Shackleton Energy Company has a crowdsource funded attempt at space fuel depots and a lunar base by 2020

By 2020, Shackleton Energy Company (SEC) intends to become the world’s foremost space-based energy company providing rocket propellants, life support, consumables, and services in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and on the Moon to all spacefarers. The company will use a mix of industrial astronauts and advanced robotic systems to provide a strategically-assured, continuous supply of propellants to already-defined customers in space. Critical to the success of this operation is the prospecting for and mining of ice located within deep, inhospitable, ultra-cold craters at the polar regions of the Moon. NASA estimates the deposits contain billion of tons of ice free for mining under the Outer Space Treaty. Ice will be transformed into a variety of products the most lucrative and useful being liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen propellants. Using this enormous supply, we will be able to realistically meet the propellant demand required by an expanding space economy in perpetuity.

So far they have raised $3655 of a $1.2 million first round. Space fuel depots and lunar supply of fuel makes technical sense but it will be interesting to see if this is the project and funding path to make it work.

The establishment of lunar-sourced, low cost propellants in LEO will ensure that industry and governments will have the foundation to address these enormous societal challenges–– Shackleton Energy Company will provide that foundation.

Dr. Bill Stone has dedicated his life to exploration and understanding of the world we live in. He has decades of experience leading autonomous robotic and crewed projects in exploration and technology development for the National Science Foundation, NASA, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the private sector culminating in two back-to-back expeditions to Antarctica. He is currently leading a NASA project to develop an intelligent autonomous cryobot for transporting autonomous underwater vehicle science payloads through the ice caps of the outer planet icy moons of Jupiter including the development a scaled operational cryobot to be tested on the Greenland ice shelf in 2014. Dr. Stone will lead the first indusrial explorers to start SEC operations at the lunar poles.

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