A more affordable means of space travel could soon become a reality as scientists from the National Space Society (NSS) and the Space Frontier Foundation (SFF) discovered a way to collect resources from the Moon and use them to help fund human space exploration.
Officials from both the NSS and the SFF released their latest NextGen Space research, entitled Economic Assessment and Systems Analysis of an Evolvable Lunar Architecture that Leverages Commercial Space Capabilities and Public-Private-Partnerships, in which they highlighted the potential of cutting costs for manned missions to the Moon through public-private partnerships.
The study suggests that expenses could be reduced by as much as 90 percent of the $100 billion that was initially estimated. This would allow the government of the United States to establish national security in the age of space exploration.
Jeff Feige, SFF's Chairman of the Board, said that the foundation supports partnerships between the public and private sectors with regards to all manned spaceflight missions proposed to cut back on expenses and allow these programs to become more affordable than before.
Feige explained that by doing so, American can settle what is considered the final frontier, save the money of taxpayers and launch a new age of economic development and STEM innovation.
According to the study, the two organizations stated that public-private partnerships could help make the current NASA budget more sufficient for manned spaceflight to the Moon and establish a permanent base of operations on its surface.
They also underlined the possibility of extracting fuel from the poles of the Moon and transferring it to lunar orbit in order to be used by other space vehicles. This could significantly reduce the cost of manned space missions to Mars and other points of interest outside the orbit of the Earth.
The NSS and SFF believe that these proposed commercial depots for fuel in the Moon's orbit could cut expenses for human spaceflight to Mars by over $10 billion each year.
Both the National Space Society and the Space Frontier Foundation said that space missions that are capable of establishing potential commercial partnerships can also produce similar reductions in costs.