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Jim Keravala, Friday, 9-18-15 September 19, 2015

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Jim Keravala, Friday, 9-18-15


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Guest: Jim Keravala of Shackleton Energy.   Topics: Space development through solving the world’s terrestrial energy problem. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm. For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.


We welcomed back Jim Keravala, COO of Shackleton Energy Company, to update us on the latest news with Shackleton and their lunar plans. Visit their website for more information, www.shackletonenergy.com. During the first segment of our 1 hour 47 minute discussion, Jim introduced us to the Shackleton Energy plans for space development by solving the terrestrial energy problem facing Earth. The program Jim outlined is expansive and at times complicated so you will want to pay extra careful attention to our discussion. Jim talked about creating the Off World Foundation and the Off World Consortium which he fully explained in this segment. He also said the real path for space development required solving the earth’s terrestrial energy problem. He then explained his multi-billion dollar program which is in three phases starting with propellant depots, then lunar mining and manufacturing, followed by the establishment of space based solar power. Our guest talked about the many challenges but noted that investor caution was prevalent along with risk uncertainty. In this segment, he talked about the market, consortium participants, timelines, business and industrial challenges, and more. He also outlined the assumptions used in designing this program.


In the second segment, Jim talked about the Outer Space Treaty, regulatory barriers, rectenna placement, power distribution to the poorest and most needy of countries first, space advocacy, space settlement, the traditional space industry, and technology readiness levels (TRL) for the development of Off World program. Jim answered questions about program costs, suggesting that the first phase mentioned earlier would cost around $18 billion! He outlined the additional program costs and timelines, plus revenues received along the way being reinvested in the program. We talked about comparisons with other industries such as the oil and gas industry and their support for the Off World program. Several times in this segment Jim said this was the best way to drive the development of space and eventually space settlement. At the end of the segment, Jim offered a detailed conclusion & summary for the Consortium to solve the issue of terrestrial energy through the use of space.


Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can reach Jim Keravala at the email address he gave us at the end of our program.







1. ericmachmer - September 22, 2015
2. B John - September 20, 2015

So Shackleton Energy won’t do anything for space development, that is clear from this spaceshow. The highlight is about 1 hour 10 minutes into the show where the host reads a listener’s basic question about economics, which shuts up the guest for a few seconds before he continues with his irrelevant nonsense. Their business idea seems to be to hope that investors are even more stupid than they are. themselves.

It is good to have this cleared up once and for all. Thank you Spaceshow!

DougSpace - September 20, 2015

Keravala is correct in that Lunar COTS is only a proposed funding mechanism and not itself an architecture. But working to establish Lunar COTS programs, once established would make the raising of capital investment way, way easier because it would mean near-term, generous ROI thanks to milestone payments.

After this show, it is clear that the raising of such large start-up funds from investment banks and billionaire individuals is most likely not going to happen. Whether sovereign investment funds would back this remains to be seen.

But I think that the key breakthrough would be to identify a new architecture which would be a lot less expensive and on a shorter timeline than the $18 B Program One and unspecified more expensive follow-on programs.

I believe that there is an approach that could cost less than $1B, not require propellant storage or transfer, yet could potentially begin providing propulsion service (not propellant) and generating enough revenue to repay investment and turn a profit. The extent that this is possible with the first mission would depend upon how long the craft and equipment lasted without irreparable breakdowns.

B John - September 23, 2015

What does the energy situation look like for in situ mining? I don’t know of any solar powered mining equipment on Earth. Combustion engines are a bit tricky without oxygen atmosphere. Most realistic idea I know of is to extract oxygen from the atmosphere of Mars and NASA’s next rover will have an experiment for that, that’s great. But mining fuel from water ice on NEA’s or lunar poles might not be so easy. And actually digging down to extract other materials is way way harder.

One could try it oneself. Lots of the material in the back yard is aluminium. Why not shovel down and try to make a soda can out of it? Or at least make rocket fuel out of the oxygen and hydrogen which is also very plentiful in the ground? A real in situ experiment at home. And start out with the generous power supply of a household and with yourself on site to make it ridiculously easy to begin with.

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