Shackleton Energy Company urges space agencies to join its industrial consortium rather than risk starting a national land grab on the Moon.
Austin, TX (PRWEB) November 10, 2014
Shackleton Energy Company (SEC), a lunar mining company set up to extract water ice from the Moon, turn it into rocket fuel and place it in refueling stations for sale in space, issues a formal invitation to industry and space agencies to join its consortium to develop lunar resources in compliance with the 1967 Outer Space Treaty (OST). SEC’s announcement comes on the heels of news this week from Russia where a proposal jointly prepared by the Russian Federal Space Agency and the Russian Academy of Sciences argues the need for Russia to potentially appropriate the most resource rich sites on the South Pole of the Moon by establishing and gradually expanding its lunar operations at those sites before other governments do the same. The Russian proposal is inferring that the US government is already attempting a de facto appropriation of territory on the Moon, which could be assumed from the Apollo Lunar Landing Legacy Act introduced to U.S. Congress in 2013 with the objective to set up a U.S. national historic park around the Apollo landing sites. The Russian proposal is likely in conflict with the OST established to contain sovereign ambitions from escalating into a destructive land grab in space. The Russian government is expected to vote on this proposal in December 2014.
Commenting on the recommendation from Roscosmos, Dale Tietz, SEC’s CEO said:
“While we share our Russian friends’ enthusiasm about the Moon and its resources, Shackleton Energy Company believes that sovereign appropriation of any lunar sites by any nation is not compliant with the terms of the OST. That path will throw us back to the time when the Moon was nothing but a stage for terrestrial geopolitics. In compliance with the OST, anyone can forge ahead and set up lunar operations to extract the water ice deposits and other lunar resources, but we should do it for the benefit of all mankind, not for the purpose of grabbing land to serve one nation’s interests. SEC intends to conduct its operations in full compliance with the OST and the best way to do this is through a global public-private industrial consortium providing an equal service to all. We have the program in place to develop lunar water ice resources and, through our leadership, we welcome new partners—public or private—to join forces in making space more accessible for everyone."
Notes to Editors:
Shackleton Energy Company (SEC)
SEC was established to address the very specific challenge of providing more affordable access to and more affordable operations in space for everyone—and do it privately using low cost lunar-derived fuel sold in space. Today, space missions are very expensive because they have to lift from Earth not only the payloads, but also the additional fuel and tankage for in-space operations. With fuel depots, SEC will significantly reduce that burden on tomorrow’s spacefarers. The company’s success will enable opening the space frontier to multitudes of new missions and opportunities, thereby improving life here on Earth and beyond (http://www.shackletonenergy.com).
Russian Federal Space Agency Proposal 2014
Roscosmos and the Russian Academy of Science have prepared a new proposal for Moon exploration. The key differentiating factor in this proposal compared to earlier versions is the ideological question of the benefit gained from spending billions of dollars on such exploration; the answer is clearly stated as Russia should promptly stake a claim to the most promising areas of the Moon on the South Pole according to a report by Izvestia. Roscosmos has requested its budget (2016-2025) for all space related programs totaling 2.3 trillion Rubles (53 billion USD). Significant plans for lunar operations have been proposed, which include robotic landers as well as human operations and a base on the South Pole of the Moon. The first lunar robotic expedition will be looking for water as the initial goal and will commence in 2019. The South Pole of the Moon is considered the best place to take position and build a station, and Russia is aiming to establish de facto sovereign appropriation of locations on the Moon where there is maximum light for the longest periods of time, minimum swings in temperature, and ice/water available at less than 2m depth. Original Russian news references can be obtained by writing to press(at)shackletonenergy(dot)com.
The 1967 Outer Space Treaty (OST)
The OST is formally the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies. The treaty was opened for signature in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union on 27 January 1967, and entered into force on 10 October 1967. As of May 2013, 102 countries are parties to the treaty, while another 27 others have signed the treaty, but have not completed ratification. The OST provides the basic framework on international space law, including the following principles:
- Exploration and use of outer space shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries and shall be the province of all mankind;
- Outer space shall be free for exploration and use by all States;
- Outer space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means;
- States shall not place nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in orbit or on celestial bodies or station them in outer space in any other manner;
- The Moon and other celestial bodies shall be used exclusively for peaceful purposes;
- Astronauts shall be regarded as the envoys of mankind;
- States shall be responsible for national space activities whether carried out by governmental or non-governmental entities;
- States shall be liable for damage caused by their space objects; and
- States shall avoid harmful contamination of space and celestial bodies.