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The Beginning


About

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The Beginning


About

How It All Started

In 1995, LtCol Dale Tietz and Dr. Bill Stone reviewed the data from the Clementine satellite mission for the first time together. Tietz, who had directed space-based portions of the Pentagon's Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) program, pointed out the strong possibility that constituents of water were detected by bistatic radar returns at the South Pole of the Moon––specifically at Shackleton crater. NASA and SDI scientists were ecstatic!  Stone, who had developed designs at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to boost expended Space Shuttle external tanks into orbit and convert them into industrial laboratories and propellant depots, saw something else in the data. His team had calculated the propellant needs for landing commercial spacecraft on the Moon. In the Clementine and Lunar Prospector data he realized––that with unlimited quantities of lunar ice in the deep, cold trap craters––the opportunity to generate large quantities of rocket propellants at Shackleton and  Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to refuel vehicles in cis-lunar space.  The real moneymaker was to ship raw water to LEO for processing into liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen propellants to then sell at significantly reduced prices than anything available on Earth--on demand--to all space farers. 

In November 1996, the Clementine mission reported detection of water ice on the South Pole of the Moon. Image credit: NASA.

In November 1996, the Clementine mission reported detection of water ice on the South Pole of the Moon. Image credit: NASA.

On 5 March 1998 it was announced that data returned by the Lunar Prospector spacecraft indicated that water ice might be present at both the North and South Lunar Poles - in agreement with interpretations of Clementine results for the South Pole. Image credit: NASA.

On 5 March 1998 it was announced that data returned by the Lunar Prospector spacecraft indicated that water ice might be present at both the North and South Lunar Poles - in agreement with interpretations of Clementine results for the South Pole. Image credit: NASA.

This concept would forever change the logistics and economics game of operating beyond LEO in space, despite the fact a national decision was make to cancel Stone's futuristic Shuttle tank program and leave it to industry to work the problem. 

Over the next 12 years Stone and Tietz continually refined the business calculations and expeditionary implementation plan to deliver lunar propellant and life support consumables to LEO and do so at a profit. The plans were kept quiet because it was felt, until 2007, that the demand side of the business was not sufficiently defined. The advent, beginning in the fall of 2004, of a viable and burgeoning space tourism industry bent on delivering paying passengers to eventual hotels in LEO and beyond, convinced the team that it was finally time to go public with the concept. In March of 2007, Stone discussed the topic at the TED conference in Monterey, California along side Richard Branson. In 2008  Shackleton Energy Company was founded with Jim Keravala who expanded the project into a full space infrastructure program. The SEC Business Plan is complete and we are now in discussions with investors throughout the world.

 


What's in the Name?

Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922), British Imperial Antarctic Expedition "Nimrod - Expedition", 1907 -1909 Public Domain, from "The Heart of the Antarctic", Volume I, by E. H. Shackleton, 1909. P. 364.

Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922), British Imperial Antarctic Expedition "Nimrod - Expedition", 1907 -1909

Public Domain, from "The Heart of the Antarctic", Volume I, by E. H. Shackleton, 1909. P. 364.

We decided to call our company Shackleton Energy for three reasons:

1. The man: Sir Ernest Shackleton, who led three British expeditions to Antarctica in the early 1900s, is considered one of the world’s greatest explorers of his time. He was all about extraordinarily bold leadership, endurance and beating the odds.

2. The crater:  The South Pole lunar crater called Shackleton Crater in the honour of the explorer, was proposed by NASA in the 2004 timeframe to be the primary landing site for human return to the Moon. This crater coincidentally is also one of the most lucrative mining sites that contains hundreds of millions of tonnes of lunar ice ready for extraction and rocket propellant production, as well as other volatiles for life support.

3. Energy:  In addition to naming our company for the explorer and the crater, we also call it an “energy” company. We are geared to produce water and in space water can be used to produce energy for power (rocket propellants), life (living, breathing, growing) and manufacturing. 

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Founders


Founders

Founders


Founders

Dale Tietz

Dale Tietz

U.S. Air Force pilot, major system acquisition manager, Strategic Defense Initiative program manager, business developer and pioneer in unmanned aviation, Dale joined SEC as the President to turn goals into reality. With over 40 years of aerospace experience, Dale’s unique background, talent, international networks and zeal to do what others often say is impossible motivated him to team with Bill Stone to make SEC a winner.

“Spindletop initiated the modern oil and gas revolution and SEC will do the same in space. The timing could not be better with the global convergence of nations, businesses, entrepreneurs and wealth all clamoring for a commercial space ecosystem that make this venture so exciting.” 

Bill Stone

World-class explorer, inventor and engineer, Bill Stone has over 35 years of experience in Government and industry that has led him to the conclusion that exploring the Moon for ice and deploying "gas stations in space" as a private venture is the right project, at the right time, employing the right resources to do the right thing for humanity.

“When we are successful, then all who participate in it will go down in history as those who were responsible for truly opening the space frontier in our time––a pioneering effort that many said could not be done.  Water on the Moon is literally the feedstock for the next major Gold Rush in space."
Jim Keravala

Jim Keravala

Jim comes to SEC with an exemplary 25 year background in space development and operations. Instrumental in the launch of over a dozen satellites, he was also involved in the establishment of new space programs for emerging space nations. Jim combines systems engineering and entrepreneurial drive to build long term infrastructure vision based upon near term capital requirements in his role as architect of SEC's program. Jim also leads SEC's Middle Eastern, European and Russian operations teams.

"We are Go for the greatest and most profitable endeavor in human history. With our depots in space and crew on the Moon, we'll have boots on the ground and set a foothold to the stars."

Erika Ilves

As a global innovation strategist Erika has led several corporate restructuring programs in banking and telecom sectors as an engagement manager at McKinsey. She is the Founder of the Human Project program addressing space, technology and other key sectors influencing humanity's growth and affecting our future. Erika has used her experience in corporate strategy to refine SEC's business plan and global partnerships.

"Industry on Earth would be unimaginable without a transportation system of refuellable vehicles. That's what we must build outside the Earth's atmosphere to do all the great things we want to do in space, from geostationary solar power stations to settling Mars. The first step is an orbital fuel station with lunar supply chain of fuel. There is just no way around it."

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Strategic Relationships


In the 21st century we will redevelop the ability to leave the Earth and continue where we left off with exploration, not just to the Moon, but with objects much further away; near Earth objects, the satellites of Mars, and someday maybe even going down to the surface of Mars itself.

Astronaut Jeffrey Hoffman
Advisor, Human Space Operations & SEC LEO Space Station Command

Strategic Relationships


In the 21st century we will redevelop the ability to leave the Earth and continue where we left off with exploration, not just to the Moon, but with objects much further away; near Earth objects, the satellites of Mars, and someday maybe even going down to the surface of Mars itself.

Astronaut Jeffrey Hoffman
Advisor, Human Space Operations & SEC LEO Space Station Command

Our Team & Strategic Partners

We have recruited incredible individuals, many of whom define what world class means in their respective domains of expertise, be it lunar geology or program management. Our team is a distributed network of almost 150 people bringing 4,000 man years of combined experience in aerospace engineering, program management, exploration, mining and business development. Over the years, all of us have contributed significant chunks of our time and expertise to develop the Shackleton Energy program for one simple reason--we believe it's a brilliant idea. Here are some of the executive leaders of the Shackleton Energy Program:

Erika Ilves - Chief Strategic Officer

Dr Jeffrey Hoffman - Advisor, Human Ops & LEO Station Command

Max de Jong - Inflatable Space Architectures & Lunar Expeditions

Dr Steven Howe - Chief Nuclear Systems

Dr Norbert Frischauf - International Operations

Dr Melissa Force - Chief Space Law

Dr Greg Baiden - Chief Lunar Mining

Dr Richard Pyle - Lunar Expedition Team

Dr James Logan - Chief Spaceflight Medical Officer

Mike Loucks - Orbital Mission Analysis

Dr Erick Malaret - Lunar Operations Assessments & Mission Planning

 

 

 

The Shackleton Energy program is not a one-company show. It takes a consortium to pull off a space infrastructure project of this scale and complexity. Over the years, we have negotiated strategic relationships with dozens of companies and space agencies. Here is a sampling of our strategic relationships:

SEC maintains active relationships with many government organizations worldwide.  In particular, the following information is provided to assist US Government clients with validation and verification of SEC registration in www.sam.gov for official US business: Shackleton Energy Company, CAGE Code: 6GBA5; EIN: 27-5170014; DUNS: 968028998.

All SEC operations are compliant with US Government restrictions on Export Control Laws including ITAR.

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Shackleton spirit


MEN WANTED

For Hazardous Journey
Small Wages, Bitter Cold Long Months of Complete Darkness, Constant Danger, Safe Return Doubtful, Honour and Recognition In Case of Success

- Sir Ernest Shackleton 1914 

Shackleton spirit


MEN WANTED

For Hazardous Journey
Small Wages, Bitter Cold Long Months of Complete Darkness, Constant Danger, Safe Return Doubtful, Honour and Recognition In Case of Success

- Sir Ernest Shackleton 1914 

Answering the Call

Footage from our expeditions

We've led 44 expeditions to some of the harshest places on Earth and built highly complex robotic systems where life depended on performance. Below is the video footage from our expeditions where we were testing our robotic & engineering systems in harsh environments on Earth.

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Pushing Frontiers


One of the world’s foremost deep sea divers committed to pushing the boundaries of human exploration on Earth’s last remaining frontier––in search of aquatic lifeforms yet to be discovered.  Researcher at Hawaii’s Bishop Museum and fellow at the Eric Schmidt Ocean Institute.

Dr. Richard Pyle, Shackleton Energy Company Candidate for Lunar Basecamp Startup Crew

Pushing Frontiers


One of the world’s foremost deep sea divers committed to pushing the boundaries of human exploration on Earth’s last remaining frontier––in search of aquatic lifeforms yet to be discovered.  Researcher at Hawaii’s Bishop Museum and fellow at the Eric Schmidt Ocean Institute.

Dr. Richard Pyle, Shackleton Energy Company Candidate for Lunar Basecamp Startup Crew

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Expanding Horizons


World-class mountain climber, expedition leader, paraglider record holder and
SEC partner for all space inflatable technologies.
 

Maxim De Jong, Shackleton Energy Company Candidate for Lunar Basecamp Startup Crew

Expanding Horizons


World-class mountain climber, expedition leader, paraglider record holder and
SEC partner for all space inflatable technologies.
 

Maxim De Jong, Shackleton Energy Company Candidate for Lunar Basecamp Startup Crew

Space Medical Officer


Space Medical Officer


 
 

"I spent most of my career as a NASA Flight Surgeon doing direct mission support and providing care for the astronauts - on Earth and in space. Being the Chief Spaceflight Medical Officer for Shackleton is a rare opportunity to take it to the next level of human destiny - making large scale industrial-level human space operations a reality."

"My clarion call is to tackle the challenging problems of enabling our crews to operate and survive in harsh radiation, microgravity and extreme temperature environments".

Dr James Logan--Chief, Spaceflight Medical Officer

"Living on Mars--Fact or Fantasy"

https://youtu.be/pPVORuanf18

(Must See to Understand Challenges of Humans Operating Off Earth)

 

 

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Chief Mining Officer


Chief Mining Officer


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"Penguin Automated Systems in Sudbury Canada has years of experience in terrestrial mining and concepts for mining resources (ISRU) off Earth.  Working with the Shackleton Team we have the best chance of mining the Moon for water and other volatiles as feedstock for affordable rocket propellants and the ingredients to support human operations."

Dr Greg Baiden--Chief Mining Officer