Cross posted at NMSTARG
In the two recent posts that dealt with the inglorious history of human presence in space (HERE) and (HERE), we saw that NASA was always at the mercy of the funding equation: No bucks, no Buck Rogers.
The posts were very critical of the Government for shortsightedness in underfunding NASA. So instead of history recording that shuttles to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and the Moon (as seen in 2001: A Space Odyssey) were now commonplace, we are nowhere near that.
So the obvious question arises out of all of this: Is there something that can be done to solve the funding equation? In other words, is there a way to get to Clarke's and Kubrick's vision of the (near) future today?
Of course, the answer is yes, otherwise, we would be wasting perfectly good Daily Kos real estate!
We will present our case in the following order:
+ Spaceport Infrastructure
+ The Low Earth Orbit Transportation Vehicle
+ LEO Infrastructure
+ The Orbital Transfer Vehicle and Its Variants
+ Low Lunar Polar Orbit Infrastructure
+ Lunar Surface Infrastructure
+ Estimated Costs
+ Paying For It All
+ Revenue Streams
We saved the last two sections for last, so that the reader can ascertain whether the program as will be outlined is viable. Without the infrastructure laid down beforehand, there is just no way to pay for this grand adventure.
Ultimately, we will (gasp!) learn from the past and incorporate most of what NASA had wanted to do into our space program. There will be, however, one fundamental difference between what we are proposing and what NASA had wanted.
We will show in detail how to pay for everything.