“Quality Law Making”
Why can’t law making be more like the Quality, Medical and Engineering Sciences? Like quality industrial production? Like quality Service or Health Care? Dr. David G. Schrunk says it can, and tells us how. David G. Schrunk is an M.D., Aerospace Engineer, Faculty Member of the Kepler Space University, author and Founder of the Quality of Laws Institute. See his, The End of Chaos: Quality Laws and the Ascendancy of Democracy, 2005. On the flyleaf of the copy of that book he gave to me he wrote: “The science of laws will improve our systems of governance.” I agree and urge the American Society for Quality to add “Quality Law Making” to its research and education agendas.
The major problems with existing law making, Dr. Schrunk maintains, are: “1) it does not solve social problems; 2) is devoid of quality; 3) has no problem definition; 4) no design expertise; 5) no cost/benefit methodology; 6) no foundation in knowledge (it’s base is practice); 7) no quality assurance; 8) is unreliable and unpredictable; 9) evolves through ideology and politics; 10) has not solved war, disease, poverty, illiteracy, crime, pollution, homelessness; 11) is inadequate for modern society; and 12) will be unacceptable or catastrophic for human Space settlement governance.”
In summary, existing law making answers Dr. W. Edwards Deming’s first question for all his consulting, “Is there a system in place?” , with “NO !!”
Dr. Schrunk’s writings and teachings provide a quality directed law making system that contains standards, purposes, goals, measurement tools, reports, feedback and crossfeed. He defines the ideal law as one that is: 100% effective; cost efficient; safe; reliable, non-intrusive; user friendly, and above all, meets the needs of society.
After three decades in the ASQ and following the global development of Quality Sciences, Quality Design, Quality Management and Quality Assurance I cannot think of a more important, necessary or rewarding new challenge for members of the American Society for Quality.
*Dr. Bob Krone is an ASQ Fellow Member and Provost of the Kepler Space University (www.keplerspaceuniversity.org). His Quality Essays are copyrighted ,published and archived by the American Society for Quality Inland Empire Section 0711, Riverside, California, U.S.A. Http://www.asq711.org. Click on “Publications”. Readers may reproduce them, in full, only for educational purposes. E-mail = BobKrone@aol.com. His bio is at: Http://lifeboat.com//ex/bios.bob.krone
I am weary of our Congress and the NASA Administrator essentially apologizing for our space outlays.
Space technology has, since Sputnik, transformed our globe and its society, vastly improving many of our most important industries.
Television, telephone, Internet, GPS, knowledge of the universe in which we live, most particularly our small blue planet are examples.
John Kennedy‘s commitment to the Apollo program and its subsequent success began the collapse of the Soviet empire.
Space technology has just begun helping mankind. We should insist that resources are made available for it to achieve its potential good. Most particularly, clean energy supply and global peace. We need a new commitment similar to that of 1961! Its 50th Anniversary would be timely.
Here are my recommendations, with assistance from Ted Talay and Gordon Woodcock. I deem it complete. I have no idea yet what it will “cost”, but whatever that is and however it is allocated, the benefits to everyone will be far greater. If we resolve to do these things, we will re-vitalize our youth!
Now, whomever else wishes to sign it with me is most welcome.
What is its audience? Whomever will listen, preferably those leaders who allocate national treasure, private, public and international.
This needs to occur, please help by aiding in preparation of a listing of important contacts and suggesting the best means of communication.
This is not, however, the more focused “Dirty Dozen” report. on SBSP Phil is drafting that for us and Ted has completed Appendix 1, describing the needed sequence of space launch system development. We still need to estimate its costs and refine its schedule.
We have a number of important decisions to make very soon, beginning with our time-phased goals (See the MDS, attached), including but not limited to a full description of our new “Reference System” and projecting its resultant “levelized” cost of power.
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
June 28, 2010
Fact Sheet: The National Space Policy
Today, President Obama announced the administration’s new National Space Policy. The National Space Policy expresses the President’s direction for the Nation’s space activities. The policy articulates the President’s commitment to reinvigorating U.S. leadership in space for the purposes of maintaining space as a stable and productive environment for the peaceful use of all nations.
Leading Collaborative, Responsible, and Constructive Use of Space
The space age began as a race for security and prestige between two superpowers. The decades that followed have seen a radical transformation in the way we live our daily lives, in large part due to our use of space. The growth and evolution of the global economy have ushered in an ever-increasing number of nations and organizations using space to observe and study our Earth, create new markets and new technologies, support operational responses to natural disasters, enable global communications and international finance, enhance security, and expand our frontiers. The impacts of our utilization of space systems are ubiquitous, and contribute to increased transparency and stability among nations.
In a world where the benefits of space permeate almost every facet of our lives, irresponsible acts in space can have damaging consequences for all of us. As such, all nations have a responsibility to act to preserve the right of all future generations to use and explore space. The United States is committed to addressing the challenges of responsible behavior in space, and commits further to a pledge of cooperation, in the belief that with strengthened international cooperation and reinvigorated U.S. leadership, all nations will find their horizons broadened, their knowledge enhanced, and their lives greatly improved.
Key Elements of the Administration’s National Space Policy
• The United States remains committed to many long-standing tenets in space activities. The United States recognizes the rights of all nations to access, use, and explore space for peaceful purposes, and for the benefit of all humanity.
• The United States calls on all nations to share its commitment to act responsibly in space to help prevent mishaps, misperceptions, and mistrust. The United States will take steps to improve public awareness of government space activities and enable others to share in the benefits of space through conduct that emphasizes openness and transparency.
• The United States will engage in expanded international cooperation in space activities. The United States will pursue cooperative activities to the greatest extent practicable in areas including: space science and exploration; Earth observations, climate change research, and the sharing of environmental data; disaster mitigation and relief; and space surveillance for debris monitoring and awareness.
• The United States is committed to a robust and competitive industrial base. In support of its critical domestic aerospace industry, the U.S. government will use commercial space products and services in fulfilling governmental needs, invest in new and advanced technologies and concepts, and use a broad array of partnerships with industry to promote innovation. The U.S. government will actively promote the purchase and use of U.S. commercial space goods and services within international cooperative agreements.
• The United States recognizes the need for stability in the space environment. The United States will pursue bilateral and multilateral transparency and confidence building measures to encourage responsible actions in space, and will consider proposals and concepts for arms control measures if they are equitable, effectively verifiable, and enhance the national security of the United States and its allies. In addition, the United States will enhance its space situational awareness capabilities and will cooperate with foreign nations and industry to augment our shared awareness in space.
• The United States will advance a bold new approach to space exploration. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration will engage in a program of human and robotic exploration of the solar system, develop new and transformative technologies for more affordable human exploration beyond the Earth, seek partnerships with the private sector to enable commercial spaceflight capabilities for the transport of crew and cargo to and from the International Space Station, and begin human missions to new destinations by 2025.
• The United States remains committed to the use of space systems in support of its national and homeland security. The United States will invest in space situational awareness capabilities and launch vehicle technologies; develop the means to assure mission essential functions enabled by space; enhance our ability to identify and characterize threats; and deter, defend, and if necessary, defeat efforts to interfere with or attack U.S. or allied space systems.
• The United States will fully utilize space systems, and the information and applications derived from those systems, to study, monitor, and support responses to global climate change and natural disasters. The United States will accelerate the development of satellites to observe and study the Earth’s environment, and conduct research programs to study the Earth’s lands, oceans, and atmosphere.
This is Bob Krone on the 8th of June 2010 for Kepler Space University.
Subject today is our mix of research and teaching.
I made the point during my presentation at ISDC 2010 in Chicago, on the subject of Space Universities, that the major difference between traditional universities and future space universities will be the unending need for research because of the uncertainties involved in space development and exploration.
Now Kepler Space University has been founded on that assumption and also on the principle that we can more effectively than traditional universities combine research with teaching . For instance, we do now, and we will in the future, personalize our programs for the needs of individual scholars and students. And one way to do that in an accelerating excellence way is for the scholars to have a problem, either their personal problem or a problem of their organization that needs research. They come to KSU and enroll in a course and we have faculty that are experts in research methods to help them during the progress of a course to actually work on and present alternative solutions to problems of the real world.
It’s kind of a win, win because the student gets university credits, the organization gets a problem solved and we are beginning to approach the Pareto Optimum. Vilfredo Pareto was an Italian businessman and scholar, living at the end of 19th and early 20th century. One of his creations was the Pareto optimu, that prescribes the searching for a policy, a recommendation,, or a decision that makes many people better off, no one worse off.
Now there are policy scientists, like Yehezkel Dror, who point out that actually achieving a Pareto Optimum is probably impossible because every change involves some being better off and some worse off. But the value for an organization of making the Pareto optimum a strategic goal is that the closer you can come to it the higher the probability that your recommendations will be accepted by leadership. So we are shooting for the Pareto optimum in Kepler Space University and this is one way we are going to do it. I’ve always thought education itself is a Pareto Optimum because everybody wins.
Let me end with mentioning an overall value important to Kepler Space University. We want to improve the human condition on earth by application of knowledge and resources available from space age science and technology.
Special chapter for Novapublishers.com, 4/6/10
For electronic book: The Role of the Private Sector in Energy, Health, Global and Offworld Issues
PRIVATE ENTERPRISE CHALLENGES OFFWORLD
- UTILIZING SPACE RESOURCES FOR ECONOMIC RENEWAL
Philip Robert Harris, Ph. D.*
The history of exploration reveals a pattern. First, government and the military enter the unknown world to establish basic infrastructure. Then private commercial entities and non-profit organizations follow with settlement and industrialization. That was most evident in the New World of the Americas,
from North to South, especially during the 15th to 17th centuries. Europeans arrived there initially under government sponsorship with military support to explore and establish outposts or colonies. The next stage saw large trading companies and entrepreneurs recruiting investors and colonists for the exploitation of new opportunities and wealth. And so it has evolved with outer space and its infinite resources. Government space agencies, initially from Russia and the United States, opened the space frontier through their cosmonauts and astronauts, mainly military pilots and scientific or medical personnel. In the first fifty years of the Space Age, the private sector was involved largely through aerospace contractors and satellite communication corporations. The 21st century has seen the emergence of space entrepreneurs and tourism. Private enterprise worldwide will now become the principal force behind humanity’s expansion offworld, resulting in major development of our potential as a species!
Read more at “What Our Scholars Have Written”.
In a concerted effort to promote innovations that Benefit Humanity, to align the core principles of the Next-Gen-Expo in advance of the event with a large global audience, we are unveiling our multimedia project WHATS THE BIG IDEA found at www.whatsthebigideamovie.com
We’re sharing with you the first of three key conversations from some of our supporters and team players with the hope that they will inspire you and help you create incredible breakthroughs and possibilities.
Please take the time to read these stories and pass them on to those that you feel will cherish them.
As we are in a radical time of transformation, we cannot count on the media to provide us with the truth or with enlightening ways to solve our problems with new solutions. It is based on that key principle combined with solutions for our problems, that I am proud to announce the debut of our new multimedia network, WHATS THE BIG IDEA: LOOKING FORWARD TO LOOKING FORWARD.
Please feel free to sign up as a member–and pass this on to others that you feel would find this project useful. Thank you.
THERE ARE NO PROBLEMS, ONLY SOLUTIONS.
The Levers and Dials of Breakthrough Performance
By Dr. Ken Cox and Barry Pogorel
Breakthrough performance is commonly regarded as the product of extraordinary, rare and gifted individuals, or the lucky happenstance of coincidental circumstances and fortuitous historical forces. In both cases, it is considered beyond the reach of most of us and what we can make happen.
Contrary to this generally held belief, we offer a radical, counter-intuitive view: breakthrough performance can be learned and intentionally carried out by ordinary individuals, teams, and organizations. We offer that in fact there are “levers and dials” to breakthrough performance—a methodology. What can make an individual or organization “extraordinary, rare and gifted” is not some innate capacity, but instead creating and fulfilling a powerful vision. READ IT HERE.
CAN PERSONAL TECH SAVE HUMANITY?
By Howard Bloom
It’s time to kill bureaucracy. What do I mean? And what does this call for revolution have to do with the next generation of netbooks, Apple tablets and Google Phones? Not to mention with the Taleban and Al Qaeda?
America needs a productivity revolution to lead the world into the next half century. It needs the equivalent of the American System of Manufacture, the system of standardized, interchangeable parts the U.S. invented in government arsenals and watch factories from 1819 to 1850 and showed off at the Great Exposition in London in 1851, a system that wowed the Exposition’s organizer, Prince Albert, a system that multiplied the output of the American economy between 1774 and 1909 by a factor of, hold on to your seat, 175, a system that tripled the income of the American worker between 1800 and 1900, a system that led to Henry Ford’s invention of the assembly line in 1908, and a system that made America one of the greatest exporting powers of all time. READ IT HERE.
THE GREAT IDEAS THAT LEAD US: AN INTERVIEW WITH APPLE CO-FOUNDER STEVE WOZNIAK
In the lives of many, we come to a place or time where something just snaps or clicks and a major realization occurs, and we look at this realization with incredibly passionate clarity, and our energy just shifts, as if we may need to re-think everything we’ve been doing our own entire life so far and the new direction it may need to take. For some people, epiphanies occur after a life changing moment, a sickness, a heart attack, a breakup with a romantic partner, nevertheless, we find it important to listen to this silent yet important voice from within, as a realization to a new possibility.
Information to be given at the congressional hearings this week.
Any reflective comments or observations?
Lot’s to consider in the national and international policy areas.
Orlando Sentinel’s The Write Stuff
NASA unveiled new details today about its proposed 2011 budget, including an upcoming study that would assess the “role and size” of the agency’s astronaut corps after NASA retires the space shuttle, according to estimates available here.
The release comes in advance of two congressional hearings this week in which NASA Administrator Charles Bolden is expected to face tough questioning from lawmakers skeptical of President Barack Obama’s plans to cancel NASA’s Constellation moon rocket program.
Obama wants to ditch Constellation so that NASA engineers can concentrate on building futuristic new spacecraft capable of exploring the inner solar system. But that proposal has come under fire because it was vague on where exactly Obama wanted to send future astronauts or the technology that NASA engineers were supposed to develop.
The new release attempts to answer some of those questions. Here are some brief snapshots from the new budget:
SHUTTLE END: “Completing assembly of the International Space Station will be the crowning achievement of the Space Shuttle’s forty year history. Once this historic task is complete after four more flights, estimated by the end of fiscal year 2010, the Space Shuttle will be retired so that NASA can focus on new challenges of a 21st century space agency.”
ASTRONAUT CORPS: “NASA will also enlist the National Research Council (NRC) to conduct an independent study of the activities funded within NASA’s Human Space Flight Operations program office to focus on the requirements post-Shuttle retirement, including the role and size of the astronaut corps, crew related facility requirements, and the most cost effective means to support NASA’s new human spaceflight program.”
DESTINATION: “NASA is taking a new approach to this long-term goal; by laying the ground work that will enable humans to safely reach multiple potential destinations, including the Moon, asteroids, Lagrange points, and Mars and its environs.”
TECHNOLOGIES: Discussed new technology development such as “automated and autonomous rendezvous and docking, in situ resource utilization, aero capture, large mass entry descent and landing, highly efficient in-space propulsion, precision landing and hazard avoidance, cryogenics storage and transfer, lightweight/inflatable modules, and others.”
PROPULSION: “A major thrust of this research and development activity will be related to space launch propulsion technologies. This effort will include first stage engine development, in-space engine demonstrations, and foundational propulsion research in areas such as new or largely untested propellants that can result in more capable and less expensive future rockets, including heavy-lift rockets.”
NASA INVOLVEMENT: “Depending on the investment, implementation responsibility for new projects may be directed to in-house civil servants or competed within industry and academia. For example, a given flagship technology demonstration mission may be designated to a human space flight center in order to benefit from the unique skills of NASA civil servants who will be well-positioned to develop a productive, near-term mission with high relevance to future human spaceflight.”
PARTICIPATORY EXPLORATION: “And to more fully engage the public in these efforts, NASA will establish a Participatory Exploration Office, funded at $5 million a year, with the goal of making NASA missions more participatory and even more collaborative.”
NASA releases new details of commercial crew program
Stephen Clark – SpaceflightNow.com
NASA will attempt to stimulate a portfolio of private transportation providers in its commercial crew program, striking a balance between emerging and established space companies, according to new agency plans released Monday.
The space agency also plans to finish a draft of human-rating standards for commercial vehicles by the end of 2010.
In a fiscal year 2011 budget estimate posted Monday, NASA unveiled several details of the commercial crew initiative, but offered no specific timetable for when the agency will begin selecting providers. NASA officials previously stated they hoped to start operational commercial flights as early as 2014, but those schedules may be optimistic.
The fastest companies say they reach initial operating capability around three years after receiving approval, and the first contracts may not be awarded until 2011.
The document suggested NASA will procure crew-carrying spacecraft in a way similar to the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services, or COTS, program that is applying government funding to SpaceX and Orbital Sciences to develop capsules to ferry cargo to the International Space Station.
Such an acquisition paradigm would provide NASA funding to commercial partners based on milestones achieved in technical development and financing. The partners would also be required to add significant private funding to the program.
The NASA budget request for 2011 includes $6 billion over the next five years for commercial crew development.
“These funds will be competed through COTS-like, fixed-price, milestone-based Space Act Agreements that support the development, testing, and demonstration of multiple commercial crew systems,” the budget estimate said.
NASA awarded $50 million in seed money to five companies in early February, part of the Commercial Crew Development program that seeks to aid companies in early design and development work for key space technologies. The CCDev funding was appropriated by Congress in the 2009 stimulus package.
The CCDev work will be completed by the end of 2010, and NASA says there will be a “full and open competition for commercial development activities at the conclusion of the CCDev activities.” That schedule means the outcome of any competition would likely not occur until 2011.
A key difference from the COTS program will be the inclusion of experienced companies and existing rockets in the commercial crew competition. The COTS program focused on smaller companies and new entrants in the market.
“This program will also be open to a broad range of commercial proposals including, but not limited to: human-rating existing launch vehicles, developing spacecraft for delivering crew to the ISS that can be launched on multiple launch vehicles, or developing new high-reliability rocket systems,” NASA said.
That news is good for companies like United Launch Alliance, which has agreements with several spacecraft developers to use the Atlas 5 rocket. A partnership between Boeing and Bigelow Aerospace working on a space capsule and Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser lifting body design would both launch on the Atlas 5 booster.
Both teams, plus ULA, received CCDev funding earlier this month.
“I think they want to leverage the entire space community’s expertise and figure out to deliver the best value for our nation to move forward,” said Michael Gass, ULA president and CEO. “You want to get an opportunity to have new entrants, but you also need to honor the experience and expertise that comes with 50 years of experience.”
SpaceX, Orbital and other companies are also assembling proposals for commercial crew contracts.
NASA will also strive to help fund multiple providers, but the ultimate mix of commercial partners will depend on budget demands and the companies’ technical competency.
“The competition will result in a targeted portfolio of up to four companies with a mixed risk balance consisting of launch vehicles, crew capsules, and supporting technologies,” NASA wrote in the budget estimate.
After the selected companies achieve development milestones and demonstrate technical and financial stability, NASA would issue contract awards for operational missions. The agency followed a similar plan with the Commercial Resupply Services contract for logistics resupply missions to the International Space Station.
In the documents released Monday, NASA also addressed concerns by the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel in a January report slamming the safety standards of firms vying for the crew transportation job.
The ASAP report urged NASA to “promptly” establish definitive human-rating certification and safety requirements for commercial operators carrying NASA astronauts. The panel also recommended that NASA conduct extensive oversight during operations.
Although the ASAP report cautioned against canceling the Ares 1 rocket, which was scrapped in the White House budget request Feb. 1, NASA says it agrees with the panel’s recommendations on developing detailed human-rating standards.
“NASA will work to complete an agency and industry-coordinated human rating draft by the end of 2010,” the agency said.
NASA wants a new hydrocarbon engine
David G. Schrunk, Madhu Thangavelu, and Burton L. Sharpe
The spectacular advances of science, engineering and humanities in the 20th century established the basis for creating permanent human settlements in space in the 21st century. Since the Moon is our closest celestial neighbor and is in orbit around the Earth, it will logically be the next principal focus of human exploration and settlement. The Moon is an unparalleled platform for astronomy and other scientific investigations, and for technological development. It also has access to the virtually unlimited energy and material resources of space, which can be applied to the global exploration and development of the Moon. Excess solar-electric power that is generated on the Moon can potentially supply the Earth with all of its clean and low-cost energy needs and thus improve living conditions on Earth. These opportunities, combined with the universal desire of humankind to explore and settle new lands, assure that the global transformation of the Moon into an inhabited sister planet of the Earth will become a reality in the coming century.
A major impediment to the exploration of space is the high cost of delivering cargoes from the surface of the Earth into space. For example, the cost of launching a payload into low earth orbit by the Space Shuttle is approximately $10,000 per pound, and that figure will be an order of magnitude higher for missions to the Moon. Thus it appears that even limited lunar projects will be prohibitively expensive. However, three emerging technologies will drastically lower the cost of lunar exploration and development.
First, new generations of more efficient, less complex launch vehicles will become available for space missions in this decade. Second, advances in micro-device technology and the miniaturization of complex optoelectromechanical systems toward the nanotechnology regime will mean that increasingly smaller yet more capable payloads can be delivered to the Moon. Third, and most important, methods will be developed for using lunar resources – the energy and materials that are present there – to manufacture everything that is needed on the Moon itself, rather than shipping goods from the Earth. This process of “in-situ resource utilization,” or ISRU, will herald the most dramatic reduction in the cost of lunar projects.
Industrial processes on the Earth use energy, raw materials, labor, and machines to manufacture sophisticated products such as computers, medical imaging devices, launch vehicles, and communication satellites. Within the next one to two decades, it will become possible to use lunar regolith (Moon dirt) feedstock to manufacture equally sophisticated products (as well as wires, pipes, machined lunar rocks, and bricks) in lunar factories. Few of the processes or tools for doing so yet exist in a mature form – they will have to be developed from existing technologies as we go, essentially “bootstrapping” from small caches of Earth-manufactured machine tools, communications devices, and other portions of payloads yet to be defined. Once these ‘non-Earthly’ technologies and innovations have been developed for lunar purposes, however, they will have ubiquitous applications in space, on asteroids, planets, and moons throughout the solar system.
The Moon has a reliable source of energy in the form of sunlight, and the lunar regolith contains abundant supplies of iron, silicon, aluminum, and oxygen, as well as traces of carbon, nitrogen, and other light elements. In addition, the Clementine and Lunar Prospector satellites detected and mapped increased hydrogen concentrations in the north and south polar regions, suggesting the presence of water-ice in these areas. Scientific data will be gleaned from these lunar materials and resources, and they will then become the (renewable) feedstock for manufacturing processes and other lunar base activities.
Thus a significant reduction in the cost of space projects can be achieved by simply transporting the basic components of Earth’s industrial base, such as mining and processing equipment, and lathes, drills, ovens, and electro-mechanical control devices, to the Moon. The lunar industrial base will then use solar energy and indigenous lunar materials to manufacture the tools and products that are needed to begin the global transformation of the Moon into an inhabited planet. Through many iterations and a “learn as you go” approach, increasingly sophisticated tools and products will be manufactured on the Moon from lunar regolith feedstock. By this means, the high cost of transporting materials from the Earth to the Moon will approach zero, and large-scale, economically viable space projects will become a reality.
Initially, the “labor” component of lunar industrial processes will be performed by tele-operated and autonomous robotic devices that have been delivered to the Moon. Tele-operation is the process by which remotely located devices are controlled using visual and haptic feedback systems. It is widely used on the Earth for diverse applications such as mining, undersea projects, and even certain surgical procedures (telemedicine). It is fortuitous that the Moon always has the same face directed to the Earth and that the round-trip time for communications between the Earth and the Moon is less than three seconds. These conditions will allow Earth-bound operators of lunar robotic devices to have a real-time virtual presence on the Moon 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.
The site for the first unmanned base will likely be on the Earth-facing side of the south polar region of the Moon. There are a few promising sites in the south polar region that always have the Earth in view for continuous telecommunications, and that receive over 300 days of sunlight per year for the generation of solar electric power. A south polar base would have access to increased concentrations of hydrogen (possibly water-ice) that would be useful for industrial operations and eventual human habitation. The tall peaks and deep depressions of this region also offer the opportunity for the placement of long line-of-sight telecommunication links and power beaming facilities.
Many countries currently have rocket launch systems that can be modified to place payloads on the Moon. In one scenario for the establishment of a lunar base, one or more of these rocket systems will be used to transport solar panels, communication systems, scientific equipment, and other payloads from the Earth to the south polar region of the Moon. When these components are in place, (tele-operated) rover vehicles will explore the lunar surface and transmit data back to Earth for analysis. Protocols for the preservation of unique features of the lunar environment will be observed, and scientific data will be obtained before local materials are utilized for experiments. When surveys and analyses have been completed, the rovers will then assist with experiments in the production of bricks, wires, transistors, and glass products from lunar regolith materials. These pioneering activities will be ongoing for 24 hours a day, and there will be opportunities for direct participation by virtually anyone on Earth via the internet.
Since abundant, reliable electrical power is the key to any large-scale development, priority will be given to the fabrication of solar cells from lunar materials. The demonstration that electric power can be produced on the Moon from the first lunar-made solar cell will be a milestone in space exploration because it will prove unequivocally that human enterprises can be self-supporting in space. From that beginning, lunar-made solar cells will be added to the electric power system of the lunar base. As electric power levels then grow, additional scientific and manufacturing equipment will be delivered from the Earth, and the lunar base will expand in all of its capacities.
Within a decade after the first unmanned base has been established, humans will return to the Moon on short duration missions (60-90 days) to service and maintain complex machinery and to supervise operations. Initially they will live and work in lunar lander spacecraft evolved from present-era technology. The MALEO site office (see illustration) employs such an architecture. During the build-up of the first unmanned lunar base, controlled ecological life support systems (CELSS) will undergo continued research and development on Earth and on the International Space Station. Work will also commence with the development of reusable rocket systems that can ferry people between the Earth and the Moon. When a reliable lunar electric power system is in place and pressurized underground habitats (for protection from radiation, temperature extremes, micrometeorites, and surface lunar dust) have been constructed, regenerative life support systems and agricultural modules will be delivered to the lunar base. Humans will then return to the Moon for incrementally longer periods, and all aspects of lunar base activities will be expanded.
In this same time frame, the solar-electric power system will be expanded in east and west directions from the lunar base to create a circumferential electric grid. The advantage of a solar powered electric grid that is placed around the circumference of the Moon is that 50% of the solar panels will always be in sunlight, thus delivering continuous electric power to the grid. Energy in the grid can be transferred from the sunlit side of the Moon to the dark side (and eventually into the interior) so that consumers – new arrivals – can just “plug and play” into an extant power and data handling infrastructure. A lunar railroad, pipeline system, and communications network will be constructed in parallel with the electric grid. Iron rails may be made from lunar iron to construct a simple two-track rail line from the first base to other areas in the south polar region, including the geographic south pole. A “southern rail line” would greatly expand the ability to carry out exploratory missions and would facilitate the growth of lunar power, communication, and pipeline networks.
As the first circumferential railroad line and utility grid are extended in east and west directions from the lunar base and eventually linked (with a golden spike?), extensive geologic expeditions will be carried out in the south polar region. Also, the first lunar-made optical and radio telescopes will be placed at the south pole and the far side of the Moon, respectively. The lunar industrial base will continue to grow in capability, and hundreds of people will be able to live permanently in each of several large underground habitats. A tourism industry between the Earth and the Moon will be established and the rail line and other utilities will be extended northward to the mare / equatorial regions of the Moon, and then to the north pole. Given the wide and growing scope of lunar activities, a broad cross section of humanity will be needed for creative and economic pursuits on the Moon. Sculptors, artisans, athletes, and musicians will join entrepreneurs, scientists, and technicians under the unique conditions of the Moon to create a rich, diverse, and desirable cultural environment for people to work, live, and even retire.
Power levels in the circumferential grid will rise to multi-megawatt level as construction of the utility infrastructure continues, and experiments will be conducted with the first microwave beaming of electric power from the Moon to the Earth. With continued growth, it will become possible to supply the Earth with terawatt levels (one terawatt = one trillion watts) of low cost and clean solar electric power. Lunar development will thus contribute to increased living standards on Earth and to the “greening” of Earth’s biosphere through less need and usage of fossil and fission fuels. Revenues from the sale of electric power to both Earth and lunar markets will support the expansion of the lunar power system and other utilities.
With proper planning and execution, the “Planet Moon Project” will reflect upon our highest aspirations, and benefit all of the people of the Earth. It will emphasize international cooperation and draw upon the expertise of all interested parties, including governments, schools, individuals, investor-supported commercial enterprises, and non-profit institutions. As experience with lunar operations increases, the scientific and industrial capability of the Moon will approach (and, in certain areas, will exceed) parity with the Earth, perhaps within three to five decades after the founding of the first base. Widely separated, permanent human settlements will be established, and the only cargo that will need to be transported from the Earth will be humans – the scientists, engineers, tourists, and immigrants who will explore, develop, and eventually inhabit the Moon.
When humans permanently inhabit the Moon, they will explore the mountain ranges, mares, craters, and rilles of the Moon, and investigate lava tubes that have been sealed for billions of years. Thousands of lunar-made telescopes will be placed at regular intervals on the Moon so that any object of interest in the universe may be observed continuously under ideal viewing conditions. People will live and work in extensive underground spaces that have Earth-like living conditions, including luxuriant vegetation and large pools of water (without poisonous snakes or mosquitoes!). A wide range of research projects will use the unique conditions of the Moon to advance knowledge in such areas as materials science, superconductivity, power beaming, and bioscience. Advances in existing technologies will accelerate the phased development of the Moon, and it may be expected that new, as yet unimagined, innovations will greatly enhance our evolution into a spacefaring species. An efficient magnetic levitation rail system will provide high-speed access to all areas of the Moon, and abundant supplies of solar electric power will be beamed from the Moon to the Earth and other locations in space by the lunar power system.
Before the end of the 21st century, thousands of spacecraft will be manufactured on the Moon and launched by electromagnetic “mass drivers” to all points of interest in the solar system, and robotic missions to nearby stars will be underway. Communication, power, transportation, and life support systems that have been manufactured on the Moon will be launched to Mars and other locations in space in support of the exploration and human settlement of the solar system. Asteroids and “burned out” comets in Earth’s orbital vicinity, including those that pose a threat of collision with the Earth or the Moon, will be mined for their hydrocarbon, water, metal, and other contents. The mining operations will remove the Earth-crossing objects as a threat, and simultaneously provide the Earth and the Moon with a wealth of raw materials. The binary Earth-Moon planetary system will thus draw upon and benefit from the vast resources of space, and the space-faring phase of humankind will be firmly established.
CONCLUSION The transformation of the Moon into an inhabited sister planet of the Earth is an achievable and highly beneficial objective that can be realized in the 21st century. The first robotic missions will establish a permanent unmanned lunar base, short-duration human missions will follow, and, with continued experience and growth, permanent human settlements will be established on the Moon. The “Planet Moon Project” will result in a substantial expansion of scientific knowledge, will advance all engineering disciplines, and create a higher awareness and appreciation for the Planet Earth, her environment, and ecology. It will provide high quality job and business opportunities (most of them on Earth), improve living conditions on Earth, and lead to a greatly expanded program of solar system exploration. Soon after the first elements of the lunar base are in place, the accumulated technological expertise and wisdom of humankind will become linked to the virtually limitless energy and material resources of space. The space-faring phase of human existence will thus be firmly established and the entire solar system will be open to in-depth exploration and human settlement.
Op-Ed column below appeared this morning in the New York Times.
Building on Tom Friedman’s Sputnik sentiment (even if somewhat metaphoric),
I think that KSU should be able to articulate a vision that answers to the
contemporary Sputnik challenge posed by Friedman, and join the public
dialogue thereby. Best, — Joel
What’s Our Sputnik?
By Thomas Friedman
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Dick Cheney says President
Obama is “trying to pretend that we are
not at war” with terrorists. There is only one
thing I have to say about that: I sure hope so.
Frankly, if I had my wish, we would be on
our way out of Afghanistan not in, we would
be letting Pakistan figure out which Taliban
they want to conspire with and which ones
they want to fight, we would be letting Israelis
and Palestinians figure out on their own how
to make peace, we would be taking $100 billion
out of the Pentagon budget to make us
independent of imported oil — nothing would
make us more secure — and we would be
reducing the reward for killing or capturing
Osama bin Laden to exactly what he’s worth:
10 cents and an autographed picture of Dick
Am I going isolationist? No, but visiting the
greater China region always leaves me envious
of the leaders of Hong Kong, Taiwan and
China, who surely get to spend more of their
time focusing on how to build their nations
than my president, whose agenda can be derailed
at any moment by a jihadist death cult
using exploding underpants.
Our presence, our oil dependence, our endless
foreign aid in the Middle East have become
huge enablers of bad governance there
and massive escapes from responsibility and
accountability by people who want to blame
all their troubles on us. Let’s get out of the
way and let the moderate majorities there, if
they really exist, face their own enemies on
their own. It is the only way they will move.
We can be the wind at their backs, but we can’t
be their sails. There is some hope for Iraq and
Iran today because their moderates are fighting
When I look at America from here, I worry.
China is now our main economic partner and
competitor. Sure, China has big problems.
Nevertheless, I hope Americans see China’s
rise as the 21st-century equivalent of Russia
launching the Sputnik satellite — a challenge
to which we responded with a huge national effort
that revived our education, infrastructure
and science and propelled us for 50 years.
“Our response to Sputnik made us better
educated, more productive, more technologically
advanced and more ingenious,” said the
Johns Hopkins foreign policy expert Michael
Mandelbaum. “Our investments in science
and education spread throughout American
society, producing the Internet, more students
studying math and people genuinely wanting
to build the nation.”
And what does the war on terror give us?
Better drones, body scanners and a lot of desultory
T.S.A. security jobs at airports. “Sputnik
spurred us to build a highway to the future,”
added Mandelbaum. “The war on terror
is prompting us to build bridges to nowhere.”
We just keep thinking we can do it all — be
focused, frightened and frivolous. We can’t.
We don’t have the money. We don’t have the