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The Lunar Elevator


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This book in our subseries called New Space Ventures discusses the advantages of building a lunar elevator and how it would afford access to some of the resources the Moon has to offer. We could potentially reduce poverty and improve Earth's environment using such a technology. Human civilization could more easily expand to Earth orbit or the Moon, and perhaps beyond. The book sets out the road map of how this could be achieved. The lunar elevator is a long tether anchored on the Moon, with the other end free and hanging towards Earth. Such a tether can now be built at a relatively low cost using commercially available materials such as Zylon, Dyneema or M5. This first generation lunar elevator will be able to deliver payloads to the lunar surface, each weighing 100 kg, and retrieve the same amount of material from the lunar surface. The alternative of using chemical rockets to soft land on the Moon [or return material] is prohibitively expensive. The critical shortage of helium-3, which sells for $1 million per ounce on the market, could be resolved by transporting it from the Moon with the elevator. The lunar elevator can also transport oxygen from the Moon to low Earth orbit, where it can refuel tugs to take satellites from LEO to GEO, a significant revenue source.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction.- Part 1: The Current Landscape and How We Got Here.- Part 2: System Hardware Elements and Process Flow.- Part 3: Economics and Business Case.- Part 4: Social, Legal and Political Issues.- Conclusion.- Appendices.- Glossary.

About the Author

Charles Radley is a spacecraft systems engineer who has worked on manned and unmanned spacecraft development and operations since 1981. He has a B.S. in Physics, M.S. in Systems Engineering and 20+ years of aerospace experience. He is an EIT Engineer in Training registered in the State of California, and an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. In 1981, he started work on communications satellite systems integration, launch campaigns and range safety. He was instrumental in developing proposals for lunar space missions for the 1990 Space Exploration Initiative. He was a member of the subcontractor teams for the Galileo and Magellan space probes, the International Space Station, experiments for Spacelab-MSL-1 and several communications satellite projects (e.g. Intelsat-6, Olympus, HS-601, HS-376, Inmarsat-2, Marecs). He worked on the Mobile Transporter and the power system for NASA Space Station Freedom which became ISS. He is an inter-disciplinary engineer, specializing in systems safety and hazards analysis as well as mission operations. He was principal author of the NASA Guidebook for Safety Critical Software and has written extensively on space-based solar power. He was a contributor to the 2007 Department of Defense study on Space Based Solar Power managed by the National Space Security Office. For the last 30 years, he has continued to work on the original O'Neill vision with the addition of a lunar elevator. He pursues concepts for space manufacturing using lunar resources. In recent years, he has been engaged mainly as a software quality engineer in commercial and government IT environments. Jerome Pearson is President of STAR, Inc., a small business in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina that has developed aircraft and spacecraft concepts for NASA and DOD. He began his engineering career by working on the Apollo lunar landing program for NASA, and later headed an Air Force test facility for the Strategic Defense Initiative under President Reagan. He is internationally known for inventing the Earth and lunar space elevators, publishing engineering solutions to global warming, an explanation for our negative SETI results, and conceiving the propellant less spacecraft EDDE for space debris removal. He is author of more than 100 technical publications, including invited articles for Encyclopaedia Britannica, New Scientist, and Space Safety. He advised Sir Arthur C. Clarke on his space elevator novel "The Fountains of Paradise," has done TV interviews on space elevators and global warming, and was featured in the Discovery Channel series Science of the Impossible. He is a founding member of the National Space Society and the Planetary Society, and has written parts of books, and invited articles, including: "An historical interview with Jerome Pearson (May 2009)," in Turning Dust to Gold: Building a Future on the Moon and Mars. Since graduation from the university, Dr. Alexander Kogan has been working in the aerospace industry and academic institutions involved in space sciences and space engineering. He participated in almost all Soviet deep space missions to the Moon, Venus, Mars, and Halley comet and in many Israeli national and international projects in cooperation with CNES (France), Delft University (the Netherlands), DLR and Max-Planck-Institut (Germany), ESA, and others. He has published dozens of articles in scientific journals and chapters in monographs. Israeli Radio often invited him as a scientific commentator. The proposed book uses many of the results of the research that he carried out at Asher Space Research institute of Technion, Israel, in 2007-2008. Michael Laine has been involved with Space Elevator research since 2001 - the definitive NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts study. He later used the accumulated knowledge to form LiftPort Group to push forward the concept and commercially construct an Elevator on the Moon. Laine is President of LiftPort Group - the commercial effort to build the Space Elevator. LiftPort Group is an "idea factory" focused on commercializing the spin-off technologies developed in pursuit of the Lunar Space Elevator Infrastructure. Laine's array of professional experiences - U.S. Marine, investment adviser, internet entrepreneur and real estate developer - have each contributed to the global program of building the Space Elevator. The Marines taught him to persevere under difficult conditions, chokepoint analysis - and most importantly at a young age - leadership skills. Laine is leading the effort to build a new Institute focused on commercial development of space, chairs the Keiretsu Forum's Space Committee, and is Past President of his Alumni Association for the International Space University.

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