6 thoughts on “The Commander The Space Force Needs”

  1. –“I see a future in which space is no longer a distant frontier but rather a vibrant arena of exploration, manufacturing, trade, and prosperity,” Kwast writes. “As this vibrant arena develops, the U.S. military will play an active role, defending commercial markets and private citizens, as is our duty and tradition.” —

    In sense this is NASA job, but NASA failed to do it.
    But also can seen as competition in regards to NASA.
    And competition is good.

    What has military already done, in terms above purpose/mission?
    It did EELV program which resulted modern Altas and Delta rockets.
    The military did this because it needs US launchers, and such rockets also launch many of NASA science missions.
    Military helped SpaceX, then NASA used SpaceX, and Military will use SpaceX to launch military satellites.
    US Military has some missions relate to orbital refueling and if has not already done more them, it should more of this.
    It seems to me that US military should focus depots and refueling in orbit.
    It also to me, that depots and refueling in orbit are needed for Mars exploration program. AND commercial lunar water mining and lunar rocket fuel. seem dependent on depots and refueling in space.

    It seems to me that we need a market for water in space- whether lunar water is mineable or not.

    And I think US military should buy water in space, specifically water in high Earth orbit.
    And this can be done like a prize, offer to pay money whenever something is done or delivered. Within a time frame but not at a particular time. It’s not hiring someone, it’s saying do this within some point in time , and we pay you X amount.

    A payload cost to high earth orbit is something like $8000 per kg and US military offer to pay a lot less money per kg of water delivered to high earth orbit. I think the most it should be is about $4000 per kg. And I think the more one offers to buy in total amount
    should less money paid per kg.
    I also think the longer time given as deadline the cheaper the price paid. Or shorter the time given and more urgent the need, the higher the price offered.
    Example, Military could offer to buy 500 ton in total of water payload delivered to Earth/Moon L-1 and pay $4000 per kg but offer ends in 5 years. Or 500 tons in total of water payload to L-1 and will pay $3000 per kg of water delivered and offer ends in 10 years.
    I don’t think if extent it to 20 years, it makes much difference, unless it’s general information rather specific price. One say we probably going to buy more than 2000 tons of water over next 20 years, but in next 5 year will buy 500 tons and $4000 per kg, and since historically launch prices have lower, the price paid will probably less per kg, after 5 years.
    So Military should want market for water in space, and buying water, it creates one. But another reason is it wants more dependable launches in terms of successful rate and wants more launch providers, and buying water delivered to L-1 is buying test payloads. Or if launch provider wants to prove it’s rocket is reliable enough for expensive military satellites, it launches lots of water test payloads.
    An advantage of 20 year vague promise, is someone might mine water from a space rock.
    Or seems one problem with mining water from space rock is not enough immediate demand of water.
    So if part of military 20 year offer is the statement will buy up 1000 tons of water at $3000 per kg within next 20 years if water is mined in space.
    Or if one somehow mine space rock and deliver 500 tons within 5 year, one gets $4000 per kg rate, plus could sell another 1000 tons at $3000 per kg. It doesn’t seem likely, if offer was given tomorrow, one could mine water from space rock within 5 years.
    But lunar water mining might be able to do it- particularly if India lunar mission lands successful and one gets some idea of how water can mined in a lunar polar region [so, happening in the next month}.

    Anyhow if enough water is delivered, then Military offer to pay someone or number of parties to make some rocket fuel from the water: paying $1000 to $2000 per kg of rocket fuel made.
    Starting water market, electrical market, and rocket fuel market in space.

    1. Would it matter to the military, or some other government customer, where the water came from? If it was cheaper and more efficient to get water from Earth, shouldn’t that be where it comes from? This could lead to different sources depending on where the deliveries are made.

      1. To viably mine water in space, one needs to mine a lot and sell a lot. And 1000 tons is not a lot.
        Why I think NASA should explore the Moon to determine if and where there is mineable water, is because the Moon requires the least amount of water mined. And the least amount is about 1000 tons of water per year. One start out with about 100 tons and increase yearly production quickly [few years] to about 1000 tons of water per year. And in decade or so , doing more than 1000 tons per year.
        If you lower start up cost, one do less than 1000 tons per year.

        With moon I am not including “property value” or mining “claims”, because this an uncertain aspect. But I am including increase value of company which can successful mine lunar water. Or company could worth 5 to 10 billion dollars within 5 years- assuming company is not making a lot mistakes or having unforeseen misfortune {unlucky}.
        Besides the legal aspect, mining rights, would neccessary work as on might have overabundant of mineable areas- property value could be a small factor, even there wasn’t the general legal uncertainty.

        But Mars is different matter, property rights would determining issue, or Mars value is people are going to go there to live, and that’s not going to have the problem of legal uncertainly, if you live there, you own it. There no sane or vaguely good reason that you don’t own property you are living on.
        So with Mars you don’t need to mine some amount, rather the land has to have access to a lot water and it is cheap water to use.

        So to get Mars settlements happening, Mars has to explored to find large easily accessible quantities of water. So within and near a town area, one needs about 1 billion tons of water which can extracted over century of time. And cost of doing this is around $10 per kg of water [or less]. Or a settlement location must have about 10 billion dollar in gross value of water in which people of settlement can get.
        Or if settlement region has say 100 billion tonnes of water and it costs less than $1 per kg pump it from the ground, that sounds to me, like where people to go to on Mars. Or if region was pile up diamonds and gold, but no water, one should pick the place with water. If diamonds and gold overflowing in region within 500 km of the place with water- that would also be good. But town should close to lots of cheap water.

        The idea with Military buying water in space, is mostly about bring water from Earth, with some point in the future getting water not from Earth
        But problem with getting water from entire solar system which has vast and endless amounts of water, is the market place for water is Earth or Mars orbit. And with Moon, the market place for water is the lunar surface, low lunar orbit. AND high Earth orbit and Mars orbit.
        So lunar water mining [and making rocket fuel, and having electrical market, and etc] starts with lunar surface and lunar low orbit, and later expands to High Earth orbit and Mars orbit. And eventually, when cheap enough, Low Earth orbit.

        1. Re:
          –Besides the legal aspect, mining rights, would not necessary work as on the Moon there might have overabundant of mineable areas- property value could be a small factor, even there wasn’t the general legal uncertainty.–

          This would not apply to lunar solar energy company using peaks of eternal light. One could be using fairly a large area [perhaps much bigger area than one mines lunar water] and there is shortage of this type of land.
          And also later, a focus could be building even higher towers for solar power and freeing up real estate at surface and/or using underground area.
          And of course there would other businesses in which particular locations will significantly increase in value.
          But in terms mining, lunar water mining is smallish scale thing- it could fit within a football field for 10 year period, and later mining will become large scale operation, ie a football field used per day, if mining hydrogen and helium and metals [say, starts with iron] or thousand of tonnes of whatever stuff, per day, rather than per year.

  2. Here’s another article on Lt. Gen. Kwast.

    And since the vast majority of the personnel for Space Force would come from the Air Force, any notion of using Navy ranks seems silly. Don’t let science fiction sentiment be your guide.

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