Ms. P.H. and others of you who are regular readers here, and who know of our continuing interest in covering the collateralization and commercialization of space, shared the following article with me, which is now almost three weeks old.
At first, I must admit, I was not going to blog about this, because I think I was missing what most of you who shared it were probably seeing. In this case, it took me a couple of times reading through the article, to "get" what may be going on:
There are a number of statements in this article which, coming as it does from a highly reputable source such as phys.org, tends to make me think we are possibly looking at a kind of "semi-official disclosure" of that the long term game plan of NASA and America's space policy is. We have, of course, the now familiar meme of the commercialization and private development of space resources, a process that in my opinion was initiated secretly after World War Two with the establishment of a large hidden system of finance to fund covert and secret development of UFO-emulative technologies(among other things). To gain the participation of large prime banks in this activity, I have also hypothesized that space was collateralized, i.e., that their participation was gained by granting them a stake in whatever exploitable resources or other things (for example, knowledge and technologies) might be found in space.
"In its latest initiative, unveiled in late January, the US space agency is proposing private companies take advantage of NASA's extensive know-how, its engineers and access to its installations to help design and build lunar robots.
"But unlike NASA's contracts with SpaceX and Orbital Sciences to deliver cargo to the ISS, the moon proposal—dubbed CATALYST (Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown)—would get no US government economic help.
"Recent missions in the moon's orbit have revealed evidence of water and other interesting substances on the moon, explained Jason Crusan, director of NASA's advanced exploration systems.
"'But to understand the extent and accessibility of these resources, we need to reach the surface and explore up close.'
"'Commercial lunar landing capabilities could help prospect for and utilize these resources,' permitting both commercial and research activities, he said."
In 2013 NASA reached an agreement with Bigelow Aerospace to develop commercial sector involvement with the space agency, especially focused on plans to build a lunar base.
Founded by US billionaire Robert Bigelow, the company offers inflatable space modules.
Big money on the moon
These partnerships work "very well in lower orbit," said Bigelow's Michael Gold, referring to the re-supply contracts at the International Space Station.
"There is no reason it won't work just as well on the moon," he told AFP.
"Additionally, in this austere (budget) environment, it only makes sense to leverage private sector investments and capabilities," he said.
In other words, Stage one: use robots to commercially develop the Moon and to construct a lunar base. I've already blogged about the possibilities of 3D printing for the construction of such a base, provided the robots can be brought to the Moon to mine and process materials for such construction.
"NASA chief Charles Bolden said last year his agency would not take the lead on a manned lunar mission, but wouldn't rule out the possibility of participating in one led by a private company or another country."