November 14, 2016

A good space policy would be to start accessing space minerals and power within eight years

A team of US Air Force officers called Space Horizons have recommendations for national space policy.

Space represents a domain of vast opportunity and commerce for all humankind.

Space development and commercialization requires aggressively targeting the development of space resources.

A space plan set the following goals for the USA

* first nation to mine an asteroid
* first nation to mine propellant and minerals from our Moon and to operate a commercial transportation service to-and-from the lunar surface.
* first nation to operate a propellant depot and on-orbit refueling service.
* first nation to operate a private space station
* first nation to operate a commercial Earth-to-orbit spaceline of fully-reusable launch vehicles
* build a prototype solar power satellite
* establish a hazardous asteroid early warning system and demonstrate an asteroid deflection capability

They believe that in eight years, America’s industrial base is certainly capable of producing and operating fully reusable launch vehicles, of producing and operating an in-space cryogenic refueling capability, of developing capabilities to divert asteroids, and of developing most of the technology to mine the Moon and asteroids. It could easily begin, and perhaps even finish, a subscale solar power satellite prototype. In four years, and for a relatively small percentage of the current space budget, the US could easily begin initiatives and public-private partnerships that would bear fruit in the following four years.

Their viewpoint is that America needs to see space as a strategic industry that like shipping, railroads, or aviation, one that can grow exponentially and allow the development of entirely new markets. Past generations of Americans perceived a new economic frontier and stepped boldly into it. A generation of Americans developed the ambition of becoming a continental power and created technology such as the transcontinental railway and incentives such as the Homestead Act to enable that expansion. A

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