- establishing an initial infrastructure on the Moon -

This Plan focuses on the development of the Moon because we believe this is where development will occur first. But Mars will develop shortly thereafter, with the development and settlement of Earth orbit, and the asteroids occurring much later.

The decision-makers need to recognize the potential for SpaceX's Starship and to establish a program with this capability at its core once proven. We also believe that an optimized system, including a lander, designed specifically for transport between the Earth and Moon should be developed using Blue Origin's technology. This Plan does not find that the Gateway is necessary given the option of just rendezvousing in high lunar orbit.

The first uncrewed mission should deliver a payload with enough power systems, redundant telerobots, and spare parts to harvest lunar polar ice. An Ice Harvester telerobot could combine multiple functions to extract water from the lunar dirt. Hardware would be iteratively developed in laboratory environment simulating all of the known conditions of the lunar poles including suspending hardware with tethers to simulate the 1/6th gravity.

Once lunar ice is processed into propellant, the refueled lander could ascend to an Earth-Moon gravitational balance point where the next incoming vehicle could now deliver nearly twice as much payload thereby giving it the capability of the Saturn V. With reflights of the lunar lander, the flight experience necessary to human-rate the landers could be achieved with relatively few launches.

The InstaBase is a concept for a large, inflatable habitat providing all of the space necessary to support an Initial Permanent Crew of eight. Water walls would provide shielding against radiation and an indoor centrifuge would providing up to four hours of full, artificial gravity each day. After the initial base is established, specialty habs would be delivered to build up a large International Lunar Base housing hundreds of residents.

Within the InstaBase would be GreenHab modules to grow all of the food needed by the Initial Permanent Crew. The crew would plant, harvest, and process the plants fresh or store them for later use. The crew would use telerobotics and labor-saving equipment to prepare delicious meals.

After establishing a south polar habitat, telerobots could drive north while compacting the lunar dirt to create a network of basic roads throughout the Moon. This would allow international astronauts and later tourists to use automated electric vehicles to drive throughout the Moon without having to consume precious propellant. It would also provide a means of transporting water and other minerals to distant settlements.

Click here to see our current estimate of the development timeline.

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