|Bill Stone (Chairman)|
Dale Tietz (CEO)
Jim Keravala (COO)
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 until March 2011, when it was incorporated as an independent C-corporation in the State of Texas.
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, and projected that they could have humans stationed on the Moon by March 2021.
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. 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."
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."
Shackleton began a US$1.2 million crowdfunding campaign in November 2011 for seed funding, working with crowdfunding partner RocketHub. but was unsuccessful and raised less than US$6,000 (0.46%) of the US$1.2 million goal.
Shackleton originally planned a phased project through 2020. 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.
Although the requisite legal regime to enable the ice mining technology does not exist, 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."[needs update]
Shackleton Energy Company (SEC) [is] a wholly owned subsidiary of Piedra-Sombra Corporation