By Gary Hudson
SSI now has a great opportunity to make additional important contributions to the technologies needed for space settlement.
Our Great Enterprise Initiative will be expensive and require years to accomplish. This work is necessary for us to plan the breakout into space. And your support now is more important than ever.
In the past, SSI has made incredibly good use of the funds donated by its Senior Associates, donors and members. Recall that SSI funded Spacewatch, which discovered the large population of near Earth asteroids that Planetary Resources now proposes to mine for useful materials. SSI designed Lunar Prospector that found water at the lunar poles. SSI has made significant advances in the science of closed environment life-support systems. SSI performed the first separation of lunar materials and developed processes to get engineering materials from the Moon.
SSI’s Great Enterprise Initiative consists of two ground-breaking programs. G-Lab is an orbital free-flyer laboratory where scientists will be able to investigate the long-term effects of partial gravity on humans and other vertebrates. G-Lab will co-orbit with the International Space Station, trailing about 10 km aft of the orbiting laboratory. E-Lab will be a ground-based facility dedicated to developing a full-scale, closed-loop environmental control system for use on long-term space habitats.
Raising sufficient capital is essential to move the G-Lab and E-Lab projects forward so that we have the means to support human life in space and so we know where we may feasibly settle.
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There is a sentence in a cornerstone Space book that says something like: 'I hope someone reviews...