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Commercialization of the Moon — How Soon and Who?

27 Feb 2011, 08:41 UTC
Commercialization of the Moon —  How Soon and Who?
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

The Journal of the British Interplanetary Society (Vol. 63, No. 2, 2010) highlights a fresh perspective on near-term lunar development. In fact, the authors assert that
Action taken in the next few years can lead to the gradual, steady expansion of commercial, market-based activity on the Moon and in the neighborhood between the Earth and the Moon.
How soon will lunar hotels accommodate serious fun-seekers from Earth?
Click .
Economists Wei Lin (Xiamen Univ., China) and Kruti Dholakia and Euel Elliott (both of UT at Dallas) imagine a bright future for international development of the Moon — potentially including lunar resources, human colonization, space-based solar power, asteroid mining, fusion energy — but wisely counsel that such endeavors,
…require a long-term perspective.
This is good advice, not only because of their multi-century timeline — 2020 to 2150 — estimated from NASA and other sources, but because of predictable long-term economic trends as well as wildcards.
For example, they list 2020-2030 as the time when human flights resume to the Moon and scientific explorations expand. But the first permanent lunar base (including first colonization and in situ resource use) dos not occur until after 2030 (-2050).
This creates a potentially serous timing ...

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