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U.S. lunar mining company and Norwegian technology company to develop drilling and power solutions for operations on the Moon

Shackleton Energy Company (SEC) and Zaptec signed a Memorandum of Understanding to explore how technology originally developed by Zaptec for the Norwegian oil & gas sector can be repurposed to create lightweight power infrastructure to extract water from the Moon.

VIENNA, 12 March 2015 (PRWEB)SEC is building a lunar supply chain where water ice is extracted from the Moon’s surface, converted into fuel and sold from fuel stations in low Earth orbit. As the cost of operations on the lunar surface is sensitive to the size and mass of equipment, SEC is always on the lookout for novel engineering solutions, especially for power systems and extraction that drive the fundamental design of in-space systems.

A potential solution has been developed by Zaptec, a Norwegian company that originated from the oil and gas industry. Zaptec has developed a patented electronic transformer that enables transformation of high voltages and high currents in very small devices, reducing material usage by a factor of 100. Zaptec's transformer enables plasma lightning pulses to be generated and controlled in very compact, powerful drilling technology. Plasma drilling technology offers the potential to extract water ice at significantly lower power levels compared with traditional mechanical drilling systems.

“Zaptec´s miniature electronic transformer technology can enable significant mass reduction for space infrastructure”, says Jim Keravala, COO of SEC. “We are constantly looking for technologies that reduce size and power requirements for energy efficient operations in free space and on the Moon. It will also be able to power high-voltage plasma drilling technology, adding to Shackleton’s water and mineral extraction equipment.”

"We are already collaborating with NASA and ESA to develop our core technology for operations on asteroids and drilling on Mars. Adding industrial development on the Moon to our objectives is very inspiring and Shackleton Energy Company is a good match for both our technology and ambitions as a company", says Brage W. Johansen, CEO of Zaptec. "This working relationship will accelerate our technology's development; sharing competence, skills and strategies in this way may change the industry”, Johansen concludes.

Brage W. Johansen, CEO of Zaptec and Jim Keravala, COO of Shackleton Energy Company in Vienna on March 12, 2015.

Brage W. Johansen, CEO of Zaptec and Jim Keravala, COO of Shackleton Energy Company in Vienna on March 12, 2015.

 

ABOUT

Shackleton Energy Company (SEC)

SEC was established to address the very specific challenge of providing more affordable access to and more affordable operations in space for everyone—and do it privately using low cost lunar-derived fuel sold in space. Today, space missions are very expensive because they have to lift from Earth not only the payloads, but also the additional fuel and tankage for in-space operations. With fuel depots, SEC will significantly reduce that burden on tomorrow’s spacefarers. The company’s success will enable opening the space frontier to multitudes of new missions and opportunities, thereby improving life here on Earth and beyond. The SEC motto is: “Fueling the Space Frontier.”

http://www.shackletonenergy.com

Contact: Erika Ilves, erika.ilves@shackletonenergy.com

 

Zaptec

Zaptec has developed next generation transformer technologies able to operate in harsh environments yet significantly increase power density throughput for AC and DC electrical systems. The new range of super compact power electronic devices developed over the last ten years have proven to have wide applications in urban markets and extreme environments.  Zaptec is currently developing products with Norwegian and international partners in the automotive industry, energy industry and in the aerospace industry and is leading the way in cross technology transfer of these products into the space market.

http://www.zaptec.com

Contact: Brage W.Johansen, BWJ@Zaptec.com

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Shackleton Energy Company Signs MOA to Utilize the International Space Station For Development and Testing of New Payload Retrieval System

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Shackleton Energy Company Signs MOA to Utilize the International Space Station For Development and Testing of New Payload Retrieval System

Lunar mining company signs Memorandum of Agreement to develop a new class of reentry vehicles to enable rapid return of time-critical experiments from Low Earth Orbit back to Earth, paving the way for Shackleton’s aerobraking systems that will enable transport of water from the Moon to propellant depots in Low Earth Orbit.

Austin, TX (PRWEB)

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). CASIS was tasked by NASA in 2011 to manage the U.S. National Laboratory on the ISS.

SEC’s re-entry vehicles (technically described as Mini Space Brakes–MSBs) will be developed using novel aerobraking and flight dynamics control systems. The SEC team will leverage US federal technology investments and work closely with CASIS, NASA Centers, FAA, DoD and private partners to achieve its goals. With this MOA, CASIS intends to support SEC with facilitation of payload integration activities, launch to ISS and deployment of MSBs from the station to test these miniaturized, highly intelligent, deployable maneuvering reentry vehicles (RV) for the purposes of providing real flight data to guide optimization of a compact, lightweight, low cost commercial on-demand reentry capability.

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.

Developing Oryx for use in LEO applications is about small payload recovery, and the ISS provides the optimal platform for carrying out the initial demonstration of this emerging technology and commercial capability. Over time, as confidence and capability grow, SEC will ramp up to much larger downmass systems. 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 Return Vehicles (ACRVs)––will become the lifeblood of SEC commercial propellant depot operations in space and provide support to other participating spacefarers who do not have readily available means of on-demand return to Earth. MSB technology will also be a critical enabler to pave the way for very large aerobraking systems that will be required to economically fly water in SEC’s tankers from the Moon to SEC’s fuel depots in LEO.

Commenting on the announcement, Dale Tietz, CEO of SEC said:

“This is a brand new capability that Shackleton Energy brings to the table in partnership with CASIS and NASA. Now we can expand ISS utility even further by allowing time critical payloads to be returned to Earth within hours by the push of a button. The benefits are enormous and we believe developments such as this are sorely needed and contribute to the beginnings of a new wave of space utilization for all humanity. When MSB testing is complete we will inaugurate a new FEDEX-like business capability of benefit to all space customers, wherein CASIS primed the pump for the new venture.”

Dr. Peter Lee, SEC Chief Medical Officer and Flight Surgeon, said:

“Having been involved as a Principal Investigator with several ISS medical experiments, I understand the need for scientists to get their experiments back to Earth as quickly as possible. When in service, Shackleton Energy’s Oryx–class vehicles will provide unique mission capability. I am very encouraged we can provide NASA and the science community just what they need at very attractive prices and availability.”

Dr. Jeff Hoffman (MIT), former NASA Hubble repair astronaut and SEC Advisor for Human Space Operations, said:

“Quick payload return from space is the missing ingredient for new science, security and commercial applications only now being considered for implementation. Shackleton Energy intends to offer these services to all peaceful nations from any source in space, including planets and asteroids. ISS is a marvelous testbed to wring out the technology and operations with human assistance on orbit. This is a fantastic opportunity for a public–private partnership that will not only advance space technology but will also advance the ability of government and private organizations to conduct operations together. What makes this even more exciting for me is that this reentry technology is scalable to larger robotic and even human dimensions. What a ride that would be!”

Aaron Kemmer, CEO of Made In Space, Inc., said:

“As potential future customers of Shackleton Energy’s Oryx return vehicles, this opens up a new world of possibilities for our 3D printer technologies on ISS. The rapid delivery service back to Earth will be a complementary component of our on-station manufacturing capabilities. Made In Space, Inc. looks forward to working with Shackleton Energy."

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About

Shackleton Energy Company (SEC)

Shackleton Energy was established to address the very specific challenge of providing more affordable access to and more affordable operations in space for everyone—and do it privately using low cost lunar-derived fuel sold in space. Today, space missions are very expensive because they have to lift from Earth not only the payloads, but also the additional fuel and tankage for in-space operations. With fuel depots, Shackleton Energy will significantly reduce that burden on tomorrow’s spacefarers. The company’s success will enable opening the space frontier to multitudes of new missions and opportunities, thereby improving life here on Earth and beyond. For more information visithttp://www.shackletonenergy.com.

Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS)

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) was selected by NASA in July 2011 to maximize use of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory through 2020. CASIS is dedicated to supporting and accelerating innovations and new discoveries that will enhance the health and wellbeing of people and our planet. For more information, visit http://www.iss-casis.org.

About the ISS National Laboratory

In 2005, Congress designated the U.S. portion of the International Space Station as the nation's newest national laboratory to maximize its use for improving life on Earth, promoting collaboration among diverse users, and advancing STEM education. This unique laboratory environment is available for use by other U.S. government agencies and by academic and private institutions, providing access to the permanent microgravity setting, vantage point in low Earth orbit, and varied environments of space. For more information visit:http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station.

 

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Shackleton Energy Company (SEC) Opens  Office in the Oil Capital of Norway

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Shackleton Energy Company (SEC) Opens Office in the Oil Capital of Norway

Lunar mining company establishes permanent presence in Stavanger to access Norway’s expertise in extremely challenging deep sea drilling, extraction and logistics support operations.

Stavanger, Norway: SEC was created for a single purpose—within a decade provide highly energetic rocket propellants and support services in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and on the Moon to jumpstart the New Space economy. Rocket propellants will be derived from the mining and processing of lunar ice into liquid oxygen and hydrogen obtained from some of the harshest operating environments known to man. The lunar polar cold traps–the first being Shackleton Crater–will become home to SEC crews and machines performing their industrial wildcat missions 24/7.

Following a series of highly productive engagements with the Stavanger oil community, SEC announced today the opening of its first office outside the United States to pursue joint technology development for its operations in space. The new office will be located at the Innovation Dock in downtown Stavanger.

Stavanger is one of Europe’s energy capitals, the center of Norway’s oil & gas sector and home to hundreds of companies with technology and operations expertise in deep sea drilling in the North Sea and the Arctic.

North sea oil rig side by side with an orbital propellant depot. Image: © Nightman1965 and SEC. 

North sea oil rig side by side with an orbital propellant depot. Image: © Nightman1965 and SEC. 

Commenting on the opening of the Stavanger office, Dale Tietz, SEC CEO said:

Stavanger has something we need: highly qualified, enthusiastic people with operational experience and technology available for use in extreme environments as a means to assist SEC in rapidly planning its industrial space mining efforts.

We found these human resources in our recent discussions with Norwegian oil & gas and financial executives. The discussions proved to be so productive that we decided to open our first office in Stavanger as a means to establish a regional foothold for the future of benefit to all. We are now finalizing several partnership agreements.

Our analysis shows that low cost fuel in space will be an $80 billion market by 2030. By then we will have established 20 points of sale in the cis-lunar space, making our presence ubiquitous for all spacefarers in need of quality support services of all kinds. We will be running continuous human-tended industrial-scale operations in space. No one has ever done anything like this before.

Christian Rangen who will assist SEC's Stavanger office added:

Stavanger is the perfect match for Shackleton. The oil & gas community over here has been seriously thinking about how to apply our technology and skills to space since 2009 when we launched the Space & Energy network as a forum for exploring these ideas. We think of resource extraction in space as “drilling up.” And now that we have a space mining venture in town, we can start turning our ideas into reality.

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 About Innovation Dock

Innovation Dock is an innovation hub for entrepreneurs, innovators and growth companies in Stavanger, Norway. 1300m2 of office, co-working and conference facilities with front row view of the fjords and mountains, located in the most energetic part of Stavanger city center.

http://www.innovationdock.no/

Jim Keravala, Co-founder and COO, Shackleton Energy Company, speaking at Innovation Dock in Stavanger in January 2015. Image: Innovation Dock.

Jim Keravala, Co-founder and COO, Shackleton Energy Company, speaking at Innovation Dock in Stavanger in January 2015. Image: Innovation Dock.

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Shackleton Energy Company Calls for Global Private-Public Partnership to the Moon

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Shackleton Energy Company Calls for Global Private-Public Partnership to the Moon

Released to press on Monday, November 10, 2014

In response to the recent proposal from the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, to appropriate the best sites on the South Pole of the Moon, Shackleton Energy Company is urging industry and space agencies to join its space infrastructure consortium.

Austin, TX: Shackleton Energy Company (SEC), a lunar mining company set up to extract water ice from the Moon, turn it into fuel and place it in refueling stations in space, issued a formal invitation to industry and space agencies to join its consortium to develop lunar resources. SEC’s announcement came on the heels of the news from Russia where a proposal jointly prepared by the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos and the Russian Academy of Sciences argued for the need for Russia to appropriate the most resource rich sites on the South Pole of the Moon by establishing and gradually expanding its lunar operations at those sites before other governments do the same. The Russian proposal is inferring that the US government is already attempting a de facto appropriation of territory on the Moon, which could be assumed from the Apollo Lunar Landing Legacy Act introduced to U.S. Congress in 2013 with the objective to set up a U.S. national historic park around the Apollo landing sites. The proposal is likely in conflict with the 1967 Outer Space treaty established to contain sovereign ambitions from escalating into a destructive land grab in space. The Russian government is expected to vote on the proposal in December 2014.

Photo by Igor Sokalski/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by Igor Sokalski/iStock / Getty Images

Commenting on the recommendation from Roscosmos, Dale Tietz, CEO of Shackleton Energy said:

While we share our Russian friends’ enthusiasm about the Moon and its resources, we think the sovereign appropriation of the best lunar sites by Russia or any other nation is not the way to go. That path will throw us back to the time when the Moon was nothing but a stage for terrestrial geopolitics.

We should absolutely forge ahead and set up lunar operations to extract the water ice deposits and other lunar resources but we should do it for the benefit of all mankind, not narrow national interests. The best way to do this is through a global private-public industrial consortium, not national appropriation. We have the program in place to develop lunar water ice resources and we would welcome new partners—public or private—to join forces in making space more accessible for everyone.

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About Russian Federal Space Agency Proposal 2014

Roscosmos, in cooperation with Russian Academy of Science (RAS) has prepared a new proposal for Moon exploration. The key differentiating factor in this proposal compared to earlier versions is the ideological question of the benefit gained from spending billions of dollars on such exploration; the answer is clearly stated as Russia should promptly stake a claim to the most promising areas of the Moon on the South Pole (http://izvestia.ru/news/578352). Roscosmos has requested its budget for 2016- 2025 for all space related programs totaling 2.3 trillion Rubles (USD53B) (http://gigamir.net/money/pub1015815). Significant plans for lunar operations have been proposed which include robotic landers as well as human operations and a base on the South Pole of the Moon (http://kosmolenta.com/index.php/377-2014-10-24-lunar-plans). The first robotic expedition will be looking for water as the initial goal and will commence in 2019 when the first missions toward the Moon begin. The South Pole of the Moon is considered the best place to take position and build a station, and Russia is aiming to establish de facto sovereign appropriation of locations on the Moon where there is maximum light for the longest periods of time, minimum fluctuations in temperature, and ice/water available at less than 2m depth (http://techno.bigmir.net/discovery/1578340-Rossija-hochet-nacionalizirovat--juzhnyj-poljus-na-Lune.

 

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