Return to the Moon
Exploration, Enterprise and Energy in the Human Settlement of Space
Harrison H. Schmitt
A practical vision of our future in space . . .
In just a few decades or less, Harrison Schmitt tells us, humans
should be back in space in ways few of us have imagined:
- Within 10 years, we should already have permanent production
lines for Apollo-like heavy-lift boosters and fusion power
systems, and facilities on the Moon for lunar mining,
processing, and settlement.
- We should, within 20 years, have a permanent settlement on
the Moon with commercial operations producing helium-3 fuel
for a growing terrestrial fusion electrical power industry.
- Within 25 years, we should be in our fifth year of manned
exploration of Mars, based on the availability of lunar boosters
and other resources.
As an astrogeologist , businessman, and space advocate, and
as a former NASA astronaut and United States Senator, Harrison
Schmitt is uniquely qualified to think and talk about not just the
science and technology of space, but the issues of politics,
management, investment, and human commitment it will take to
reconstitute the great enterprise that took us to the Moon more
than a 35 years ago.
What Schmitt encourages us to envision for the near future is
a whole array of reinvigorated space enterprises, involving both
government agencies and private companies - dedicated to
forward thinking, willing to commit and sustain the necessary
capital and human resources, and determined to foster a culture
that is not risk averse. The goal, as he sees it, is nothing less than
a new and permanent era of human enterprise, achievement, and
settlement in space.
We have a choice . . .
One possible future for humankind in space is no
future at all. Considering the dangers, technological
challenges, and unquantified benefits, some
decision-makers might turn away altogether from
In this book, however, former Astronaut and
United States Senator Harrison H. Schmitt argues
forcefully that we should look to a future that
embraces space - that builds on the lessons of
Apollo and on sound practices of business and
finance - that will take us back to the Moon and
beyond as explorers, scientists, technologists,
entrepreneurs, investors . . . and settlers.
Schmitt states unequivocally that a permanent,
fully functioning human settlement on the lunar
surface will play a crucial role as a stepping-off
point for further human and robotic exploration and
pioneering in space. But even more critically to
present generations on Earth, Schmitt argues, the
Moon will provide almost limitless resources for the
clean generation of fusion electrical power. He also
presents the case for the Moon as an ideal outpost
for mining, processing, and storing resources that
will greatly enhance our ability to achieve costeffective
space exploration and settlement. From
his perspective as an active participant in space
history, Schmitt details the managerial, legal,
geological, technical, and physiological foundations
for success in these endeavors.
This bold, authoritative, imaginative, and
impassioned book is sure to stir controversy, but
sure also to spur policy makers and scientists to
envision and plan for a future in space that will be
for the betterment of all humankind.Extent:
CB & JPublication Date:
Praxis Publishing - Leaders in Scientific Publishing © 2008 All rights reserved