William H Lanteigne November 21, 2011 12:14 PM Something I\'ve suggested for decades. It would make sense to manufacture fuel on the Moon for earth-orbit use, because the Moon\'s gravity is considerably less; launching from the Moon would require far less energy than supplying low-Earth-orbit missions from Earth. It would also make sense to both manufacture deep space probes and to launch them from the Moon, for the same reason. flink November 21, 2011 01:50 PM It could be a commercial version of Heinlein\'s, \"The Moon is a harsh Mistress.\"I\'d go work on the Moon even if I could never come back. William H Lanteigne November 21, 2011 05:19 PM Extracting water from the Lunar ice caps and producing cryogenic oxygen and hydrogen using solar power seems a logical first step toward more ambitious future projects:For example, solar powered industrial mining and manufacturing facilities located near a solar-powered Lunar equatorial high-speed maglev rail system that doubles as a launching system for Earth or more distant destinations.From these facilities, interplanetary vehicles could be constructed and launched. Eventually, a number of industrial and consumer products could be manufactured from Lunar materials and exported to Earth. Eventually, the only \"cargo\" that would need to be lifted against Earth\'s gravity would be people, as everything else could be provided by Lunar or orbital facilities. Michael Erickson November 21, 2011 06:36 PM What is really awesome is the development of commerical space industry that will open space to everyone. To me that is the real excitement. Slowburn November 21, 2011 06:41 PM You could in theory catch cargoes with the same bunch of electromagnets as you use to launch them. Greatly reducing the need for chemical propellants. saharaborn November 21, 2011 10:24 PM I\'m both glad and looking forward to more advancement in this field. With economies collapsing and lack of jobs left and right it\'s truly laughable. The truth is, so few want to get off their duff and realize that right above our heads are millions of jobs in the waiting. Space is more than exploration. I believe if we want to pass on something of value to our children, then we HAVE to open up this frontier and move on to more than a couple continents and a few valuable resources that a couple super powers are having a killing feast over. Russ Pinney November 22, 2011 08:15 AM \"The company has set a goal of US$1.2 million and at the time of publication of this article had raised $3,665 with some 40 days remaining.\"Well, that should just about do it. piperTom November 22, 2011 02:42 PM \"Imagine if every time you went for on a trip, you had to\" bilk the taxpayers out of billions of dollars and all you got for your trouble was... was... er.... the thrill of it? ...some TV time? ... unhappy comparison to what robots could have done for one-tenth of the cost? There will come a \"right time\" for manned exploration of the solar system. You will know it is that time when venture capitalists put up the money for it. voluntaryist November 22, 2011 08:45 PM I\'m in! I will invest. Why? I\'m convinced of the viability on the evidence. Also, we (humanity) must do two things to survive: 1. Escape government. 2. Get off earth. The second objective can achieve the first. I used to believe a space elevator was the first priority. I now see a better plan. Robert in Vancouver November 22, 2011 09:41 PM I like the idea but there is a serious question that has to be answered - Where would the fuel come from to:1. Operate the factory that produces the liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen propellants, 2. Heat the factory and worker\'s residences,3. Provide electric power for all sorts of needs?