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Bruno has pitched the idea of a “strategic propellant reserve” to the National Space Council
WASHINGTON — The idea that rocket propellants could be made from lunar ice is not new. But the U.S. government should now consider doing that at scale in order to stimulate the space economy and enable human life on the moon and Mars, said United Launch Alliance President and CEO Tory Bruno.
“This is about having a self-sustaining cislunar economy,” Bruno said Oct. 13 on a webinar organized by Beyond Earth Institute, a nonprofit focused on the public policy implications of living and working in space.
“What would be the one thing that the government could do, the one big lever that it could pull to stimulate economic activity in cislunar space? The answer, we believe, is the establishment of a strategic propellant reserve,” said Bruno.
ULA’s economic models show that a government investment of about $20 billion in infrastructure could energize space activity to the tune of $3 trillion by 2050, Bruno said. That activity would include mining, transportation, manufacturing and space tourism.
The cost of transportation is a problem in developing a space economy so finding ways to produce fuel in space would be critical, he …
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