MOMENTUM IS BUILDING for a return to the Moon. NASA's international partners on the International Space Station are in favor of returning to the lunar surface, as are India and China. The horizon goal may be Mars, but the political, funding and the technological and medical infeasibility of such an objective means the next logical step is a return to the Moon. While much has been learned about the Moon over the years, we don't understand its resource wealth potential and the technologies to exploit those resources have yet to be developed, but there are a number of companies that are developing these capabilities. And, with the discovery of water in the lunar polar regions, plans are in the works to exploit these resources for fuel for transportation operations in cis-lunar space and in low Earth orbit (LEO).
The time has come for commercial enterprise to lead the way back to the lunar surface. Embarking on such a venture requires little in the way of new technologies. We don't need to develop super-fast propulsion systems like those required to get us to Mars safely, nor do we need hundreds of billions of dollars that the experts reckon it will cost to transport humans to the Red Planet. What we do need is a place to test the technologies and deep space experience that will enable us to build a pathway that will lead us to Mars. That place is the Moon and this book explains why.
About the author
Dr. Erik Seedhouse is a research scientist specializing in environmental life sciences and physiology, the subject in which he obtained his Ph.D. while working for the European Space Agency between 1996 and 1998. In 2009, he was one of the final candidates for selection as an astronaut in the CSA's Astronaut Recruitment Campaign. He is a certified commercial suborbital astronaut and is the Canadian Payload Broker for XCOR via Arête. Between 2008-13 he was Director of Canada's Manned Centrifuge and Hypobaric Chamber Operations. He is a spaceflight instructor for the American Astronautics Institute/Project PoSSUM and the Training Director for Astronauts for Hire. He works as manned spaceflight consultant, triathlon coach, author and public speaker. He is currently co-authoring a book with Franklin Chang-Díaz on the subject of VASIMR and teaching commercial astronauts in Melbourne, Florida, which is where he'd like to spend much more time.
Other titles by Erik Seedhouse
Spaceports Around the World, A Global Growth Industry
The Ultimate Reality TV Show?
XCOR, Developing the Next Generation Spaceplane
America's Next Generation Spacecraft
Microgravity and Vision Impairments in Astronauts
The First Ten Years
Colonizing Space One Module at a Time
Engineering Our Future Evolution
Tourists in Space
A Practical Guide
Industry at the Edge of Space