Sustainability requires accessibility to material and energy resources with large reserves. We propose that effectively inexhaustible reserves are available from the extraterrestrial environment (specifically, the Moon) and that they can be accessed at low cost. The key to low cost is in the realization of a self-replicating machine which amortises initial capital investment through exponential growth in productive capacity. This self-replicating machine must leverage itself from available lunar resources by expanding its population until sufficient productive capacity is attained to robotically construct solar power satellites to provision Earth with clean energy from space. We describe current work in developing the major parts of a self-replicating machine to enable leveraging of such extraterrestrial resources (energy and material) for a sustainable Earth.

Additional Metadata
Keywords additive manufacturing, in-situ resource utilisation, self-replicating machines, solar power satellites
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1109/SusTech.2018.8671386
Conference 2018 IEEE Conference on Technologies for Sustainability, SusTech 2018
Citation
Ellery, A. (2019). Sustainability Through Leveraging of Extraterrestrial Resources. In 2018 IEEE Conference on Technologies for Sustainability, SusTech 2018. doi:10.1109/SusTech.2018.8671386