Will routine travel between low Earth orbit and the Moon be possible in the future and if so, what will be required to make it a reality? In the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, which debuted in April 1968, Dr. Heywood Floyd must attend an important meeting – a meeting on the Moon. His journey begins with a flight to a large artificial gravity space station orbiting Earth aboard a commercial space plane. He then departs on a commuter shuttle flight to the Moon arriving there 25 hours later aboard a large spherical-shaped lunar transfer vehicle which touches down on a landing pad that subsequently descends to a large sprawling lunar settlement located underground. Today, 52 years later, the images portrayed in Kubrick and Clarke's film, while inspirational, remain well beyond our capabilities and 2100: A Space Odyssey seems a more appropriate title. This panel session takes a look ahead at key technologies and systems (in-situ resource utilization, fission power, robust reusable chemical propulsion), commercial artificial gravity space stations and supporting orbital infrastructure (providing propellant and cargo transfer functions), that could be developed by NASA and industry over the coming decades that can allow the operational capabilities presented in 2001 to be achieved, albeit on a more spartan scale. Subject matter experts will discuss this future vision and provide their perspective on where these key technologies and systems currently stand and where we need to get to realize the vision outlined above.

Session Lead(s):

John Blincow - Panelist - Gateway Foundation
Stanley Borowski - Chair - retired, NASA Glenn Research Center
Hans Hansen - Panelist - NASA
Reed Kakuska - Panelist - Aerojet Rocketdyne
Laszlo Kestay - Panelist - U.S. Geological Survey
Lee Mason - Panelist - NASA Glenn Research Center
Stephen Ryan - Chair - NASA Glenn Research Center
Harrison Schmitt - Panelist - NASA
Jason Schuler - Panelist - NASA

Presentations ( See all )