1)1. Space benefits society in many areas, especially the use of satellite assets in orbits beyond LEO.
2. 2)Earth’s deep gravity well is a significant cost deterrent to expanded activities in space. For beyond LEO missions, most launch mass is propellant.
3)3. The International Space Station proves that human- and machine-assembled satellites can be as big and as capable as needed and unlimited by launch vehicle size.
4)4. We cannot routinely access orbits beyond LEO with people and machines to build and maintain such satellites today.
5)5. A system based around the manufacture and use of propellant made from lunar materials can reduce the cost for new space activities, enable routine access to and from the surface of the Moon, access all other points in cislunar space, including GEO and other orbits useful for space assets; and enable human interplanetary flight (i.e., to Mars and beyond).
6)6. The Moon also offers other material and energy resources that can be used to create new space faring capability, including regolith aggregate, glass and ceramics, metals and the fabrication of solar cells.
7)7. Both robotic and human presence is required on the Moon to enable and maintain production from lunar resources.
8)8. By going to the Moon to establish a permanent presence, we create a reusable, extensible and maintainable (thus, affordable) transportation system, a “transcontinental railroad” for cislunar space while expanding human reach beyond LEO.
9)9. Undertaking a program to develop and use off-planet resources creates wealth by developing and enabling new technology, opening new and previously unforeseen markets, thereby assuring that free market, democratic pluralism prevails in the new frontier of space (neither totalitarianism nor corporatism).
Map of Cislunar Space
Download poster and brochure "Develop Cislunar Space Next" (7 Mb)
Web site: Cislunar Space Next
Spudis Lunar Resources was created by renowned planetary geologist Paul D. Spudis (1952-2018) and is archived by the National Space Society with the kind permission of the Spudis family.