Product/Service - Oryx, Mini Space Brake (MSB)
- Cargo Transportation & Landers
- Transport Service (Re-Entry)
Resources - Water
Resources - Asteroid Mining
ISRU (In Situ Resource Utilization)
- First launch
Small payload recovery. MOA was signed in 2015 to use ISS.
On 19 February 2015, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Shackleton Energy Company (SEC) to design, develop and test in space a variety of new, highly capable reentry vehicles enabling on–demand, rapid return to Earth of time-critical experiments from Low Earth Orbit (LEO).
Once ready, MSBs will be used to create a new commercial package delivery service from space to Earth. This service will enable researchers to quickly, and gently return small samples and components from the ISS within hours after release from the station. SEC plans to work with scientists whose time critical experiments require immediate retrieval upon landing or experiments that cannot wait for routine capsule return. The commercial product line of MSBs will be called “Oryx” for a unique exotic, agile, fast moving antelope species living in remote places of the world.
Shackleton Energy has more than 30 years of experience designing and deploying space systems -- from small sat design and launch to directing a dedicated shuttle mission. SEC has, as part of its business architecture, developed novel concepts for on-demand reentry from orbit, ranging from cubesat recovery systems to orbital lifeboats to industrial aerobrakes capable of returning 100 ton payloads from the moon to LEO.
With our spacebrake technology we will first explore small payload recovery, then as confidence and capability grows, ramp up to much larger downmass systems over time. Eventually, this technology will enable SEC to demonstrate on–demand recovery of SEC crewmembers from space either for contingencies or special operations.
These larger, much more capable orbital lifeboats––called Assured Crew Recovery Return Vehicles (ACRVs)––will become the lifeblood of SEC commercial propellant depot operations in space for our crews and provide support to other participating spacefarers who do not have readily available means of on-demand return to Earth. This will also be a critical enabler to pave the way for very large aerobraking systems that will be required to economically fly water in our transporters from the Moon to our fuel depots in low Earth orbit (LEO).
Lunar Water Mining
Water can be easily split into hydrogen and oxygen--and that's a powerful propellant for our spacecraft. The reason why it makes more sense to get water from the Moon, instead of hauling it from the Earth's surface is down to pure physics. Our planet's celestial companion is only one-sixth of Earth's size. This means we need to contend with roughly one-sixth of Earth's gravity and need much less fuel to lift any mass off the Moon's surface.
Simple physics translates into unignorable economics. Our calculations show that it is about 20 times cheaper to deliver water to lower Earth orbit from the Moon's surface than it is to deliver it from the Earth's gravity well. Over the last 20 years, we have turned this insight into the most comprehensive commercial space program ever created.