Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Good day.

Ron Wells reminded me that Harrison H. Schmitt's new book is available on and I told him I had already ordered it and it was being
delivered as we speak.

Return to the Moon: Exploration, Enterprise, and Energy in the Human
Settlement of Space (Hardcover)
by Harrison H. Schmitt

Book Description

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.

About the Author

Harrison Schmitt is, as of this date, the 12th and last human to have
stepped on the Moon. As an astronaut, pilot, geologist, academic,
businessman, and United States Senator, he has had a distinguished career in
science and technology practice and policy. Schmitt was the first scientist
to go into space specifically to explore the Moon as the Lunar Module Pilot
and field geologist on the last Lunar Mission, Apollo 17. He is active in
private and government sponsored research into a return to the Moon, and in
fusion technologies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he is
Adjunct Professor of Engineering. In his role as a Senator (R-NM, 1977-1983)
he was chairman of the Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Science,
Technology, and Space.


Ron knows Jack Schmitt and has worked with the Apollo 17 images.

He wrote a review of the book for which you can read there along
with another review by William Franklin.

I have copied a bit longer review from Ron below.

I'll let you know my thoughts when I get my copy. - LRK -

You might ask, why so enthusiastic about another book on going back to the

Glad you asked.

Over the years to this lunar-update list I have mentioned books like "THE
MOON - Resources, Future Development and Colonization" by David Schrunk,
Burton Sharpe, Bonnie Cooper and Madhu Thangavelu and the book by Peter
Eckart, "the Lunar Base Handbook" and the web references to Jack Schmitt's
teaching at the University of Wisconsin Fusion Technology.

These reference showed us just what would be required to set up camp on the
Moon and how to go about utilizing the resources there.

At the same time the Lunar Prospector mission was being proposed, so also
was a plan for going back to the Moon by Harrison H. Schmitt.

Back then one was not really being heard about putting us back on the Moon
For Real.

A cheap mission like Lunar Prospector would only be one step in preparing
for a return. What Jack was pushing for was a way to get us out of the
energy crises that has us now at $60 plus a barrel for oil.

There needs to be a good reason to go back to the Moon, more than just what
science from a spacecraft can provide.

If you can turn a profit by utilizing the resources from space and help us
here back on Earth, then it will happen.

That will take some sound engineering, some excitement from investors, and
the support of the general public who are already spending millions of
dollars on sports heros.

I think what Jack is talking about in his book may well be of interest to
you who have been looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site
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Book review by Ron Wells - LRK -
Harrison H. (Jack) Schmitt was the last of 12 humans to set foot on the Moon
during the Apollo 17 mission in December, 1972, and the only scientist, a
geologist with extensive field experience. Had NASA not sent Jack to the
Moon, his contributions to the Apollo program would still have been enormous
because largely through his efforts the other Apollo astronauts received
training in field geology. But fortunately, he was sent, and those readers
who may have perused the on-line "Apollo Lunar Surface Journal"
( know that Jack's professional background was
indispensable for his 3-day exploration of the Valley of Taurus-Littrow.
That value was particularly manifested by his discovery of the orange soil
at Shorty Crater, Station 4, on the 2nd day of the mission, and his
on-the-spot field analysis of the origin of the house-sized broken boulder
on the slopes of the North Massif at Station 6 on the 3rd day. Now, 33 years
after his mission, Jack has written "Return to the Moon", an astonishing
book in the breadth covered by the 14 chapters with notes & references at
the end of each. No one interested in the practical application of going
back to the Moon and on to Mars can afford to miss reading this exposition.

The book is an outgrowth of course lectures that Jack gave at the University
of Wisconsin-Madison over several years, the last series in the Spring of
2004, but brought up to date and expanded considerably. His students must
have really enjoyed attending those classes because he is a great lecturer!
The basic premise, of course, is the establishment of a permanent lunar
mining colony to process and ship Helium-3 (He-3) back to the Earth to fuel
fusion reactors as a private commercial enterprise. Jack explains how these
mostly pollution-free fusion reactions work and their significance to the
global economy.

But the book covers much more than He-3 mining. It essentially spans the
entire period of U.S. space exploration from Eisenhower's establishment of
NASA and his order to construct the Saturn V heavy booster through today's
problems faced by Mike Griffin, the current NASA Administrator. And Jack
pulls no punches. Chapters 9 and 10 are a Tour de Force. Chpt 9 treats the
lessons Apollo taught us, and where we went wrong in the post-Apollo period.
Chpt. 10 is an annotated collection of lengthy emails with the current White
House's first Administration (primarily the OMB) on how NASA should be
restructured and why. He points out that NASA and the U.S. public in general
have become too risk adverse, which can lead to stagnation and ultimately to
stopping space exploration altogether. He also takes NASA to task for having
ignored biomedical research on humans in space as a seriously funded
endeavor with the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug
Administration. He explains in detail the kinds of experiments that were
done and their significance, but that NASA basically took an "air sickness"
approach to any problems that astronauts manifested (when they admitted to
having problems). He also discusses what kind of medical problems need
further examination. Jack even advocates that he and his remaining fellow
Moon walkers should be subject to thorough targeted autopsies because little
is known of the effects of breathing in Moon dust laden with glass! Such
effects need to be clearly defined before establishing a lunar settlement.

The core financial analysis of returning to the Moon uses 6 models: (1)
All-US Govt; (2) Multilateral (i.e., ISS approach); (3) Intelsat model; (4)
private/Govt partnership; (5) private/Govt-funded Research, Test,
Development & Evaluation partnership; and (6) all-private. These are not
simple calculations, but rather detailed cost estimates of the various
components needed to guarantee a successful return to the Moon with
justifications for each choice. The most efficient and cheapest method turns
out to be (6), with (5) reasonably close behind. The worst model was, of
course, the International Space Station (ISS) approach, followed by the
all-US Govt approach.

People who run businesses will enjoy the business acumen that Jack displays
in these computations and throughout the book. In addition to the cost
analyses, he covers legal issues, managerial problems, and how big projects
such as a return to the Moon should be organized. Once a commercially viable
lunar colony has been established, the economic returns governed by the
colony products and the worldwide distribution of power on Earth will serve
to form a more stable civilization, one view of humankind's manifest destiny
that ought not be overlooked.

There are a number of books on the market today advocating colonization of
the Moon and travel to Mars, in fact there is another one on with
the same principal title as Jack's book. But Jack is the only author who can
truly say: "been there, done that". His book not only proves that, but
drawing on that experience also justifies his privilege to have walked on
the moon.

Ron Wells
University of California, retired
Science and Exploration; Speech by Michael Griffin to the American
Geophysical Union
Date Released: Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Source: NASA HQ

6 Dec 2005

I'm here today to talk about what science at NASA means to U.S. leadership
in space exploration, and in the world at large. I will also address
specific components of our Science Mission Directorate plans, and discuss
the opportunities in science that we expect to result from both our new
exploration plan and our ongoing decadal research plans.

To begin, I think that some perspective on the role of science in our
national life might be in order. We are all here in San Francisco this
evening because we believe that what we do is important, not only to our
specific disciplines, but also to society at large. It is our good fortune
to live in a society that invests in and greatly values scientific
achievement. Indeed, most of us have grown up in a world in which we take it
for granted that the United States government will invest significant
taxpayers' resources in scientific research. But this has not always been
the case; prior to World War II, government investment in scientific
research was miniscule.

But the contributions of science and technology to the war effort prompted
President Roosevelt to request a report from Dr. Vannevar Bush, the Director
of the Office of Scientific Research, on how scientific expertise could be
used in the post-war world. Bush's report, Science: The Endless Frontier,
provided the framework for much of the federal backing of scientific
research of which many of us have been or currently are the beneficiaries.
In his report, Bush wrote, "It is in keeping also with basic U.S. policy
that the government should foster the opening of new frontiers and this is
the modern way to do it." I think Dr. Bush got it exactly right.

America's space program is a prime example of a successful national
investment in opening new frontiers that became possible precisely because
our leaders thought about scientific advancement in this new context. Today
we conduct bold and rewarding, but costly, scientific activities in space
today because our leaders two generations ago viewed American preeminence in
all aspects of space exploration as essential to maintaining world
leadership. It was in this same spirit that, nearly two years ago, President
Bush announced the Vision for Space Exploration, noting its implementation
would advance America's economic, scientific and security interests.

In this sense, science is the beneficiary of our commitment to seek out and
explore new frontiers. While exploration has historically spurred
technological innovation and commercial enterprise, it has also led to the
flowering of scientific activity. I have high hopes for the scientific
progress we will achieve as we pursue the Vision for Space Exploration.

Through space exploration and related scientific activities, we can project
humankind's vantage point into space, both virtually and physically with
robots and humans. From space and in space, our scientific initiatives
encompass questions as practical as tomorrow's weather and as profound as
the origin and nature of the Universe.

>From space, we can view the Earth as a planet ? one member of a solar system
governed by a typical main-sequence star midway through its life cycle. We
can view the Earth's relationship with the Sun, shaped not just by gravity,
but by the solar wind, solar radiation, and the Earth's own magnetic field
and atmosphere. And we can view the Earth in its entirety, seeing the
interconnectedness of the oceans, atmosphere, continents, ice sheets and
life itself. We can observe and track global-scale changes, and perceive
regional changes in their global context. We can observe the role that human
civilization increasingly plays as a force of change. Earth science at NASA
is Earth system science, the study of Planet Earth as dynamic system of
diverse components interacting in complex ways. We are learning to trace
cause to effect, to connect variation with response, and vastly improve
national capabilities to predict climate, weather, and natural hazards.
Thus, NASA research is also an essential part of national and international
efforts to employ Earth science and observation in service to society.

In space, we are extending our virtual presence via robotic missions to
other planets and their moons, to asteroids and comets, and to the Kuiper
Belt. We are in the midst of a full-scale investigation of Mars, with one or
more missions launching every twenty-six months. We are directing more of
our attention to the moons of the giant planets as we see intriguing signs
of both water and dynamism on their surfaces, knowing that on Earth, where
there is water and energy there is also life. We are progressing from
observers to rovers to sample return missions, each step bringing us closer
to our principal goals: to understand whether life does or did exist
elsewhere in the Solar System, and to prepare for human expeditions to other
planetary bodies.

The human exploration of space will benefit from the scientific research
that we conduct in support of the Vision. The selection of lunar and Martian
landing sites, the development of techniques for operations in differing
radiation environments and atmospheres, and the exploitation of the Lagrange
points are examples of the productive interactions we anticipate between
science and exploration as each is pursued for its own purposes.

But having painted this picture, let me make a second point about the space
frontier, which is that in fact we have barely entered it. To gain some
historical perspective on the matter, consider that the great European
voyages of maritime discovery began in the early 15th Century with the
founding, by Prince Henry the Navigator, of the School of Oceanic Navigation
in Sagres, Portugal in 1418. Though he never went to sea himself, Prince
Henry sponsored a long series of voyages of exploration down the coast of
Africa, in search of a seagoing path to the Orient.

Henry's vision for ocean exploration was "a journey, not a race." In 1420
the Madeira Islands were discovered by Joao Zarco. In 1434, after no less
than fourteen expeditions had failed ? many of them simply never returning ?
Henry's man Gil Eannes finally made it through the treacherous waters off
Cape Bojador, on the coast of Africa south of the Canary Islands, and
returned alive. Portuguese explorers rounded the western bulge of Africa in
1460, the year of Henry's death. And the southern tip of Africa, the Cape of
Good Hope, was finally reached by Bartolomeu Dias in 1488. Vasco da Gama
reached India in 1498. By the time Columbus sailed westward in search of a
shorter, easier path to Asia, European maritime exploration had been firmly
underway for almost 75 years. Yet today, we think of the 1492 voyage of the
Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria as the beginning of everything. That is
hardly the case.

The space age, for all its achievements, is less than fifty years old, and
is just getting underway. To date, twelve human beings have explored the
surface of the moon for a total time of less than one man-month; it is now
my job to make that number grow by leaps and bounds. Our initial scientific
reconnaissance of the solar system is still incomplete, with NASA planning
to launch the New Horizons mission next month to conduct the first robotic
exploration of Pluto. We have also barely scratched the surface when it
comes to understanding the extent and nature of extra-solar planets. In just
ten years, more than 150 planets beyond our solar system have been
discovered, and there are indications that at least one has the same rocky
characteristics as our home planet. And as this audience knows quite well,
we have only begun to tap the potential of Earth observing, weather, and
other remote sensing satellites.

Continuing on the theme that we are just at the dawn of the true space age,
let me point out that in a matter of years, people around the globe will be
able to look up at a new moon, and with the aid of a good telescope, be able
to see the glimmering lights of a research station on the lunar surface. At
this research station, pioneering astronauts will be learning how to obtain
oxygen from the lunar regolith. They will be deploying antennas on the back
side of the moon, linked in phase to form the largest radio telescope ever
built, free of radio noise from Earth. They will be engaged in geological
exploration of the moon, finally establishing the origins of our Earth-moon
system. And other astronauts, in Earth orbit, will be readying a 500 ton
spaceship for mankind's first voyage to Mars.

This is the direction for our space program that two successive Congresses
have endorsed, and that, according to a very recent Gallup Poll,
three-quarters of our citizens "support", or "strongly support". This
support is found roughly in equal proportions across the political spectrum,
and between the genders. This is the kind of support that will fuel many of
our space science initiatives in the future. And we are just at the

Having said this, I am aware that many in the science community have
questioned NASA's commitment to science, and believe their own work to be
gravely threatened by the Vision for Space Exploration. Let me speak
directly to this point. I have frequently stated my belief that exploration
will be a boon for science in the long-term. I have also said on many
occasions that it is not our desire to sacrifice present-day scientific
efforts for the sake of future benefits to be derived from exploration. We
who run NASA today are doing our very best to preserve these efforts in the
face of, frankly, some daunting fiscal realities. But we also must avoid
setting unrealistic expectations. NASA's $5.4 billion investment in its
Earth and space science portfolio is almost the size of the entire National
Science Foundation, and this robust portfolio has grown at a rate
significantly greater than has NASA's top line budget over the past decade.
Such growth cannot logically be supported within an overall portfolio that
is at best fixed in constant dollars.

But we must also acknowledge the plain fact that we cannot do everything
that was on our plate when I assumed office. All of you know many reasons
why this is so. NASA can only move forward on our fundamental missions of
exploration, science and aeronautics at the pace that available resources
will allow, so it is important to be as efficient as possible in allocating
these resources. To this end, we have made several changes in recent months,
and I would like to discuss some of these changes with you tonight.

First, we are reconstituting the organization the Science Mission
Directorate into separate offices for Earth science, heliophysics, planetary
science and physics and astronomy.

Second, Mary is defining an executable science program across each of these
portfolios in Earth and space science. She is conducting a rigorous review
of each flight project now in formulation and development, and establishing
gates through which each program must pass in order to proceed from
formulation to development. This process requires balancing technical
performance against cost, evaluating the management team that is in place,
and rigorously identifying risks and defining plans to mitigate them. We
very much need better cost discipline in the large assignment missions, as
cost growth inhibits the future of the smaller, but incredibly prolific,
competed lines.

Third, we are returning to NASA's classical approach to science management,
including relying on outside bodies for strategic advice on the ranking of
missions by priority. In each of the four major elements of our research
portfolio, we will establish priorities through dialog with the science
community, based on the budget realities we face. The decadal surveys of the
National Research Council have proven essential to this process in the past,
and we will continue to rely on them as authoritative sources of science
community priorities. We also will engage in more frequent venues for dialog
with the science community, such as professional society conferences like
these. For tactical level advice we will engage the science community in
workshops that help us to implement successful programs by balancing
detailed technical requirements, cost and schedule. A principle source of
advice at this level is the NASA Advisory Council, which has just been
reconstituted. The NAC has five committees, including a five-member science
committee with many subcommittees. I believe the latter group's advice will
be very helpful to the agency.

Many of you are interested in our plans for Earth science. While it is true
this activity does not get the media attention that human spaceflight and
planetary exploration receive, I can assure you it is an important activity
that we are determined to continue well beyond the completion of the Earth
Observation System.

I believe most of you know that I have significantly re-emphasized Earth
science since rejoining NASA earlier this year. Our Earth science programs
are essential to the accomplishment of three initiatives begun by President
Bush: The Climate Change Research program, the Global Earth Observation
System and the Oceans Action Plan. We recognize that through our
contributions to these initiatives, NASA is providing researchers around the
world with unprecedented access to diverse data about the Earth system. This
is being done at a time when there are huge societally relevant questions
about global changes that require the view from space.

One need look no further than NASA's contributions to this season's
hurricane predictions to recognize that we are getting tremendous value out
of our Earth observation satellites. Indeed, as a result of NASA's
development and deployment in the past decade of the Tropical Rainfall
Measuring Mission (TRMM), the Aqua satellite and the Quickscat sea winds
measurement instrument, our colleagues at the National Weather Service are
now able to predict the formation of tropical storms nine days instead of
seven days out, and predict landfall within 400 miles of coastline instead
of 800. Such advances allow significant improvement in the marshalling of
resources to deal with the inevitable property destruction of, and better
warning to people likely to be affected by, major hurricanes.

At NASA's request, the National Research Council has undertaken its first
decadal survey for Earth science and applications from space. Our colleagues
at NOAA and the U.S. Geological Survey are co-sponsors of this effort, whose
results should be available by the end of next year. We will use these
results to create a profile with an optimal mix of systematic and
exploratory missions, technology development, and research programs to
implement the survey's priorities and the presidential initiatives I

Turning to the sun, NASA's heliophysics program is helping us to gain a
better understanding of the sun, and the sun's interaction with Earth, other
planetary environments, and interplanetary space itself. We have used a
strategy of deploying frequent, smaller missions within this vast system to
form a distributed Great Observatory that is truly greater than the sum of
its parts. Next year, we are poised to reap the rewards of several years of
hard work.

In 2006, we will launch STEREO, a mission to track the evolution of solar
disturbances from the sun's surface to Earth's orbit; the five-satellite
THEMIS mission to determine the causes of space weather reconfigurations of
Earth's near space environment; and the AIM small explorer satellite that
will examine the formation of the highest altitude clouds in Earth's
atmosphere in response to external and internal forcing functions. Also next
year, we look forward to deployment of the NASA CINDI and TWINS instruments
on two DoD missions, and to providing instrumentation for Japan's Solar-B
mission that will resolve magnetic fields on the sun's surface and how they
interact with the sun's outer atmosphere.

Similarly, our planetary program is guided by the decadal surveys we have in
hand, and we will proceed with our planetary mission priorities as quickly
as our budget will allow. One area pinpointed for further attention is the
Moon. As we plan to return to the Moon to open up the next great era of
space exploration, I'd like to mention a few of the new vistas a more
extensive focus on lunar exploration will provide. Paul Spudis, my former
colleague at Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory, has
written extensively on the subject, including a Scientific American article
from December 2003 that I commend to your attention. In the article, Paul
notes that scientists still have many unanswered questions about the Moon's
history, composition and internal structure, whose understanding may also
illuminate the history of all the rocky planets in the inner solar system.
Paul also wrote of the importance of determining whether significant amounts
water ice do in fact exist in lunar polar areas. If confirmed, such a
discovery would offer the hope that a lunar base would have a source of
water for life support as well as for rocket fuel.

We're looking at a number of promising lunar science targets in our Robotic
Lunar Exploration Program, an activity that links our Exploration and
Science Mission Directorates. Their collaboration began with the Lunar
Reconnaissance Orbiter now in development for launch in 2008. The Science
Mission Directorate managed the selection process for the Lunar
Reconnaissance Orbiter instruments, and will play a Program and Project
Scientist role in spacecraft development managed by the Exploration Systems
Mission Directorate.

Of course, we're also interested in outer planet exploration which
represents some of the most challenging scientific missions NASA carries
out. I already mentioned the New Horizons mission set to launch next month.
We're in the preliminary design phase for the Juno mission that will
investigate whether an icy rock core exists at the center of Jupiter, and
NASA hopes to conduct future missions to investigate the potential of life
at Europa, Titan, and other compelling targets for outer planet exploration.
Again, these missions represent some of the most technically challenging
science missions for NASA over the next decade. And I'm also very intrigued
by Ed Lu and Rusty Schweickart's ideas about nudging large near-Earth
asteroids before they can pose a threat to humanity. We will most certainly
continue our work to discover large asteroids close to the Earth.

It is important to note that we cannot accomplish all our goals for science
and exploration on our own. We're very fortunate to have strong partnerships
with a number of spacefaring countries. Today, 29 of NASA's 53 ongoing
planetary, astronomy and Earth-observing satellites and spacecraft missions
include international participation, with NASA involved in 13 operating
science missions led by our international partners. As I've said on numerous
occasions, I am looking forward to the opportunity to enlarge and extend
these partnerships.

In closing, please allow me to offer a few thoughts on what we might achieve
in science if we move ahead with purpose and dispatch with our space
exploration program.

By 2020 we will be surveying our portion of the galaxy to create a census of
extra-solar planets, and using the next generation of space telescopes to
study the origin and destiny of the universe. We will be probing the Martian
surface and subsurface for resources that will enable human exploration, and
to answer questions about the past and present habitability of Mars.
Together with our partners we will have created a global Earth observing
system that includes sentinel satellites in higher orbits communicating with
active remote sensing systems in lower orbits. These systems will provide
both real time information for hazard warning and management and the long
term data records required to understand and predict global change.

All of these advances will come about because of the hard work and
commitment of our diverse community, which I believe has its greatest
successes when we allow the pursuit of exploration and scientific progress
to complement each other.
I thank you for your hospitality today, and again extend my heartfelt thanks
to all of you for your commitment to regaining the initiative that has
driven our past successes.





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