the industry imagined, post-Falcon Heavy

Courageous governments fund risky innovation when it is too costly for the business sector. Then cut away the red tape that grows up around those activities. SpaceX has proved the naysayers wrong.

It is time for the private sector to step in.

What this means for cities that have space agency labs and offices? Thousands of engineers and scientists with the security of a golden handshake (early retirement funds), ready and able to step into the private sector as founders, chief scientists, and mission specialists.

America has SpaceX. This will happen in America first.

Unless other Nations move faster?


NASA Celebrates International Asteroid Day with Special Broadcast

Jersey Airport control tower
By Dan Marsh (Flickr: Jersey Airport control tower) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

NASDAQ Stock Market Display
By bfishadow on Flickr [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

All other images public domain

Titan’s IceHotel

Actually, the cataract observation deck at Niagara Falls, Canada.

Can you imagine a practical future like this?

Two images of Titan:


Niagara Falls, January 18, 2018

Cassini Mission Site

Soaring Over Titan: Extraterrestrial Land of Lakes
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Thanks for all the fish!

Got red herring’ed last month.

I’ve been networking the treaty idea to all and sundry, testing responses, seeing what works. Spending a little bit of money to see what takes. Putting answers into the mix. One of the responses (carefully redacted) from a US science engineering entity is below.

I invited the respondent to post comments to start a dialogue, but the invitation got ignored. The respondent originally cc’d to several people and my reply got acknowledged by a cc in return. But the respondent? Silence.

It seems I got trolled. Privately. Quietly. Bureaucratically. Safely. Dogmatically.


Most of us ordinary taxpayers rarely buy the brand spankingly positively new. We buy the familiar or nearly familiar. The respondent didn’t come down from Mount Olympus to learn that. This person used one tiny bit of stuff to try to kill the whole thing.  That’s a red herring.

I’ll tweak the video.

The between-the-lines say a lot, though. Anyone walking the halls of Parliament or Congress will smell the blood in the water. Its not mine. Thanks for all the Herring.

Or Should I Say . . . Thanks for all the Fish!


> Hello David –
> Thanks for the links. You’ve put a lot of time into your thinking. It seems like a worked-out framework for some stimulating fiction; as a practical structure though, it has several technical and programmatic hurdles:
> A few suggestions:
> Tidally-locked bodies are relative to their primaries. Thus, contrary to popular misconception, the Moon has no sun-pole or dark-pole. Every longitude of the Moon gets two weeks of sun and two weeks of dark. Mercury is tidally locked, but in a 3:2 spin-orbit resonance (not 1:1, thus again, every longitude gets sun and night).
> There are practical obstacles to dividing up the Moon geometrically as you’ve suggested: for example, until prospecting is done, we have insufficient data to know which sectors could possibly matter for resource value. But there are hints. Who gets Oceanus Procellarum, with its KREEP?
> Your premise is that practically every body in the solar system has value prospectively. But this is all too speculative to make international policy out of. The Catch-22 is that nobody will go to the effort of establishing a structured regime unless/until it’s demonstrated necessary…by which time it will be too late to avoid arguments over the relative value of one piece of real estate over another.
> All visions of space urbanism and growth hinge on economically viable value extraction scenarios. We have none yet, despite the hopes of asteroid mining startups and a long literature about 3He mining, etc. All scenarios that use resources for in-space use are “self licking ice cream cones” because the customers are themselves living on agency (i.e., public) money. The only way out of this top-line budget constraint is to gradually bootstrap a space economy, which is matter of decades and centuries, not years. This undercuts the rationale for a complex prospective structure of legal regime, etc. Analogies to opening the American West are flawed because every piece of land was somehow at least livable and cultivable. None of that is true for “land” in space.
> Determination of the biopotential of various habitats (e.g., the ocean worlds) will be done by scientific exploration missions long before nations would be motivated to put more legal strictures in place than are already accommodated by planetary protection requirements (under section 9 of the Outer Space Treaty).
> _________ is a resource you might consider, which provides access to a broad global network of folks interested in building in space, and a large bibliography of peer-reviewed articles about many aspects of space architecture___________. I have copied my colleagues _________


So Long and Thanks for all the Fish

Red Herring cf. cf.
CC0 Creative Commons

The Milky Way and Andromeda Galaxies.jpg
By andy (originally posted to Flickr as The Milky Way) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Space helmet
anthrogan1337, CC0 Creative Commons

Pico Chapecoense Peak : Joined in Joy!

“Brazilians remember the joy of Chapecoense’s victory against San Lorenzo and the heartache of the crash as if it were yesterday.” : Sheena Rossiter a few days ago, writing about the joy and then the wrenching sadness one year later.

This got me thinking about the uniting power of football. A game of dreams uniting 3.5 billion people from all walks of life, from a humble street boy to the wealthiest child.

And got to wondering.

Can we honour their inspiring story with a Mountain on the Moon?

Looking up at the moon, knowing that all its craters and rilles and plains are named by scientists for other scientists and explorers,  like Tycho Brahe centuries long-dead. And ordinary people don’t get dreams recognized.

We can do better. Because Inspiration Matters.

Billions of people know the name Chapecoense. A living symbol uniting and uplifting all of us.


Inspire the generations following us.
The future path we all must take.
This is what matters most.
Not the long dusty dead.
Behind us.


Pico Chapecoense.

It has a nice sound to it. A feeling of completeness. A feeling of sadness embraced. Heroes for all of us. And hope made new. A shining symbol we can all see and look up to. Every night in every window.


Chapecoense Peak.

On the Moon.

: by David Huer

Naming lunar features – what we need to Democratize

Source: The International Astronomical Union (IAU) controls the naming of features on bodies other than Earth. “Currently, the guidelines for submission and assignment of new names for lunar craters are:

1) a scientist or explorer who has made some significant contribution, preferably to the study of the Moon and planets;
2) deceased for at least three years before name becomes official;
3) it cannot duplicate any existing lunar name.”


Confederação Brasileira de Futebol

Governo da República Federativa do Brasil
Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil

Ministério do Esporte

Ministério da Cultura

Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia, Inovações e Comunicações

Fédération Internationale de Football Association

União Astronômica Internacional/International Astronomical Union (IAU)


Chapecoense Team at their last game, 2016.

Children in playground
Photo by Lukas from Pexels

Crescent Moon
By xlibber (Crescent Moon) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Jakarta slum life (boys with football): By Jonathan McIntosh (Own work) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Poor kids’ World Cup (see inspiring photomontage)

Soccer ball
By Pumbaa80 (Self-published work by Pumbaa80) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons. Placed atop citymoon icon.


Uber Outer Space

Orbital law will be a bit like Uber jump-starting the sharing economy. Fast countries and their companies won’t wait for slow governments to move faster.

Fast governments [aka: Luxembourg, representing Europe] are already bootstrapping property rules.

It will all get done long before all the niceties of a territory-dividing treaty get signed. And some nations will move fastest of all to get territory first.

If you believe all nations are equal, this might be hard to imagine. They’re not. That’s policy fiction. This could change…Nevertheless, in our era of spacefaring, only 6 nations might matter:

Russian Federation
People’s Republic of China

In our era, other Nations may have to choose a place among one of the leading six. Unless they get to orbit faster than treaty negotations.

And entrepreneurs. We don’t need a Treaty to get going. We already bootstrap with Nations that let our missions launch. The six leading nations are the ones to watch and obey. Their rules are the rules that matter. Their rules are the rules that get our species into space.

Bootstrap #1 – Grandfathering

We already have international rules that protect war cemeteries, and shipwrecks, and diplomatic missions.

Add future ‘defunct’ landing sites and mining operations to the list.


Dirty Boots
By Jon-Isac Lindberg (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Bootstrapping the future: Future treaty applications – an example using Luna 20, Soviet Union: “On Feb. 21, 1972, Luna 20 soft landed in the rugged highlands between Mare Fecunditatis and Mare Crisium. The next day a sample return capsule blasted off carrying 55 grams of lunar soil. The Luna 20 descent stage still sits silently on the Moon, clearly visible in LROC NAC image M119482862RE. Credit: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University:
LROC is the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera: Data products


Now imagine the expansive view (IAM #2)

As we move into Orbital Trade, Mr. Martinez’ vision that Congress should restrict domestic defence manufacturing to US companies makes sense for orbital territories.

In a Treaty of Alliances, where – as proposed – there are several International Alliances, and America First is one alliance of all US States & Territories, the USA could naturally go it alone.

1/9th of the Moon.

1/9th of all other planets and moons.

1/9th of all mining, colonization, and terraformed territories.

That’s a lot of work for American industry.

And all power to you.

Moreover, a Trade Representative, expressing the will of Congress and the Executive Branch, will naturally have the right to define conditions to participate in prospecting, mining, refining, manufacturing, assembly, and trade in America’s Treaty-defined orbital territories.

That again, makes sense.

By David Huer

Image: NASA computer simulation of full-scale Nuclear Thermal Rocket in low earth orbt. Destination Mars. Credit: NASA Glenn Research Center via Forbes:


IAM’s Martinez throws Canadian Members out the Airlock

Last June, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) President Bob Martinez called on Aerospace Workers to “Unite Globally.”


Now he is issuing a demand to have all US Defense purchases US-made. Good copy, but not exactly smart. Not when coupled with the bizarre warning that America “will be vulnerable in the event our allies become our enemies and supply chains are disrupted.”

You’ve got to ask: What will US workers get for work if they only build US parts? Where are the economies of scale for each assembly part? Would any NATO country protect US intellectual property rights without reciprocity? Would any country open any trade sectors to US products of any kind?

If we are to take Martinez’ logic forward, no American worker can ever be trusted to build military products for Canada or any other NATO Partner. We should not buy Boeing CF-18s for the RCAF. Or any product built by Lockheed Martin. Or any other US company.

I don’t believe that. We are neighbours, and family, and allied supply chains are interlinked.

But his rant does raise the question: What sort of “International President” calls his own Members the Enemy?



As the planet starts entering orbital trade, maybe a “Commonwealth Alliance Aerospace Workers Union” offers a better, friendlier, win-win deal?



By David Huer

New images:

Martinez photo:

Aerospace components image: from via

CC-150 Polaris

Is Bombardier an “orbital fuselage” threat to Boeing?

I keep wondering why Boeing and Washington allied to start a trade war with Bombardier, Canada and the UK?

The Motley Fool’s Rich Smith smartly calls this “a boneheaded move” : “In other words, the F/A-18s that Boeing had all but succeeded in selling to the Royal Canadian Air Force are all but guaranteed to be twice as profitable for Boeing as any 737s it might succeed in selling thanks to its ITC action. And any additional F/A-18s Boeing might succeed in selling to Canada, should the latter elect not to buy F-35s from Lockheed, would likewise be twice as profitable for Boeing. Now, Boeing has put all of those profits at risk. And it has no one to blame but itself.”

Bombardier [BBD/B:CN Toronto]
Airbus [AIR:FP EN Paris]
Boeing [BA:US New York]

And keep coming back to What Happens? …If following the C-Series alliance, Bombardier and Airbus jointly go after Boeing’s space launch business?

Boeing might have a lot to lose.

After all these years, Boeing is starting to look a bit like the era of IBM’s classic mistake pooh-poohing upstart Bill Gates. A bit worn and top-heavy. Trying to do everything. Too stuffy. Too many red ties. Too slow. Vainly trying to block loss of market share.

Facing SpaceX must be bad enough.



What does Canada have to offer Airbus? For starters: vast open spaces for launch facilities and Russia-type capsule landings; North Atlantic drop zones; technical skills that are complimentary to Airbus. What does Europe offer? For starters: CETA. Stability. Multilinguality. Psychologically stable leadership. And Tweet-free negotiations.

David Huer has no position in any stocks mentioned here.

Images: linked

Astronaut Double Amputeans and Paraplegians?

I’m reading Michael Kerrigan’s Restoring Character in America for an upcoming blog post. In the meantime, have a look at two 2016 postings from my creativity blog:



Orbital Trade offers expansive opportunities for physically-challenged people. This will be amazing for Earth-bound “disabled” people coming top-side.



But possibly competitively secretly scary to two-leggers – the standard astronaut archetype.

Because commanders, mission planners, investors, accountants, and insurers are going to ask: Aren’t two-legged people naturally less abled in the spaceflight environment? Aren’t legless pilots the supremely more effective choice?


All companies think about the bottom line. Here, as an entrepreneur, the natural thought is: Wow, amazing. I can cut the cost of launch, consumables, and probably get some tax credits.

But better companies aspire to something more.  What could we accomplish creating Orbital Career Opportunities for Physically-Challenged People? Aren’t Amputean/Paraplegian Astronauts superior candidates? Who is the more-natural astronaut?

– by David Huer
– originally published in creativity blog (June 2016)


Sgt. Anthony Larson, his adaptive ski instructor close behind, skis down the beginner’s hill on his mono-ski March 9, 2007 in Vail, CO, USA.
US Public Domain:

USMC Corporal Todd Love and Team X-T.R.E.M.E. competing in The Spartan Race, Leesburg, VA, 2012:

Next-gen Astronaut suit, Oceaneering [OII U.S.: NYSE]: