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The Fastest, Safest, and Most Economically Sustainable Way to Return to the Lunar Surface

30 Apr 2019, 20:49 UTC
The Fastest, Safest, and Most Economically Sustainable Way to Return to the Lunar Surface
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by Marcel F. Williams “I’m taking nothing off the table, and we’re not compromising safety. Anything we don’t need to do we can delay. There’s future launches, there’s future things we can test, but right now, how do we get boots on the moon in 2024?” (NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine)It is now a directive of the Executive Branch of the United States for American astronauts to return to the surface of the Moon by 2024. But the type of transportation infrastructure developed for a US return to the lunar surface could largely determine whether, or not, America will strategically and economically dominate the Moon, cis-lunar space, and the rest of the solar system. It is estimated that between 100 million to one billion metric tons (tonnes) of water ice may exist at the Moon's north and south poles. Exploiting polar ice deposits on the lunar surface for the production of rocket fuel is one of the principal arguments for returning to the Moon. Lunar hydrogen and oxygen propellant would make it much easier to send humans to Mars. And lunar propellant and propellant dept technology could also give astronauts easy access to the surfaces of Mercury and Jupiter's Galilean moon, ...

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