needed to create a permanent, reusable and extensible space transportation system.


Developing lunar resources allows us to create a sustainable cislunar transportation system, unleashing new opportunities for economic and industrial expansion into space.


Undertaking this new direction can be accomplished under existing and likely constrained future budgets by creating an architecture that uses small, well-defined, incremental yet cumulative steps.


The Purpose:  Advance our scientific knowledge and technological base, increase our wealth and secure the nation and the world by expanding into space beyond LEO.


America must lead this movement of humanity into space lest other powers that do not share our values and belief system fill this leadership vacuum.


Download brochure Develop Cislunar Space Next   (PDF; 1 Mb)


Download paper The Moon: Port of Entry to Cislunar Space (PDF; 200 kb)


Download Using the Resources of the Moon paper, AIAA Space 2011 Conference (PDF; 1.3 Mb)


Download Develop Cislunar Space Next, AIAA Horizons 37, 2, 5-9, March/April 2012 (PDF; 1.1 Mb)



spudis@lpi.usra.edu