Dual-use technology or "reverse spin-offs" as a framework for space development

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We revisit the idea of utilizing dual-use technology as a viable paradigm for the financing of a lunar enterprise. The defining question is: How do we finance projects and technological developments that are so expensive and generally require such long time scales that investors will not support them? This question applies to many largescale expensive endeavors, including lunar development. However, other than Space, such projects are viewed to be in the public interest, and, therefore, justifiably funded by the government. Examples include airports, highways, environmental cleanup facilities, the military, and the Space exploration of the 1960s. Compared to these generally closed-ended projects, with generally understood economic and social benefits, lunar development is open-ended. This fact makes it difficult to detail its benefits because of the vastness of the enterprise. (How would one begin to justify the multi-generational benefits of colonizing a planet over a period of one to two hundred years?) It is also very expensive when viewed as an individual project. Perhaps then it is possible to identify segments of the larger endeavor that can be independently justified as financially feasible and societally worthy activities. The essential framework proposed here for supporting and managing long-term and expensive projects is to substructure the larger project into smaller independent and profitable units. The path to the Moon can be supported by scores of existing and newly created independent businesses. These businesses can be linked legally and administratively in some way so that the whole is larger than the sum of its parts. The whole will get us to the Moon, and investors can support any or all of the parts that get us there.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication66th International Astronautical Congress 2015, IAC 2015
Subtitle of host publicationSpace - The Gateway for Mankind's Future
PublisherInternational Astronautical Federation, IAF
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781510818934
StatePublished - 2015
Event66th International Astronautical Congress 2015: Space - The Gateway for Mankind's Future, IAC 2015 - Jerusalem, Israel
Duration: Oct 12 2015Oct 16 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC


Other66th International Astronautical Congress 2015: Space - The Gateway for Mankind's Future, IAC 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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