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Harrison Schmitt
Return to the Moon
A Practical Plan for Going Back to Stay

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The Moon is not just a "local" destination, argues former NASA Astronaut Harrison Schmitt. As a destination, the Moon presents us with a goal that tests our resourcefulness and determination.

How much are we willing to spend to re-establish ourselves as space-farers? Return to the Moon proposes that we begin planning, and now, for the establishment of human outposts on the Moon - not just as an exercise in technology and discovery, and not just as a way of fulfilling our destiny as explorers and pioneers. Schmitt, having himself traveled to and literally walked on the Moon, is no stranger to technology, discovery, and a sense of our destiny as explorers; but in this book he focuses on a return to the moon as a business proposition.

Table of contents
  • Introduction: 25 Years from Today
  • The Legacy of Apollo: The geopolitical, cultural, and scientific legacy of Apollo, including the discovery of lunar energy resources
  • Global Energy in the 21st Century: The increasing future demand for energy and the alternatives to meet that demand including lunar Helium-3 fusion
  • Fundamentals of Helium-3 Fusion: The basic principles of Helium-3 fusion including its advantages and disadvantages relative to other energy alternatives
  • Lunar Helium-3 Resources: How much we know about the concentration, distribution, and geology of lunar Helium-3 and related resources
  • Economic Approaches to a Return to the Moon: Comparison of various combinations of private, federal, and international approaches to funding and managing a return to the Moon
  • Lessons from Apollo Management: The nature of the Apollo management system and the lessons that can be drawn from its successes and failures
  • Private Business/Investor Approach: The details and milestones in a private business and investor-based approach to a return to the Moon
  • Bridging Businesses: Bridging businesses that apply helium-3 fusion technologies; in particular, positron emitting isotope production for medical diagnostics (PET), and a general discussion of other, follow-on bridging businesses
  • Lunar Resource Production Operations: The essential elements of the initiation and early operation of a lunar resource production and processing endeavor
  • Ancillary Businesses: The use of technologies developed for accessing and using lunar Helium-3 for space exploration, astronomy from the Moon, space tourism, diversion of asteroids and comets, and national security
  • Space Law Related to Lunar Resources: Lunar resource development in the context of international law and specifically of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967
  • Human vs Machine Roles in Space Exploration and Development: The relative merits of human and robotic systems in space
  • Long-term Implications: The long-term implications of the development of lunar resources on the betterment of the human condition, the advancement of civilization, the settlement of space, and the defense of the Earth.


Springer Berlin, 2005, 200 S.
20,30 Euro
Hardcover, w. 20 figs.
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