Plan Outline for the Co-op
"Billions and Billions ... " to quote a famous writer out of context. That is what most would have you believe it will cost to build even the smallest of structures in outer space. Simply NOT TRUE!
Yes, it is true that if we were to build a structure in space from materials lifted from Earth, the cost would be enormous. Currently, the cost is in the neighborhood of $10,000 per kilogram. Structural steel and other components would simply be near impossible. The solution is, however, rather simple get the materials needed from space. Asteroids and other sources such as the moon provide all the necessary raw materials to build structures in space. There are adequate class M (high metal) asteroids in near Earth orbit alone to satisfy the material needs for hundreds of habitats such as the one we are proposing.
The cost of building in this way is substantially reduced in that only the equipment (robotic mining, refining and building) need be lifted from Earth. If we lift 50,000kg of asteroid mining and processing equipment, that is a one time cost of $500,000,000. Once our equipment is in place in space, we are in a position to build our structure at virtually zero cost. Also, we will be in a position to provide materials and services to other ventures that will want to build in space thus providing an avenue for further revenues. There are dozens of other groups with similar objectives to ours that would benefit from our services. Check out NEO for a bit of info on space mining potential.
There is the potential in a single mile diameter asteroid for trillions of dollars in platinum group and rare earth minerals alone.
There will be costs associated with the operations and logistics of our Earth based resources. This is where the advantage of the co-op comes in. The co-op requires its membership to provide 10 hours each month to the co-op. With a membership target of 350,000 this amounts to 3,500,000man hours labor each month. Some of this labor is sold world wide to other companies that can make use of the diverse skill set within our labor pool. If half our labor were sold at a mere $10per hour, that produces a further $17million in revenue each month. The remaining labor, applied to our endeavors, results in over 10,000 full time equivalents.
The cost of launching cargo in space is artificial inflated due to lack of competition and limited market. Costs to build and fuel a rocket can quite reasonably be kept below $10million. The research and engineering required has already been done and only minimal expense is required for customizing and licensing of proprietary technology.
We will be opening a College/University dedicated to the studies relating to the development and exploration of outer space. This institution will work closely with our own rocketry and space vehicle design and fabrication facilities. The students will be part of the labor within our fabrication facilities as part of their training. This further adds to our 'free' (in actual fact they pay us to work) labor for our projects.
The co-op will also assist members and associates in the marketing and R&D of products and services of interest to the co-op. An example is a bio-reactor, invented by the founder, to grow algae, purify water and remove effluence pollutants from high CO2 emission facilities. The lipids are extracted from the algae and used in the making of bio-fuel. The interest this project has to the co-op is that algae are an amazing group of plants that perform some truly astonishing feats while producing Oxygen! Many algae are edible and contain many essential nutrients. Oxygen, nutrients ... both are crucial to the viability of a space habitat.
Will we have enough funding to complete this project? We will be generating somewhere in the neighborhood of $50million revenue per month based only on current projects and strategies. Over the approximate 25 years of this project that translates to about $15Billion and don't forget about the enormous amount of free labor.