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Previous Projects
The High Frontier – In the mid 1970's the late physics Professor G. K. O'Neill published his book The High Frontier. In it he laid out a possible road map for human settlement beyond the Earth. To O'Neill the future was positive and exciting, and his astronauts looked like you and me. He believed in the power of individuals carving out pockets of life in a largely dead Solar System, and he basically told us how to do it. The High Frontier, which won the 1977 Phi Beta Kappa Award for best science book of the year, is still seen as one of the most important books ever written on the subject of the human breakout into space. The Space Studies Institute, at Dr. O'Neill's request, intends to keep The High Frontier in print as long as the organization exists.

Keep Mir Alive – The Russian space station Mir was de-orbited in March of 2001. We congratulate the people of Russia for operating history's longest-lived space station. But why was such a successful facility destroyed simply because the American space agency saw it as inconvenient while building its expensive new International Space Station?

250K CATS Prize – The Cheap Access To Space (CATS) Prize ended on November 8, 2000. The $250,000 Challenge: In November of 1997 the Space Frontier Foundation and the Foundation for the International Non-governmental Development of Space (FINDS) jointly announced a $250,000 prize for the first private team to launch a 2 kilogram payload into space, 200 km or higher, by November 8, 2000, using a privately developed launcher as specified within the rules. Called the CATS Prize, The Foundation and FINDS wanted to show that space is not purely the domain of governments.

Several private launch companies, including JP Aerospace, InterOrbital and HARC, as well as many individuals, vied for the prize. Although no company was able to achieve the objective within the allotted time, their efforts added to the advancement of private space enterprise.

Space Solar Power – There are 6 billion human beings inhabiting this living world. Six billion humans who place demands on this Earth. Humans who want the Western standard-of-living and who justifiably want all the conveniences of modern life. A fundamental challenge in this century is how to provide for the world's growing energy needs. In meeting this challenge, it is vital that we protect the Earth's fragile biosphere. Space Solar Power, or SSP, may be part of the energy solution. SSP could be an environmentally friendly economical energy producing technology that simultaneously promotes the human realization that the Earth is an open system and the human settlement of space.

External Tanks – The concept of taking the Space Shuttle External Tank (ET) into orbit, salvaging it, and using it on-orbit has been around since the mid 1970s. Public interest in the concept started with a suggestion by Gerard K. O'Neill to use the expended tanks as a source of aluminum for Space Manufacturing Facilities and habitats. Interest in the scientific and technical community grew to the point where the National Commission on Space in 1986, Congress in 1987 and 1988, and President Reagan in 1988 directed NASA to make the tanks available to entrepreneurs in the late 1980s. NASA signed Memoranda of Understanding in 1987, 1989, 1992 to provide ETs to the External Tanks Corporation (ETCO) of Boulder CO and Global Outposts of Las Cruces NM. An external tank-based platform was even proposed as a low-cost alternative to the current International Space Station in 1993. After a few years of relative quiet, the concept is back as a low cost way to fly large commercial platforms in space.

This project is intended to give an overview of 25 years of concepts, policy and research into ET Applications. The basic question regarding ET Applications is this: If it's such a good idea, why is nobody yet flying one?

Open the Frontier!
The Space Frontier Foundation is an organization of people dedicated to opening the Space Frontier to human settlement as rapidly as possible. Our goals include protecting the Earth's fragile biosphere and creating a freer and more prosperous life for each generation by using the unlimited energy and material resources of space. Our purpose is to unleash the power of free enterprise and lead a united humanity permanently into the Solar System.

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The High Frontier is Gerard K. O'Neill's masterpiece. This new 3rd Edition Includes an introduction by Freeman Dyson.
Click above to order The High Frontier from Amazon.com.

The Frontier Enabling Test
Our definition of a "frontier enabling" technology or policy is one which has as its effect the acceleration of the creation of low cost access to the space frontier for private citizens and companies, enables or accelerates our use of space resources, and/or accelerates the rate at which wealth can be generated in space. In other words, is the project or policy going to provide a return on the national investment, if we define "return" to be the economically sustainable human habitation of space?

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