Shackleton Energy Company


Shackleton Energy Company
FounderBill Stone
Dale Tietz
Jim Keravala
United States
Key people
Bill Stone (Chairman)
Dale Tietz (CEO)
Jim Keravala (COO)
Erika Ilves[1]

Shackleton Energy Company was a Texas company (2007–mid-2010s) formed to build equipment and technologies necessary for mining the Moon.


Shackleton was formed in 2007 in Del Valle, Texas to build equipment and technologies necessary for mining the Moon. Shackleton Energy was a subsidiary of Piedra-Sombra Corporation[2] until March 2011, when it was incorporated as an independent C-corporation in the State of Texas.[3]

In November 2011, Shackleton announced an intent to undertake lunar prospecting,[4][non-primary source needed] but failed to secure funding and met no public milestones.[citation needed]

The company planned in 2011 to develop an "industrial astronaut corps" that would select individuals who have many of the characteristics of previous explorers—such as Ernest Shackleton, Edmund Hillary and Lewis and Clark,[5] and projected that they could have humans stationed on the Moon by March 2021.[6]

In the belief that significant reserves of ice would be located, the company had hoped to establish a network of "refueling service stations" in low Earth orbit (LEO) and on the Moon to process and provide fuel and consumables for commercial and government customers.[7] Shackleton planned to use that on-orbit logistics infrastructure to build a fuel-processing operation on the lunar surface and in propellant depots in LEO. Their equipment was stated to be designed to melt the ice and purify the water, "electrolyze the water into gaseous hydrogen and oxygen, and could condense the gases into liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen and also process them into hydrogen peroxide, all of which could be used as rocket fuels. Should other volatiles like ammonia or methane be discovered, they, too, would be processed into fuel, fertilizer, and other useful products."[7]

They stated that the economics that would make the enterprise potentially profitable are based on the relatively low costs of getting fuels and other consumables from the Moon into low Earth orbit, because "such a haul requires just 1/14th to 1/20th of the fuel it takes to bring material up from Earth."[7]

Shackleton began a US$1.2 million crowdfunding campaign in November 2011 for seed funding, working with crowdfunding partner RocketHub.[8][9] but was unsuccessful and raised less than US$6,000 (0.46%) of the US$1.2 million goal.[10]

Project phasing

Shackleton originally planned a phased project through 2020.[11] Their plans were funding dependent on a raise in early 2013. However, funding was not secured. There have been no updates as to their progress.

  1. 2012 - 2014: Systems planning and enterprise planning were to happen .
  2. 2014: Robotic precursor missions, lasting two to three years, were projected to begin as early as 2014.
  3. 2014 (concurrent): Establish prototyping and engineering infrastructure in LEO to test interchangeable modules.
  4. Establish production-scale equipment and transport vehicles, both in LEO and on the surface of the Moon. Once the lunar polar base confirmed and equipment is landed, human teams follow to monitor and operate facility for water ice extraction.

Legal regime absent

Although the requisite legal regime to enable the ice mining technology does not exist,[12] major world space agencies, including NASA, had put in place a "voluntary, non-binding coordination forum (the Coordination Mechanism) where nations could share plans for space exploration and collaborate to strengthen both individual projects and the collective effort."[13][needs update]

See also


  1. ^ Danish, Paul (2012-06-21). "Mining in Space". Boulder Weekly. Archived from the original on 2012-06-24. Retrieved 2012-06-24.
  2. ^ "Stone Aerospace Advocates Commercial Mining of the Moon". Stone Aerospace. 2007-01-15. Archived from the original on 2013-07-13. Retrieved 2012-03-07. Shackleton Energy Company (SEC) [is] a wholly owned subsidiary of Piedra-Sombra Corporation
  3. ^ Window on State Government. Certification of Account Status. Retrieved: 7 March 2012.
  4. ^ "Humans to Return to the Moon by 2019" (PDF) (Press release). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-11-19. Retrieved 2011-11-10.
  5. ^ Shackleton Energy's cislunar economic development plans Archived 2013-01-05 at the Wayback Machine David Livingston interview with James Keravala, The Space Show, 14 December 2012, at 1:22:35–1:23:50, accessed 2013-01-03.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-01-28. Retrieved 2015-01-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ a b c Mining the Moon: How the extraction of lunar hydrogen or ice could fuel humanity's expansion into space Archived 2013-03-10 at the Wayback Machine, IEEE Spectrum, June 2009, accessed 2011-01-05.
  8. ^ Messier, Doug (2011-11-09). "Shackleton Energy Company Launches Plan for First Lunar Mining Operation". Parabolic Arc. Archived from the original on 2011-11-13. Retrieved 2011-11-10.
  9. ^ "Humans to Return to the Moon by 2019" Archived 2011-11-19 at the Wayback Machine, Shackleton Energy Company, 09 November 2011. Retrieved on 10 November 2011.
  10. ^ "Project: Shackleton Energy Company Propellant Depots Archived 2012-01-22 at the Wayback Machine, Rockethub, Retrieved on 16 January 2012.
  11. ^ Shackleton Energy's cislunar economic development plans Archived 2013-01-05 at the Wayback Machine David Livingston interview with James Keravala, The Space Show, 14 December 2012, at 55:25–57:40, accessed 2012-12-22.
  12. ^ Moon, Mars, Asteroids: Where to Go First for Resources? Archived 2012-10-17 at the Wayback Machine SSI-TV video archive, recorded on November 9, 2010, 74:37, panel discussion held during the Space Studies Institute's Space Manufacturing 14 conference in California. "Moderated by tech investor Esther Dyson, the discussion included: Prof. Michael A'Hearn, University of Maryland, Dept. of Astronomy, Prof. Greg Baiden, Penguin Automated Systems, Mark Sonter, Asteroid Enterprises Pty Ltd, Prof. John S. Lewis, Space Studies Institute, Dr. Paul Spudis, Lunar and Planetary Institute, and Jeff Greason, XCOR Aerospace."
  13. ^ The Global Exploration Strategy: the Framework for Coordination Archived 2012-08-26 at the Wayback Machine, ASI (Italy), BNSC (United Kingdom), CNES (France), CNSA (China), CSA (Canada), CSIRO (Australia), DLR (Germany), ESA (European Space Agency), ISRO (India), JAXA (Japan), KARI (Republic of Korea), NASA (United States of America), NSAU (Ukraine), Roscosmos (Russia), section 3 "Theme 3: Economic Expansion", pp. 10–12, May 2007, accessed 2011-01-05.

External links

  • Shackleton Energy Company website
  • Stone Aerospace company website
  • "Exclusive: Shackleton Energy Company Launches Plan for First Lunar Mining Operation"—Parabolic Arc article