Friday, March 30, 2018

ULA's Plans for a Cislunar Economy

United Launch Alliance (ULA) President and CEO Tory Bruno has provided a new overview of his company’s role in a proposed “Econosphere” in space. Although it will take decades to fully realize its potential, ULA hardware is set to provide the key elements via its CisLunar 1000 roadmap, allowing numerous commercial companies to come together to create a self-sustaining community of around 1000 people in the space between the Earth and the Moon.

The CisLunar 1000 plans revolve creating an in-space economy that would tap into the vast amount of resources that could be harnessed from objects such as Near Earth Asteroids (NEA) and on the surface of the Moon.

Eventually, the community would become self-sufficient via in situ resource utilization (ISRU), while becoming economically viable via the prospecting of precious materials that are rare on Earth but abundant in space.

“What we understand today is there’s over 17,000 of these (varying range of NEAs) that come in different classes. Best estimates, there are two trillion kilograms of industrial metals residing in that region,” noted Mr. Bruno during his address to students at the University of Colorado Boulder.

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