What follows is a portion of the final report of
a NASA summer study, conducted in 1980 by request of newly-
elected President Jimmy Carter at a cost of 11.7 million dollars.
The result of the study was a realistic proposal for a self-
replicating automated lunar factory system, capable of
exponentially increasing productive capacity and, in the
long run, exploration of the entire galaxy within a reasonable
timeframe. Unfortunately, the proposal was quietly declined
with barely a ripple in the press.

What was once concievable with 1980's technology
is now even more practical today. Even if you're just skimming
through this document, the potential of this proposed system
is undeniable. Please enjoy.


Complete hard copies of this study are available from the
National Technical Information Service.

Web version last upgraded June 25, 1999.


Advanced Automation for Space Missions

Edited by
Robert A. Freitas, Jr.
Space Initiative/XRI
Santa Clara, California

William P. Gilbreath
NASA Ames Research Center
Moffett Field, California

Proceedings of the 1980 NASA/ASEE Summer Study
Sponsored by the National Aeronautics and
Space Administration and the American Society for Engineering Education

Held at the University of Santa Clara
Santa Clara, California
June 23-August 29, 1980

NASA Conference Publication 2255

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Scientific and Technical Information Branch, 1982

Click here to see this picture magnified x 4 (200k).

The painting above was created by Mr. Rick Guidice. It captures the spirit of the space missions described in this study. In the center of the picture are human beings who, we believe, will continue to play a controlling role in future space missions. To the right of the circle are two space systems representing a partially automated Space Manufacturing Facility which would eventually utilize nonterrestrial resources. In the upper-right corner is Saturn attended by its largest natural satellite Titan, the proposed destination of our advanced space-exploration mission. The upper-left corner depicts the deepest reaches of the Cosmos that humans someday may explore. At center left is the Earth, which is under intensive study by an intelligent Earth sensing information system that is able to obtain and deliver data in a far more effective manner than present-day methods. In the lower left corner, a lunar manufacturing facility rises from the surface of the Moon. Someday, such a factory might replicate itself, or at least produce most of its own components, so that the number of facilities could grow very rapidly from a single seed.

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