Al Globus, Senior Research Engineer for San Jose University at NASA Ames and editor-in-chief of the NSS Space Settlement Journal posted this very interesting note at the Space Studies Institute Yahoo Group:
“The latest version of this Equatorial Low Earth Orbit (ELEO) settlement paper is in Space Review this week. They did a great job of formatting and presenting the paper. The biggest change from earlier versions is the SpaceX Interplanetary Transportation System (ITS) announced by Elon Musk which has major implications for ELEO settlement.
Specifically, the ITS is a two leg system to transport people and supplies from Earth to Mars. The first leg is Earth to Low Earth Orbit and the target costs are just about exactly what ELEO settlement needs. The ITS engine is in the late stages of development aimed at operational use in the Falcon 9 and Heavy. A large composite tank has also been fabricated for test. This is no mere paper study.”
SSI Associates should make time to read this paper, it is fascinating: http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3181/1