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J R B, , "Mex-LunarHab (MLH) - A Mexican Space Habitat Settlement on the Moon", .
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Mex-LunarHab (MLH) - A Mexican Space Habitat Settlement on the Moon
Jesus Raygoza B
At a site above 1,200 and 2,500 meters in the State of Chihuahua on a mountain named Cerro del Pajarito (Little Bird's Mountain), our plan is to establish a Lunar Mexico Habitat Analogue Project named Mex-LunarHab (MLH) as a Lunar Economic Development Authority, Inc. (LEDA) asset[1,2]. Such project will be paving the way for a real habitat-spacecraft, the real MLH.

For our Lunar Mexico Habitat Analogue Project (the MLH Simulator Station), we would be using the Cerro del Pajarito near Nuevo Casas Grandes. On this site there are geological conditions for scientific research and working activities as those needed to be accomplished on a harsh place for man as the lunar surface, as proposed by this author to mines engineer Dr. Brad R. Blair, President of LEDA, and to Declan J. O'Donnell, Esq., President/Founder of the United Societies in Space, Inc. (USIS), and founder and a Member of the LEDA Board of Directors.

The Mexican Space Society (SEM) will be in charge of the central management for this projects, the Simulator Station and the real habitat Mex-LunarHab. Our proposals and intentions for making this space program operative is to generate interest for Mexican space activities. This space habitat intend to be the tip of the lance in developing joint programs for supporting a very needed return to the Moon under simulated scientific exploration; actual scientific and technological research in several different areas; harnessing the robotic lunar exploration, as well as human exploration; and, generating programs to stimulate planetary missions in Low-Earth-Orbit ( LEO); and also to generate other space-related activities. Another major goal to be reached is to contribute to generate excellent international cooperative techniques; in a short term, to encourage the so-long needed establishment of a Mexican Space Agency; likewise, the formation of an Ibero-American space agency; and, in a long-term, an international space agency.

The Mexican MLH Scientific-Technologic Research Program is also including the following disciplines: Geology, Biology, Meteorology, Medicine--Telemedicine, Psychology, Agriculture, Nutrition, Exobiology, Vegetal Ecology, Mining and Energy.

Designing the Habitat: Mex-LunarHab (MLH)

The design of this habitat displays some technical innovations. Defining the hardware is easy to do and the engineer within each of us wants to sit down and immediately build hardware. But, I am interested in focusing such talent and enthusiasm onto a succession of smaller steps which will eventually realize the installation of outposts of humankind on the Moon.

As Dr. Wernher von Braun once said: "Basic research is what I am doing when I don't know what I am doing". I myself as I sat dawn by the first time, and I started to be drawing some sketches, so many things came onto my mind. Among those ideas jumping in my brain were: First, to find the best practical way to safely put the Mex-LunarHab habitat-spaceship on the Moon; then, optimizing spaces in any compartment. This was just the beginning. Obviously, it led me to think in ultimately drawing cylinders and spheres. A cylinder is simpler to fabricate than a sphere. And a sphere is probably easier to deploy. A short example may serve to demonstrate the respective useful achievements.

Cylinders would likely be machined from slabs of titanium, much as Lockheed Martin builds Titan and Atlas V airframes. Titanium is very hard to weld but may yield to vacuum processes on the Moon if the working surfaces can be keep clean during welding. Powered by one engine, MLH's sphere would land on the Moon on its own power. Likewise, the metallic cylinders, would do the same operation by their own. This is which also actually makes this habitat a spaceship.

Any cylinder finding its way to the Moon will probably expend its early life as a fuel or oxidizer tank. That is how it pays its way there. Assemble 4, 5 or 6 tanks of comparable diameters and length into a square or polygon with airlock couplings at each joint. For instance, 2 cylinders should be metallic (fuel tanks) and 2 inflatable ones. Once the tanks are placed and coupled then a sphere is placed in the center of the cylinder ring, bolted to the tanks and inflated. Once the sphere is fully deployed epoxy is injected into cavities in the fabric where it hardens. Then the whole thing is covered with the excavated regolith(A).

Yet, engineered by our group of 24 engineers and technicians led by Francisco Tijerina S. from the National Electricity Commission's (CFE) Laguna Verde Nuclear Plant, MLH may remain uncovered— it is an innovation applied to remain propietary for now(B).

The fuel thanks can be fabricated with the airlock joint on one end and a receiver on the other. This asymmetry has both advantages and disadvantages. There is certain functional elegance which can be appreciated by anyone who is ever played building a model using "bricks", as those like Legos.

The concepts will be managed depending on the following aspects:

  1. Optimization of spaces in each compartment
  2. Size reduction
  3. Risk reduction for the astronaut's life and the habitat's integrity

Using the cylinders, the whole habitat-spaceship will be capable to contain a sleeping compartment, resting and working out areas, a toilet and a bathroom. In some other levels will be located the infirmary and telemedicine compartments; laboratories of mining, geology, astronomy, astrophysics, and biology; a chamber for extravehicular activities (EVAs), containing two airlocks for decontamination and dust cleaning, and another one for air decompression.

The outer space-related environmental parameters of high radiation flux, low weight, and superior reliability limits many typical aerospace materials to a short list reducing high performance alloys, nanocomposites and thin-layer metal laminates (Al-Ag, Al-Cu) with typical dimensions less than the Frank-Reed-type (packing flaws or "weak" points crystalographically) dislocation source.

A Possible Places for the Lunar Mexico Habitat Analogue Project to be on Earth: At 30o 27' 40" Latitude, 107o 55' 15" Longitude

The Lunar Mexico Habitat Analogue Project or Mex-LunarHab (MLH) Simulation Station would be placed on the Cerro del Pajarito Mountain. The MLH will be set up on a plain land, to still be carefully chosen, which will permit to make all kind of tests with rovers (pressurized scouting vehicles) or human simulation expeditions (including, a sandbox for tourist attraction, for people to use remote-control robots).

The immediate benefits for the people living in that area will intrinsically be related to a bigger improvement in their economical, educational and natural environment situation. In closed environments on the Moon, we will need to create some ecosystems as closer to Earth's. Therefore,

  1. An increased optimization in agricultural development to generate immediate benefits to the local agriculture; an adaptation programmed for cultivating potatoes, using technology for open greenhouses will be investigated.
  2. Reforesting eroded areas at those where MLH is going to stay, either it is the Cerro del Pajarito Mountain. This place is close to the archeological site of Paquime which has been designed as national park by UNESCO as a humankind's patrimony. By using techniques for deserts to stop for keeping growing up.
  3. Developing new technologies or improving those already existing ones.
  4. A better and larger improved education for the younger population.
  1. an increased tourist activity.

Today the relationship between powerful countries and dependant countries is one of technological dependence. In other times, countries were controlled by violence. In our present age, advanced technology plays this role. If Mexico is not a developed country, it is risking its national security. It is very important today to have relations with other countries, to share resources, to share experiences in order to try to go further to meet the needs of our populations.

The Questions of Private Funding and Government Funding

Cost is a major objection to a long-range human lunar program. Mars human expeditions are several times more expensive and involve serious and unacceptable risks to crew survival. As we are behind schedule for exploring, living and working on both the Moon and Mars, investment in technology development and research in a lunar program can replace much investment toward a Mars program, if planned wisely. Ironically, in the United States an objection to going back to the Moon, raised by the followers (as former NASA administrator Dan Goldin) of the "cost-effective" doctrine, is that a lunar program of exploration would be an obstacle to the exploration of Mars.

Of course, under the latter viewpoint, already formed interests inside NASA and its client aerospace contractors would pursue ever more complex projects related to lunar infrastructure, with no intention to embark on new explorations; and it is true that NASA historically focuses attention on a major thrust only when the current program is expiring. This means that future planning is tactical rather than strategic.

Besides, historically also is a fact that although bureaucratic pressure on NASA programmers is on, the idea that humankind will forget about exploration of the Red Planet is plainly absurd. And, that such concern should exist is evidence that NASA is not properly doing its job, a job for which it was founded, and that the public supporting the entire space program has not been part of an alien misguided conduction. So far, true expectations of future human space expeditions are alive only in school children and in science-fiction novels, movies, and television series. And, not only in the United States but the rest of the space involved-nations, the objection assumes that exploring the Moon "will also undermine our nations", that "no one will have the energy to keep going to the planets beyond". Yet, on the contrary, real human history shows us that embarking into new lands generates creativity and debunk old ways of thinking in the generation that is raised on its threshold. In fact, nowhere in history, the Apollo Program opened a very wide pathway induced inertia.

Human exploration of the Moon will thrust the human exploration of Mars, which the latter as regarded as only one element of exploration of the Solar System, the establishment of a permanent human presence on our "Seventh Continent" is not a hobby or an impediment, but rather part of our historical process.

Thus, in our unfavorable present situation, in order to get things done, one of the very early steps is to identify our commercial customers. Who is it that requires either the presence of humans on the Moon or a product which can only be produced there? These customers have to have a financial advantage from the Moon's products and services before anyone is going to set up cabins there.

Therefore, in sum, is the historical context in which to see the case for the Moon. As a first background, President Harry S. Truman had radically cut off the incipient U. S. space program, started at the end of the Second World War. After cancellation of the Apollo Program, a premature cancellation of the last three missions, indeed, and when the manned program to Mars was cancelled, Dr. Thomas O. Paine resigned as NASA director. It is how during the Richard M. Nixon administration, NASA ceased long-range planning for the Moon exploration. The reasons:

  1. It was not a real commitment by the U.S. for a long-range Kennedy-style space program as a whole (no space station, no lunar base, no trips to Mars, and on, and on); and,
  2. whether we like to commercialize first the Moon or not, there was no compelling commercial need.

After the Challenger explosion in January 1986, President Ronald W. Reagan announced his National Space Policy in January 1988. This policy was based upon key areas of space activity critical to achieving technical, scientific, economic, national security, and foreign policy goals. The government was involved in space activities in the civil sector, commercial sector, and national defense/military. It also stated the long term goal of expanding human presence and activity beyond Earth orbit into the Solar System[3]. This is how begun the present exploration of Mars, so far, a robotic one. However, most of that goal was not reached because a proper economic policy was needed to be implemented. Anyway, in the future, President Reagan will be remembered as the President who begun the exploration of Mars.

Thus, directly by Reagan's 1988 National Space Policy NASA again began examining possible future scenarios for human exploration beyond Earth orbit. The pace of these studies accelerated after the 1989 speech by President George Bush, founding the short-lived Space Exploration Initiative[4]. On August 7, 1996, a team of NASA scientists announced studies of a meteorite from Mars as showing a biological origin for several types of features, implying past life on that planet. NASA leadership became interested in missions to the Red Planet, and the Mars Design Reference Mission, conceived under the Space Exploration Initiative, became the basis for the U.S. space agency's thinking about future human missions into the Solar System.

In 1931, the U. S. rocket pioneer, Robert H. Goddard, once recalled his advisers from the Carnegie Institution and the David Guggenheim Foundation that investing in unknown scientific territory, testing theories through experimental processes, often is a difficult process, frustrating sometimes, and taking a long time. Most of the time, the results do not show up very fast. Problems arise because uncertainty associated with the new developments. Trying to explain why rocket advancement was a slow task, Goddard said that then "chemical propulsion was a new research difficulty, and completely hard to design and to build a new special engine of common use"[5]. This is certainly applied to any new entire technology.

The national governments on Earth today must invest in space exploration and space R&D as the U.S. did during the early 1960s.Any national government on Earth must make strategic plans. Government initiative is certainly very much important and very much needed: That is how the Apollo Program became one of the most successful scientific-technologic projects ever in history. Today, it still seems we are to wait that government money may follow private money for the next effort, and everything point straight that that effort will have to be a mostly privately-funded projects. Yet, we are to earnestly keep pressing our national governments for investing in space R&D and space exploration.

For Funding The Mex-LunarHab Project, Which Way to Go?

As a privately funded project, we do not still know now how it may exactly be funded. But, as we go, the execution of project management and fundraising The Mex-LunarHab Project (MLH) and other legalities could be quite instructive to USIS, LEDA, and the Space Orbital Development Authority, Inc. (SODA).

USIS bonds when subscribed, could be one source of infrastructural money (that is money to rise other money). For the Lunar Mexico Habitat Analogue Project, we will go through corporate sponsorships, government grants, tourist attractions (as those already discussed in the State of Veracruz about the site for our Mars Simulator Station named The Mex-AreoHab Project (MAH) on the Pico de Orizaba Mountain), postcards and other publishable goods, etc. As also the universities would be bringing some of their research and research money to the project (similarly as now envisioned for MAH which would provide us of previous experience).

Nevertheless, whatever turns out, the next entire lunar effort will be slightly easier than the first time that the United States did it. Since we now have the International Space Station ( ISS) we can figure out how to make it to the Moon without using Saturn Vs to launch the whole package. We will still need to send an orbiter and a lander at escape velocity to the Moon. Since it has done before the effort should only be about 50% to 60% of the previous Apollo Program ($25B), adjusted for inflation ($150B).

To illustrate our standpoint here, even though MLH is a far more complicated apparatus to be built than the Clementine 1 lunar probe, we can use the latter as an example. Clementine 1 was primarily a Department of Defense project, and NASA had minimal involvement. Clementine 1 was designed, built, and launched in almost two years by a small team of 25 technicians, and it came in under its $55 million budget. The Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) had been in charge of the entire project. The same project manager, Lieutenant Colonel Pedro Rustan once said: "The spacecraft has been designed, built, tested, and controlled in space by a team of 55 people. We do not need a lot of fancy scientists Ph. D.s to build a spacecraft."[6] He also said another true statement regarding Clementine 1: "The most important lesson, Rustan said, is that the government is better equipped than private industry to build demonstration spacecraft"[7].

Future Plans and Activities for both the Lunar Mexico Habitat Analogue Project and the Mex-LunarHab (MLH) Project

As we will review below, the actual MLH is intended to be incorporate to an industrial manufacturing park on the Moon, that will be dedicated to in-situ resources utilization, where raw materials will also be delivered and processed. Evidently, in order to get reliable life-support systems, we are to operate indefinitely a required substantial engineering. Therefore, keeping in mind, the design of how to safely put MLH and its respective equipment on the lunar surface is not the only one challenge to cope with, but the design of real working improved Advanced Life Support (ALS) systems.

Once we reach the Moon, among some other activities, we are to be efficiently able to establish agricultural facilities there. To get this work done, we have our own skilled Biology Group led by biologist Omar Pensado Diaz, who also is currently designing experiments for the Mex-AreoHab (MAH) Simulator Habitat to be developed on the Pico de Orizaba Mountain. Biologist Pensado is already committed in developing a peculiar biological plan for terraforming Mars, or how he uses to call, "remodeling the planet".

As the author of this article, in the Mexican Section's MLH Designing Group are Gary J. Rodriguez (overall) from sysRand Corporation, Mario Velasquez R. (architectonic), and engineer in electricity Francisco Tijerina S. (engineering) who is leading a group of other 24 engineers and technicians from the National Electricity Commission's (CFE) Laguna Verde Nuclear Plant in Laguna Verde, Veracruz; the U. S. Advisers Section is formed by Drs. David G. Schrunk, Madhu Thangavelu, as well as Dennis Laurie & Paul Blase (TransOrbital), and Felipe A. Hernandez (Chile).

In Computing Design Systems is Rodolfo Hernandez B. and Manjunata Krishnamurthy (India); Telemedicine, Leticia Magana C. For designing Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVAs) systems: NASA expert Pablo De Leon (Argentine). Space Suits: Elaine A. Walker. Aerospace Medicine: Linda M. Plush, MSN, PHN, CNS/FNP, and Dr. Eleanor O'Rangers, PharmD. Robotics: Yuske Sakai (Japan). On legal space issues: Declan J. O'Donnnell, Esq., and Dr. David G. Schrunk. And, Policy Adviser: Eligar Sadeh. Non-profit space organizations directly involved: Mexico: Mexican Space Society (SEM) and Institute for Advanced Sciences (ICA) United States: Lunar Economic Development Authority, Inc. (LEDA), United Societies in Space, Inc. (USIS), Space Orbital Development Authority (SODA), and the National Space Society/New York City (NSS/NYC) Chapter. Sponsoring aerospace and non-aerospace companies directly involved: United States: TransOrbital and sysRand Corporation. Special thanks in the United States to Steve Durst and Michael Cerney from Spaceagepub for publishing MLH. Also special thanks to Marsha Freeman, Associate Editor to 21st Century Science and Technology magazine, and David Livingston, host of the radio show The SpaceShow, for their continuing interest on the MLH. In Mexico (State of Chihuahua), also special thanks to Mr. Virgilio Polanco Salices, promoter of the Cd. Juarez and Nuevo Casas Grandes regions, and Fernando Diazsantana in charge of the cultural promotion in the county of Nuevo Casas Grandes. Thanking for the support received in Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua, by economist Ivan Polanco B., President of the incipient SEM Chihuahua Chapter, and his collaborators economist Eustacio Beltran M., E.S.I. Rene E. Samble, Leonardo Raygoza B.; and Raul Perez Alvarado in Chihuahua City; in Xalapa, Veracruz, chemist Leticia Magana C., President of the SEM Veracruz Chapter and biologist Omar Pensado D., President of the Institute for Advanced Sciences (ICA) and Secretary of the SEM Chapter; in Mexico, D. F. by Engineer Ignacio Quesada S., President of the SEM D.F. Chapter; and in Brooklyn, N. Y. by Elaine A. Walker, Acting President of the SEM/NY Chapter. Also thanking lawyer Luis Miranda G., President of the SEM Jalisco Chapter and historian Arturo Carreno A., both in charge of the SEM Headquarters in Guadalajara, Jalisco. We have still to deal more with robots, tractors, and other transport systems. On nuclear power, the power plant engineers onboard might plan a section of the "reservation" for isolated tests of nuclear power sources, which would have to primarily be previously supervised and regulated by the Federal Electricity Commission's (CFE) expert engineers themselves, already working along with the rest of us. Nuclear is only one part of the development of a country, but if we can handle nuclear, we can handle other technologies. As the Mars Project Director of the Space Frontier Foundation (SFF), and leader of other recognized space-related organizations, Elaine Walker has stated that: "… I am very proud and honored to be part of the MLH team… MLH is a very important opportunity for Mexico to get involved in serious humans-in-space research, and one that will help to fill in the many gaps in our knowledge regarding how humans can eventually live and work in space. Scientists involved in other analog projects such as the one in Devon Island, all agree on the serious need for other habitats in different areas around the world. An incredible amount of data is still needed regarding habitat design, spacesuits, crew working procedures, robotics and communications, and as one of the very few analog habitats in the world, MLH will be a focal point for important scientific research in these areas." Apollo Program veteran and co-author of the very well recognized book The Moon: Resources, Future Development, and Colonization, Dr. David G. Schrunk expressed: "… I believe that the Moon will someday be an inhabited sister planet of the Earth. One of the first steps in the 'Planet Moon Project' will be to test lunar conditions and technologies here on Earth. The fully commissioned international Mex-LunarHab simulator will allow us to take that first step, and it will therefore make significant contributions towards the establishment of a permanent base on the Moon. Please let me know how I can contribute to the success of the Mex-Lunarhab project." Pablo De Leon, President of De Leon Technologies LLC of Argentina, an aerospace company based in Cape Canaveral and one competing to win the X-Prize contest, offered: "I will be cooperating with the Mexican Moon Habitat Analogue Project named Mex-LunarHab (MLH) in the development of training spacesuits for planetary exploration. I believe that this project is an important part of the next steps for the evolution and development of planetary settlement".

A Possible Future Site for the MLH Real Habitat: At 0o Longitude, 86o S Latitude on the Moon

Selecting site for the first, initially unmanned, permanent lunar bases is already in progress. A logical site for one of the first bases will be at the highest latitude of the Moon that can provide a continuous post telecommunications link with the Earth, such as the Southern Pole. To get near-continuous sunlight is available at the north and south polar regions of the Moon, with the possibility of finding concentrations of water-ice, hydrogen that are needed for industrial processes and for life support systems, and they are suitable locations for the construction of the first utilities grid. Obviously, for lunar power generation, nuclear reactors have previously been considered a first choice compared to solar photovoltaics, since most places on the Moon receive 14 days of sunlight followed for 14 days of darkness. But, the south polar region has geographical points of higher elevation that provides the placement of provisional solar power and communication equipment for the first lunar base. The north polar region is also applicable.

As the site for the first permanent lunar base, the preferred beginning point is on the Earth-facing side of the Moon at 0o longitude and 85o S latitude (85o S or N is also the highest latitude that permits continuous line-of-sight teleoperation of robots from the Earth). That site is, the "Newton Base", in the Malapert Mountain[8] in the south polar region, as Drs. Madhu Thangavelu, Burton Sharpe, David Schrunk, and Bonnie Cooper have pointed out so specifically (The Moon, pp. 26, 91, 121). "Newton Base" is near the crater Newton, hence the name. That is a probable site for the Mex-LunarHab to become part of a future lunar base. A second unmanned site is on even higher ground at about 30o W longitude, 83o S latitude (approximately 100 km north and west of Newton Base). By its geographical position the Newton Base site may receive more than 340 days of sunlight per year for solar power generation. There are some other potential sites for mining and industrial processing, as engineer in mines Brad Blair has pointed out that "at the present, only six locations on the lunar surface qualify as candidates for the design of a mining and extraction system: The landing sites of the Apollo missions"[9]. There, through human-made activity on the Moon, detailed scientific investigations were covered up.

At the late 1950s, it was believed the Moon had no water, and for establishing an earlier lunar outpost sites were considered to be closer to the equator rather than the poles, as the landing sites of the Apollo missions. At the Project Horizon Report, the first lunar base ever designed, was stated that "... for a number of technical reasons, such as temperature and rocket energy requirements, the area bounded by plus/minus 20o latitude/longitude of the optical center of the Moon seems favorable... three particular sites have been chosen which appear to meet the more detailed requirements of landing space,..."[10] (Project Horizon Report, Vol. I, Chapter II, p. 8).

In our present time, the Clementine probe imaging experiment showed that such permanently shadowed areas exist in the bottom of deep craters near the Moon's south pole. The NASA-funded Lunar Prospector results showed a much larger areas having water at the north pole. Anyway, much of the area around the south pole is within the south pole-Aitken Basin, a crater 2,500 km in diameter and 12 km deep as it lowest point, and many smaller craters exist on the floor of this basin, which, are never exposed to sunlight, and within them the temperature would never rise above –173o C (100 K). Thus, in that stable temperature, deep inside the regolith, approximately 3 m deep, somewhere in the Malapert Mountain, the MLH would be installed in.

A Lunar Industrial-Manufacturing Park is Certainly Needed

The Mex-LunarHab (MLH) would also be incorporate in a not-so-far future industrial-manufacturing park that is dedicated to in-situ resource utilization, where raw materials will also be delivered and processed. The lunar railroad will be the primary means of long-distance transportation of raw materials on the Moon, which will be crossing the Moon from the south pole to the north pole. "The challenge of building a circumferential lunar rail system is virtually the same challenge as building the electric grid, and both construction projects can be undertaken simultaneously..."[11] (as well in The Moon, pp. 93-99). Teleoperated robots that will be delivered from Earth to the Moon will be needed for the initial mining extracting hydrogen, oxygen, silicon, aluminum and iron; processing, manufacturing (solar cells, construction materials, computer chips, electric cables, ceramics, etc.); and transportation tasks of the circumferential utilities grid construction project. In this condition, professionals of very many different disciplines would be able to work on the Moon[12].

Human settlements on the Moon will require real substantial advances in control mechanisms and monitors to stay operating for a long-term control and maintenance of recycling air, water, agricultural, and waste management systems, a very advanced life support (ALS) systems. The MLH will also be conducting closed habitat tests for long period of times on its Earth site. Evidently, in order to get reliable life-support systems, we are to operate indefinitely a required substantial engineering. A big challenge for the design of ALS will be the establishment of agricultural facilities on the Moon. So far, the growth of plants from seeds and their agricultural experiments have already been conducted in the microgravity environment of space stations, but no food crop cycle has been accomplished in space.

One of the MLH major projects is to develop an extensive program of agricultural and forest experiments (the growth of food crops in the lunar regolith, a handful of regolith transformed into soil, could be one of the activities in biology done in the Mexican habitat). In cases of long staying in space, humans need to have as close to the same conditions as possible as on Earth, in order not to suffer irreversible physical damage. For proper functioning, the body requires traditional foods (not freeze-dried, or in the form of pills), in order to carry out such regular functions as intestinal peristalsis and the supply of maximum possible vital energy to the cells. This can only be obtained by raising fresh vegetables, and this is possible only with the utilization of aeroponic technology, since there is no soil in space and some work is needed to change Moon dust into Earth-like soil by the insertion of carbon, nitrogen, calcium mass plus trace minerals (not so much change is needed on Mars surface). Thus, if we want to colonize space by allowing a long stay for some human beings, the only solution is aeroponics. Aeroponic techniques are a spin off from the space program. NASA begun studying them to solve problems of feeding people employed in space exploration and colonization.

Although hydroponics has long been developed for areas with little cultivable land or short growing seasons, aeroponics is potentially a superior growing method all around (and cheaper), for several reasons. Hydroponics requires a substratum which is often expensive, and its function is more difficult than aeroponics one. In aeroponics, plants are inserted into support structures with their roots suspended in the air. The roots are regularly sprayed with a nutrient solution which is recycled through a closed-circuit hydraulic system, in order to minimize water and chemical dispersion. In MLH is intended to use, to experiment and to develop aeroponics. In this habitat, potatoes, onions, carrots, lettuce, etc., would not only be growing in a highly controlled growing situation, advanced experiments will also be carried out. Aeroponic products tend to be richer in nutrients, homogeneous in size, and to ripen more quickly.

A Goal to Still Be Accomplished: A 24-Hour Trip to the Moon

The technology used by the Apollo Program was good enough for the few exploration flights to the Moon, but it is too expensive and inefficient for making an efficient lunar spaceport and an industrial base. Still, for the present Space Shuttle to carry people and equipment from the Earth's surface to a circumterrestrial orbit, it costs about $10,000 dollars per kilogram. For reaching circumterrestrial orbit, the practical solution is a type of Single Stage to Orbit ( SSTO) vehicle as both the late Delta Clipper and the Rotor, or the envisioned systems as the original U.S. space transportation system, alike the German Saenger, or the French Hermes. Similar vehicles as the latter, being under development also in Japan for transporting passengers and equipment to space, should reduce actual costs lower than 5%.

The reason cargo-fuel of the chemical propulsion is low. To put 1 ton of cargo in circumterrestrial orbit, 9 tons of fuel are needed! If cargo is passengers or a greatly valuable technology, this is permissible; but if we want to supply lunar spaceships or interplanetary ones by carrying huge amounts of chemical fuel, it is totally inefficient. Is it not much better to carry fusion nuclear fuel? Fusion nuclear fuel generates one million more times of energy by weight unit. Thinking about it, perhaps some of us can understand much better why nuclear energy is so decisive here on Earth too.

Therefore, travel in space requires large amounts of energy. The density of the energy released from nuclear fission, or nuclear fusion, reaction is orders of magnitude higher than from the energy liberated from the current chemical fuels used for space propulsion. Today's Apollo Program's Saturn V rockets exist only in museums, and its estimated that it would take 10 years and $10 billion to remake them. In 1961, President Kennedy did not believe that chemical propulsion systems were the future of the space program at large. In his historic speech on May 25, 1961, the "Special Message to the Congress on Urgent Needs"[13], Kennedy, for his lunar program, specified a request of "an additional $23 million, together with $7 million already available to accelerate development of the Rover nuclear rocket". Then, such as this President said, "this gives promise of someday providing a means for even more exciting and ambitious exploration of space, perhaps beyond the Moon, perhaps to the very end of the Solar System itself", NASA designed, built, and tested 20 rocket nuclear reactors: The Rover and the Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application (NERVA), which demonstrated the feasibility of space nuclear power. In reality, the only advantage today to using chemical propulsion systems, is that we are accustomed to use them.

From 1959 to 1972, made what in today's dollars would be $10 billion investment to design, develop, and test the world's first space nuclear reactors. But, even when these devices were very successful, they were cancelled in early 1973, when obvious unasserted economic policies led to very big cuts in NASA's budget, terminating lunar colonization and manned missions to Mars. A few years after the beginning of the nuclear rocket program in the U.S., a similar effort was started in the former Soviet Union. Although there were no integrated engine system tests conducted in Russia or Kazakhstan, different kind of these same related devices were tested at the Semipalatinsk facility in Kazakhstan, and they are still in progress.

In general, the Mars Design Reference Mission conservatively assumes chemical propulsion only slightly more advanced than the current state of affairs. Still, our problem persists: Hundreds of tons of mass are required to be launched from Earth orbit for each mission. Choosing interplanetary trajectories that require the least energy from propulsion minimizes the mass in low Earth orbit. Minimum trajectories are called conjunction-class missions and require specific orbital alignments of the Earth and Mars. Launch opportunities occur only once every 26 months, but the reasonably consistent energy requirements allow design of a single transportation system for all missions.

Several plans for Earth-Mars orbits have been submitted through the past years, among them is one submitted by North American Aviation[14] in 1963. In our present days, in order to accomplish this task, the best example of a promising idea for this dream to become a reality is: the Earth-Mars Cycler Orbiter Design Contest being sponsored by USIS through its affiliate, SODA(C). The Cycler[15], being long promoted by Dr. Buzz Aldrin ("the second man on the Moon"), which is being called as The Eight Wonder of The World, will travel around an orbit that cycles around Mars and Earth. This Earth Mars Cycler Orbiter (EMCO) mother ship contest is open to all persons internationally. One of its functions will include the space development in orbits, on the Moon, and at Mars.

Still, our problem persists: Arrival at Mars occurs shortly after the optimal alignment for return to Earth, resulting in surface stay times at Mars on the order of 500 days. Combining the transit times between planets of about 8 months, we end up with a "1,000-day" mission. Although many studies have discussed ways to mitigate the effects of long mission durations on the crew, the assumptions of chemical propulsion (that is, current technology) and minimum energy (that is, minimum cost), led to scenarios whose characteristics raise significant questions about the health and safety of the members of a crew. Anyone familiar with human spaceflight understands that these Mars missions exceed any other program in terms of mass delivered to orbit, operational complexity, and stress to the crew. For establishing an early, nearly self-sufficient human settlement on Mars, the magnitude of the material investment is so huge that should need an effort in the order of ten more times if we had no Moon. Our natural satellite, with its low gravity force, its relative closeness to the Earth (about 380,000 km distance, in straight line), and its huge material resources, offers the ideal spaceport for interplanetary operations.

In 1998, in a technical memorandum[16], Drs. Stanley Borowski and Leonard Dudzinski from NASA Lewis Research Center (later renamed as John H. Glenn Research Space Center), and Melissa McGuire from Analex Corporation, presented a very interesting and unusual plan for how to accomplish the goals of the Design Reference Mission to Mars, using nuclear thermal rather than chemical propulsion. This nuclear propulsion system has been evolving since then. It become as a bimodal operation of solid core which is possible. It can produce both propulsive force and electricity, because the rocket contains substantially more fuel in its core than it consumes in its propulsion mode.

Borowski and his colleagues also developed the innovative "trimodal" Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR) concept. Their proposal, Liquid-Oxygen Augmented Nuclear Thermal Rocket (LANTR), is to provide energy for the primary propulsion system and on-board electrical power for the spacecraft, augmenting engine thrust using a supersonic oxygen afterburner nozzle. Besides of increasing thrust and reducing vehicle size, LANTR produces additional flexibility to the operation of the entire system.

Some other innovative propulsion systems have been proposed. In the United States, in 1986, some people from the Air Force Rocket Propulsion Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Rand Corporation and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory proposed a plan to then-Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), initiative(D) put into motion by President Reagan which played a role alike the Apollo Program, suggesting they would be able to develop, in low cost for operations in space, propulsion by anti-matter. Whether matter/anti-matter power could work or not, that plan could take about 30 years from then to be accomplished. Lack of funds was the major reason for this plan to stay only as a plan. The late Robert L. Forward was one of the proponents.

Former astronaut Franklin Chang-Diaz has long been proposing a nuclear engine based on plasma physics[17]. For a wider knowledge for the reader, Richard Westfall has presented an interesting electric propulsion concept, and a very compacted information about different kind of space propulsion systems can be found at his website page titled as "Future Spacecraft Propulsion Systems"[18]. Hopefully, we would eventually be able to get nuclear powered spaceships after George W. Bush's nuclear spacecraft initiative announced in February 2002. For the U.S. 2003 budget, Bush asked for almost $1 billion. If approved by the Congress, it will encourage NASA plans to revive so-needed nuclear power programs. Whatever turns out, NTR, plasma or electric devices, after a short-time period, in which the relative short distance trips to the Moon would become routine, the NTR or any other system will be evolved for a more larger accomplishments: human missions to Mars.

Today, the time is near when we should go back to the Moon, but it should not be done the way it was 33 years ago. We should push forward on the "outer limits".

The Benefits of Lunar Exploration and Searching for a Healthy Lunar Economy

We are very fortunate to be part of a double planetary system. Referring to the Moon, Krafft Ehricke said: "It is a seventh continent, almost as large as the Americas". The Moon is the logical providing ground which alone offers the opportunity to create a strong exo-industrial economy based on high-advance fusion nuclear technology, cybernetic, and material processing technologies, eventually capable of human industrial developments and settlements. Still only 3 or 4 flight days away from Earth. No other Earth-close celestial body, orbiting space station, or asteroid in Near-Earth Orbit (NEO), can more effectively permit development of the habitats, material extraction, naturally carrying out all the science, technology, and sociology required for a successful scientific method and method of organization approach to human extraterrestrial operations. For human expansion into Space, the Moon is our first step, next is Mars (the place which should eventually put Earthian humans into expansion through the Solar System's outer planets and eventually on their way to the stars).

The expectations of human exploration of Mars are also elements of human exploration of the Moon. Humans already have done brief expeditions to the Moon and understand satisfactorily its hostile environment. In fact, lunar exploration provides a whole ideal environment within which to advance our technology to the level required for a experimented planning Mars exploration. The Apollo missions demonstrate that no problem exists for human adaptation to low gravity for short times. The next lunar exploration would extend stay time on the lunar surface to months, and would monitor crew performance.

Due to our enormous delay in mastering fusion power propulsion and other power sources for faster propulsion in space, missions than included long duration in weightlessness in Earth orbit combined with lunar surface activity could be used to accurately study the regimes of human performance on a Mars mission. Medically, cumulative effects of solar particles and cosmic rays on the crews could be measured. Long-duration lunar surface missions will contribute to the understanding of psychosocial factors associated with isolation, more precisely if the crews lived on the dark side of the Moon where the Earth is not visible. The most relevant questions can be addressed in a lunar mission context, either as a substitute for an Earth-based research program, or as a supplement to one, as envisioned to be researched in our Lunar Mexico Habitat Analogue Project and The Mex-LunarHab Project itself. Moreover, and a very important aspect is the experience gained on the lunar surface raises the readiness to flight proven status. A lunar program will reassure not only the directors of the program who will be loaded with the decisions, but also the public, which must be satisfactorily convinced about solved risks of Mars expeditions.

The Office of Bioastronautics at the NASA Johnson Space Center has seriously taken the position of ensuring the safety, health, and performance of the crew during and after spaceflight by identifying, understanding, and managing the risks associated with human presence in space. The initiation of the process for identifying risks was made by a team of researchers from NASA and from the National Space Biomedical Research Institute. The team focused on what was consider to be the "worst case" scenario: a long-duration, highly autonomous interplanetary mission such as one 1,000-day human exploration to the Red Planet. Once risks were identified, critical questions were formulated that must be addressed in order to understand each risk, and eventually diminish it. Resources available for research are finite, so not every risk can be studied, and not every mitigation strategy can be carried out to the fullest extent. As a matter of fact, a total of 55 risks and 341 critical questions about crew health and safety were raised.

In our first step, the Moon, we can eventually get those accomplishments done. In our searching for a lunar economy, one of the most briefly detailed description about the steps to be done for a lunar settlement is explained in an article titled "Steps Toward a Lunar Settlement" by Dr. Heinz Hermann Koelle[19]. Economically, we are to maximize investment returns, minimizing return times, and keep investment size manageable so that venture capital and private investment can be attracted as rapidly as possible. Our goal must be the creation of a nearly self-sufficient lunar economy based on trade and sovereignty. Investments by private companies in the lunar economy, must be independent and under a kind of government as outlined by a LEDA's administration.

Therefore, industrial private enterprises on the Moon will create mining and manufacturing facilities to produce semi-finished and finished products made from titanium, iron, silicon, sodium, magnesium and other raw materials. A self-sufficient extensive use of lunar materials for construction, shielding, growth of food plants, and for other purposes. Studying the feasibility of mining lunar resources already comes from a long period of time[20], it is not a sort of anything new.

In a documented article titled "Lunar Prospecting"[21], William Farrand made a very good question: "Will Moon dust become the gold dust of the 21st century?" Moon dust itself is a mixture of many different materials, and nearly all of them contain oxygen in a considerable abundance. One of the first lunar resources, perhaps the first one, that will be exploited for operational purposes will be oxygen (O2). O2 is generally conceived to be used as the oxydant for chemical propulsion systems. The Moon, even though it is 45% O2, is actually underoxidized. This is clear from the fact that the regolith contains a high percentage of free iron (unoxidized) powder fines, harvestable for the cost of a magnet, and that oxydized iron is ferrous (FeO), not ferric (Fe2O2). Under this perspective, lunar-derived oxygen can also enormously improve the capabilities of the liquid-oxygen augmented LANTR system. And because approximately 85% of the weight of a typical-chemical powered spacecraft at launch is the oxygen used for rocket fuel, oxygen extracted from the regolith, condensed into liquid stored in tanks made from lunar materials, might be shipped economically from the Moon to refuel spacecraft throughout cislunar space. Any use of "native" resources on the Moon increases the payload capability of the transport system, which does not have to carry all of its consumables from Earth. Besides, the lunar gravitational field is so weak that certain objects should practically be launched, literally, into space using magnetic accelerators, installed on the lunar surface.

Titanium, aluminum and silicon are up there waiting for humans to be processed into a different variety of products. Some type of glasses are likely structural materials with passive solar furnaces or photovoltaics which would provide energy in polar regions. As a matter of fact, intermediate silicon products would be manufactured in situ as proposed by Gary J. Rodriguez, who has also explained that "the Apollo lunar missions have provided confirmation through rock samples that sufficient silicon exists in the lunar regolith so as to support glass production"[22].

Some Designs of Lunar Bases

Preliminary designs and technology work have been done by the former McDonnell Douglas, where the engineer William H. Siegfried worked for 33 years and he was part of a designing team[23], and Shimizu in developing construction technologies for the building of lunar bases. Precisely, in 1992, McDonnell Douglas and Shimizu, in a joint paper described the development of lunar concrete for construction and shielding. Mostly, they were designs for lunar habitats throw regolith, or soil, on top of the structure for shielding against radiation. It may work or not, but more advanced bases would consider radiation shielding as part of the design process[24]. The disadvantage of using tons of regolith for shielding is that requires increased structural support for the additional weight of the regolith. The Shimizu concept was to use pre-fabricated lunar concrete modules that be in the form of hexagonal prisms, and it may have some applications for habitation construction. Other ideas have come forward, as Dr. Ignasi Casanova from the Polytechnic University of Catalunya (UPC) in Barcelona, Spain, whose proposals for using "concrete-sulfur" and lunar dust are very worthy to be taken in consideration[25]. Yet, for more efficient results, more research in this field must be done.

It had been thought, if there is water ice at the poles, concrete could be that much cheaper to manufacture. Concrete is about 5% water, thus, the oxygen for the water would be liberated from the regolith through Shimizu's hydrogen reduction process, which also yields iron, useful for reinforcement of the concrete. And, Shimizu's plan relied on importing the hydrogen from Earth, in order to produce water with oxygen. Yet, more ideas need to evidently be proven as useful as economically feasible. So far, the identification of potential frozen water deep crater bottoms around the lunar southern pole may change the way oxygen is generated. Oxygen is usually derived from heating soil and rock oxides on Earth, but with water available plans may now be made to actually establish crater bases with improved solar exposures and partial mass shielding of high dose radiation around crater walls. Therefore, after all, the lunar bases around those places as shown at those futuristic films and television series from the 1960s such as the 2001: Space Odyssey's U. S. moonbase in the crater Clavius, and the Space:1999's Alpha Moon Base, should eventually come into reality.

A Not So Unrealistic Preliminary Lunar Outpost Approach: The Project Horizon

Successfully conducted by Army Brigadier General John B. Medaris, Lieutenant General Arthur G. Trudeau, and others from the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA), in June 8, 1959, the Project Horizon Report stated: "Project Horizon represents the earliest feasible capability for the U. S. to establish a lunar outpost by late 1966, with the initial manned landings to have taken place in the Spring of 1965" (Project Horizon Report, Vol. I, Chapter I, p. 4).

The program was outlined to use as basic carrier vehicles rockets Saturn I and II; then Saturn I was already been developed under the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). The lunar outpost consisted of supporting a basic outpost of 12 men, beginning with two men for April 1965, living in buried cylindrical tanks, 10 feet in diameter and 20 feet in length; using 4 nuclear reactors located off-site to power the base, which was including not only living quarters, but a biological sciences laboratory, medical hospital, and physical science laboratory. Also, more than accurate, the report stated that "a wealth of scientific data can be obtained from experiments conducted at a lunar outpost. Without doubt, the scientific community will generate many new and unique applications as man's actual arrival on the Moon draws nearer reality..." (Project Horizon, Vol. I, Chapter I, p. 2). And, "... adapt conventional foods for use in orbit and in lunar surface, and development of procedures for hydroponic vegetable gardening at the outpost..." (Project Horizon, Vol. II, p. 262).

The report also said that "the design... is based on realistic requirements and capabilities, and is not an attempt to project so far into the future as to lose reality. The result has been a functional and reliable approach upon which men can stake their lives with confidence of survival" (Project Horizon, Vol. I, Chapter II, p. 8). Thus, this four volumes (of five), declassified (the fifth still remaining classified), as Gen. Medaris organized at lesser than three months, in 1959, plainly show us what can be made today, if only a sufficient political will could be enforced to do so.

Many of the Project Horizon's technological goals were so possible to be carried out in the 1960s and 1970s, as later so brilliantly exposed by Krafft Ehrike[26], Michael B. Duke and Wendell Mendel[27], and many others.

However, General Medaris faced opposition to his realistic proposals for a stronger space program from the civilian sector as well as within the military and civilian government. As an example, in 1960, an article in Aviation Week magazine opposed Medaris's "own proposed $13 billion program to initiate military operations on the Moon, as well as projects of comparable fantasy (Project Horizon) periodically suggested by others in the Pentagon"[28]. But, actually, the total cost was estimated at US$6 billion dollars, in an average of approximately $700 million per year (Project Horizon, Vol. I, p. 8). It was calculated over 8 1/2 years, which pointed out that was less than 2% of the 1958 defense budget.

Referring why the Army was proposing this project, the report cited historical precedents such as the scientific outposts of Antarctica, making emphasis that where others failed, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers and Medical Service conquered the elements of nature to build the Panama Canal, and some other examples.

Moreover, few months before the ABMA team was to be transferred to NASA, the Wernher von Braun German Team made a study titled A Lunar Exploration Program Based Upon Saturn-Boosted Systems[29]. And, it was not only to outlining a full program for the scientific exploration of the Moon, but, the study included a very interesting program for detecting microorganisms on Mars.

Still, the opposition to human development and progress in Space has gone so far to suggest (and only deceiving whoever wants to get deceived) that not only would there be not technological accomplishment in the future, but there were not any such accomplishments in the past as the successful Apollo Moon landing missions[30].

Today, as China is now putting into motion the successful economic policy that made of the United States a self-prosperity nation in the early 60s, China is trying to do what the latter did then. In 1984, although never materialized, a Chinese astronaut flying on the U.S. Space Shuttle was a proposal[31]. On March 18, 1998, Ma Xingrui, Vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Space Technology (CAST) stated that: "China is striving to make breakthroughs in manned space flight technology at the end of this century or beginning of the next century, and will launch small lunar explorer when possible."[32]. In early 1999 the first piloted Chinese space trip was anticipated in October 1999, coinciding with 50th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic[33]. The first announced Chinese human mission targeting the Moon might make the trip on a spacecraft named Shenzhou-5 (which means "magic vessel"). One year ago, the China National Space Administration organized the Qingdao Deep Space Symposium held in Qingdao, China, in August 12-15, 2002[34]. The proceedings of the Deep Space Exploration Technology constitute a rich resource, not only for China, but also for the entire global space exploration-development community for everybody, for every nation in the world. Steve Durst, David Schrunk and Alex Ignatiev were relevant people during this symposium.

Other Moon missions are: the U. S. company TransOrbital is sending the first commercial lunar mission, the TrailBlazer(E), in October 2003; this mission is strongly conducted by TransOrbital's president Dennis Laurie and Paul Blase. The Japanese lunar penetrator mission, Lunar-A, which may be launched in 2003 by the M-V launch vehicle from Kagoshima Space Center. It will be using seismometers to study the lunar interior. Another Japanese spacecraft, Selene, will be a Moon orbiting mission. India plans unmanned lunar probe Moon mission by 2007.

An Almost Everlasting Energy Source on the Moon Surface: Helium-3 (He-3)

As one of the Mex-LunarHab's (MLH) scientific-technologic projects, the search of plausible new, clean, and cheaper energy sources, the Mexican habitat is also including lunar He-3 at the list of priorities, Energy.

Right here, we are facing a problem. As we already reviewed before at this same paper, this problem is not a technical problem, but political. The same inability of our human society on Earth today to plan and execute long-range plans in space is widely shown in the so diminished research and engineering development budgets for fusion. But, just take a glance at the following facts.

Early as 1970, Apollo samples were known to contain Helium-3 (He-3); which has been deposited on the Moon over millenniums, from the solar wind. Years later, fusion scientist Gerald Kulcinski and Harrison Schmitt, the Apollo 17 astronaut and geologist, led to a detailed proposal for mining this kind of clean, "everlasting" energy source for export to Earth[35,36]. Detailed plans exist today to get this done.

As the authors of The Moon: Resources, Future Development and Colonization have clearly pointed out: "The lighter elements will have high value on the Moon because they will be used for life support systems and for chemical processes much as the production of plastics. The Helium-3 that is recovered will also have potentially high value as a fuel of energy production and rocket propulsion in future nuclear fusion reactors" ("Lunar Railroad", Space Governance, July 1998, p. 164).

For many people, there are definable risks considered in using nuclear reactors or the failure of a launch rocket containing radioactive elements, and of the contamination of the lunar environment. Certainly, so far, those devices are very well shielded for protecting the Earth and Moon environments. Simultaneously, up to this day, political forces has been successful in blocking the construction of so-needed nuclear reactors in many countries, and have also tried to prevent the launch of space probes containing even small amounts of plutonium, the radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs), as those powering the Galileo (Jupiter) and Cassini (Saturn) missions.

In 1999, during a gathering protesting the Cassini flyby, a former NASA astronaut, Franklin Chang-Diaz made an accurate statement reminding the protestors that "nuclear energy in space has been subject to a lot of irrational fear... Folks have to make it clear in the minds what the choices really are... In space, power is life. We must have a power rich environment"[37].

"Hitching the Economy to the Infinite": An Statement Made by the Editors of Fortune in 1962

In 1962, the editors of Fortune magazine wrote a book in which they discussed the enormous opportunities for our species created by then emerging aerospace industry. The writers of this book, The Space Industry: America's Newest Giant[38], more than accurate expressed an optimism which was based on an approach of true-science, as called forth during the President Kennedy's years by the Apollo Program. One chapter of which was titled "Hitching the Economy to the Infinite" (The Space Industry, Chapter 6, pp. 83-98) very bluntly points out the whole thing stating: "Man has hitched his wagon to the infinite, and he is unlikely ever to unhitch it again… a project to build Fort Kennedy on the Moon, bigger and better voyages to Mars and Venus,… to Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto, and so on ad infinitum… The space venture, in short, is likely to be more durably stupendous than even its most passionate advocates think it will be…"

Whenever we deeply review on the activation to land a man on the Moon, we always find out that it was an optimism which drove the economic activity, not vice versa. In 1958, the U.S. capital goods in nondefense industries was declined, and continuing to be on that track. During the 1960s, the Apollo Project showly reversed this trend, the manufacturing capital goods for nondefense were more than doubled. It became into success due to the Kennedy's space program, his infrastructure building program, and his investment tax credit program. It was a firm conviction during the Kennedy presidency that technological progress provided the indispensable basis for rising living standards and future growth. Heavy industry basically rebuilt itself during this period, purshasing the stock of capital goods that carried the U.S. economy and many of the other Western countries then, Mexico included, through the mid-1970s.

The contrast of the Apollo era optimism to the state of the world today is very noticeable. Today, the majority of the nations of the world are going to economically collapse. Undoubtedly, so far, every known popular social and economical system have failed. The Kennedy era was organized by a principle of mobilization of his nation's resources and its national will to accomplish a great task.

"Less Than a Town But More Than a Space Agency"[39]: LEDA's Role for Administering the Moon

As for a near future, obviously, the existence of a system of governance of the Moon will be required to oversee the work, construction, and development of the utilities system. That government will also be needed to establish a guaranteed property rights to companies managing mining, construction, tourism, as well as other institutions that utilize regolith materials and build the infrastructure elements as they be operating there.

LEDA is a prototype port authority for the Moon being developed by USIS and its affiliated World-Space Bar Association (WSBA). An existing national government or a consortium of governments could serve as the host nation for LEDA; alternatively, an entirely new government in Space, called "Metanation", which has also been proposed by Declan O'Donnell, would be host government for LEDA. Whatever it turns out, LEDA would coordinate planning, design, operations, missions and other benefits of lunar projects for the common goal of lunar exploration and development.

Some other valid ideas have already been submitted several times, from the law businesses and aerospace-related people such as Philip Harris, David Schrunk, and others. For instance, Haym Benaroya, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Rutgers University, has proposed a new economic paradigm for the further development of the Moon, and Space, in general.

Professor Benaroya suggested independent financeable units that have dual use potential; the creation of a Lunar Development Corporation; at the end of his article "Economically Viable Lunar Development", he asserts that "LEDA would not actually construct facilities or develop technologies. Rather, it would enable others to pursue this activity. LEDA will represent governance at the lunar venue to administer the multi-nation and private industry resulting consensus plan"[40].

About this governance for administering private industry of the Moon, Mr. O'Donnell has been stating several times, in many ways, that: "The LEDA, Lunar Economic Development Authority, proposal reflects a municipal style entity with special quasi-public authority. It is proposed by USIS, United Societies in Space, Inc., and tendered to congresses and parliaments worldwide for sponsorship. It is less than a town but more than a space agency for coordinated civilian development of the Moon..."[39].

If LEDA becomes operational, it should have jurisdiction over the entire territory and orbits of "the seventh continent". By awarding and upholding contracts, LEDA will generate legal certainty for the use of lunar resources. As space writer, Marsha Freeman, has written many times regarding Krafft Ehricke's dream of industrializing, economically developing the Moon[41]--this dream will eventually become a reality.


The Mex-LunarHab (MLH) Project was introduced into the public during the Proceedings of the 2002 A. D. Conference of the United Societies in Space and Affiliate Authorities, Trusts, and Associates, August 4, 2002 in Denver, Colorado[42]. The MLH is still in its infancy and will have to be developed in full later. Trying to make a final habitat design just now is premature. We can not make a final design now because we do not have a customer and we do not know his requirements: we can not certainly begin to solve a problem when it has not even been posed or specific tasks to presently be done on the Moon. The same thinking is true even of a prototypical proof-of-concept installation. We must find sponsors who have something to gain from giving their money which will unleash us to build the necessary hardware to stay on the Moon. Our whole Mexican Team is gaining experience by planning now, and constructing and making operational the Mex-AreoHab (MAH) Simulator hardware example later. For the MLH hardware, we are to work out the general ideas, next we make a presentation and then we get customers.

It is a pity: When I was a child (the time of Yuri Gagarin, John H. Glenn, Alan B. Sheppard, at al.), and later on, when I had already began making some dissertations in physics (when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the Moon), and even when I had also already foresaw it was going to be very hard to happen that soon, I always dreamed that one of the first things that was going to happen was the establishment of a Moon Base. And still, it has not happened! And it is just has to happen, because otherwise, the rate at which we are acquiring real substancial scientific and technological progress and real knowledge is slowed down.

Thus, we can, and will, design several of lunar habitats. Almost all of them will be useless because they fail, one way or another, to address the requirements of a paying customer. We must take care not to destroy, scrap or excessively cannibalize any experimental habitat structures. They are very useful for the tourism business, whether they are kept on-site in a tourist area or whether they may be moved to the tourist attractions. Also, they are very useful for space education; to educate to our younger population about how to live in space, on other celestial bodies— if we finally make these things, we would have left a great inheritance to the future generations. And, along the way we will solve particularly though technical and logistical problems and yet fail to meet a customer's needs.

Therefore, as the creator, collaborator and coordinator being now involved in the early design of such habitat-spaceship, my position is to find a proper way to get MLH project done; to start to convert the dream of "Newton Base", in the Malapert Mountain, a reality.

Without any doubt, the Project Horizon played a very important role for the decision being made for going to the Moon. Probably, without that study there could have been no Apollo Program. Today, a project designing a lunar base in the Malapert Mountain ("Newton Base"), and the MLH station included, may play a historic significant role for the decision to go back to the Moon soon. This time to stay.

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  42. Jesus Raygoza B, 2000, " Mex-LunarHab", Space Governance, Double Volume: No. 7 & No. 8, 2000 & 2001/2002, pp. 94-99.
Jesus Raygoza B, when he was 17 years-old in 1968, outlined a theory for tentatively diminishing the "sonic boom", drag, and heating in supersonic and hypersonic flight; in December 1973, by the first time, he submitted his concepts to the U. S. Air Force. A private pilot, 1975-1977. In 1983, his "Surfer Cone" concept, a derivation from his 1968 theory, was a device to be adapted to a hypersonic aircraft for diminishing the sonic boom, and reducing drag and heat transfer. He is the creator and general director of both The Mex-LunarHab (MLH) Project (a real lunar habitat) and The Lunar Mexico Habitat Analogue Project (a MLH simulation habitat); and he is also one of the Directors of The Mex-AreoHab (MAH) Project (a Mars simulation habitat). He is also engaged in pursuing for a permanent establishment in Mexico of a national spaceagency; two space launch ranges, one in Quintana Roo State and another one in Jalisco State; and the Buzz Aldrin Libraries Project. He is Founder/President of the Mexican Space Society, Inc. (SEM); an International Director of the Lunar Economic Development Authority, Inc. (LEDA); a Regent and Secretary of the United Societies in Space, Inc (USIS); Member of the Board of Directors of the Space Orbital Development Authority (SODA); a Member of the Institute for Advanced Sciences (ICA), National Space Society (NSS), and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics ( AIAA).
J R B, , "Mex-LunarHab (MLH) - A Mexican Space Habitat Settlement on the Moon", .
Also downloadable from mexican space habitat for settlement on the moon.shtml

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