As mankind continues to progress, the need to expand into space becomes more critical. Independent space enterprises are developing capabilities to support: space tourism, space debris collection, LEO habitats, lunar visits, and temporary/permanent lunar habitats. The structure of the space market has created an industry structure such that independent activities are not coordinated resulting in duplication of capabilities. For example, insurance costs are determined based on individual capabilities and do not take into account synergies and liability mitigation to reduce risk from adjacent capabilities. This project evaluates the return on investment from coordination of activities to create “capability stepping stones” from the six independent capabilities listed above to develop a lunar habitat.
A discrete-event simulation was developed to estimate the ROI from alternate investment, direct operating, indirect costs, and revenues to determine cost, time, and risk thresholds to achieve ROI financial targets. This model is based on data from peer-reviewed government and industry sources such as DARPA, NASA, and the ESA and includes quarterly computation of Net Present Value.
Preliminary results from first-order estimates indicate an average seven year break-even time for each stepping-stone. One of the major factors achieved through capability stepping-stone collaboration is the reduction of huge insurance costs. These results indicate an important role for international governance and collaboration between capability stepping-stones of the space-market place to maximize the potential of space.