Economic and technical issues for lunar development

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Abstract

An overview is provided of the key issues facing those who view lunar development as a desirable goal. There is general agreement that in order for lunar development to begin, there must be a capitalist component of interest. By this is implied the existence of aspects in the lunar development that would attract investor interest. There are two reasons for this. The first is that governments do not have excess funds. Instead, cutting budgets and downsizing are the primary concerns. The second and more important reason is that there is little public support for space in general. While most people, including even a few elected officials, understand the importance of national efforts in space, national spans of attention tend to be short. Therefore, since the development of space requires a long time frame, it cannot retain the attention of citizens or government, and it has a difficult time attracting investor financing. A new paradigm is needed for the further development of space, in general, and the Moon, in particular. It is proposed to deconstruct such a long-term project into independently financeable units that have dual-use potential. This essay proposes such a framework. This approach does not appear to have been suggested by others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-118
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Aerospace Engineering
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

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