AscensionTek Business Plan

Phase 2: Future Developments

With a significant capital base and reliable income streams established through the property development business, the company will be in a position to shift into phase 2, in which we explore commercial opportunities with the following attributes:

  • Highly profitable.
  • Interesting and fun.
  • Creates a positive benefit for Earth and society.
  • Provide experience and/or produce technologies that will move the company towards its space colonisation goals.

The two most important industries that fit these categories are metals and robotics.



There are a number of reasons for getting involved in metals:

  1. After tourism, recreation and property development, metals production will be one of the primary economic drivers on the Moon and Mars. Just as with ecovillages, being involved with metalliferous mining projects on Earth will be good practice for space.
  2. Producing our own steel will benefit our steel building business.
  3. Money.  Metals prices continue to climb, and demand for metals is likely to increase massively during the 21st century for several reasons:
    • growing population
    • global industrialisation
    • building new infrastructure in the wake of climate change
    • preference for metals in construction as living trees become more highly valued

For property and infrastructure development on the Moon and Mars, local production of metals and other materials is essential.  Furthermore, as demand for metals on Earth climbs, it may become economically viable to import metals from the Moon, Mars and the asteroids once the cost of transport becomes low enough.  Concentrated metals are available in great abundance in space, and can be obtained without biological impact.

Many space colonies will be analogous to remote mining towns, where entire communities crystallise around concentrated metal deposits, so it will be highly valuable for the company to have experience with metalliferous mining, metals production, and mining communities.

Iron and Steel

Steel is the most important metal on Earth, as is likely to be the case on Luna and Mars as well.  Iron, the main constituent of steel, is the most abundant metal in the universe, which makes steel very cheap.  Steel is a great material for making all kinds of things from paperclips to transcontinental railways.

Producing our own steel will deliver advantages to the steel building component of the business, helping to streamline operations, ensuring reliable supply, and lowering costs.

One of the most important goals for the company is to develop a new method of steel production that does not require fossil fuels for either iron ore reduction or power generation.  This idea developed from research into methods for manufacturing steel on Mars (see the Downloads page for my "Steelmaking on Mars" paper).


Titanium is becoming an increasingly important and popular metal.  Its excellent material properties make it ideal for aerospace applications, which is interesting considering its abundant availability on the Moon.  Titanium's value will be emphasised on the Moon because of the extremes of temperature - titanium is resistant to the effects of thermal cycling.

Furthermore, because titanium minerals absorb helium-3 particularly well, titanium and helium-3 are usually found in concentration together on the Moon.  Helium-3 has been identified as a highly valuable substance because fusion reactors fuelled by helium-3 do not produce any nuclear radiation - only water.  Excellent leverage could be obtained by producing both titanium and helium-3 from the same lunar mines.  (Note that AscensionTek does not encourage development of nuclear fusion as we see zero-point energy as having much more potential for safe, abundant energy production.  However, our policy does not mean that a significant market for helium-3 will not exist!)

New methods of refining titanium such as the FFC Cambridge Process mean that titanium is becoming cheaper, and will therefore soon find new applications and new markets.   By becoming involved in this industry we can make significant profits both on and off Earth.




With the development of a robust software and IT department, and experience with building smart (computerised) houses, the company will be well-positioned to develop its own artificial intelligence and robotics department.

Especially once we are operating our own metalliferous mines, the company will directly benefit from developing robots and automation systems for the mining industry.  We may also look at developing robots for construction and land-rehabilitation (e.g. automated greenhouses and tree-planting robots).  Robotics will also play a critical role in space colonisation, being useful in mining, construction, exploration and transport, and it will be possible to adapt many of the robots developed for applications on Earth, for use on the Moon and Mars.

Robotics and AI promise to be fundamentally Earth-changing technologies during this century, freeing us from most kinds of manual labour and systemisable decision-making.

This will be an extremely profitable component of the business.



Physics Research

It's hard to say if or when this aspect of the company will begin.

Let's put it this way.  The general philosophy of the company is this:  There are some things we need to achieve our goals.  If no-one else is doing them, then we will.

Levitational Propulsion Systems

One of the things we need to achieve our goals is known as CATS, or "cheap access to space".  It seems the best way to achieve this is by "anti-gravity", although I prefer the term "levitational propulsion" or simply "levity".

Reactionless propulsion is real.  There is no longer any doubt about this - just visit JLN Labs and find out how you can easily make your own model out of balsa wood, copper wire and aluminium foil that defies Newton's Second "Law".  Then you might like to visit American Antigravity or Gravity Control Technologies.  Both NASA and ESA are researching levitational propulsion.

The value of a space transportation system that relies on a reactionless and possible even fuelless propulsion system is inestimable - especially to a space property development business!  But what about the value to Earth of very fast and cheap transport between any locations around the world?  If nothing else, consider global food distribution.   Fresh fruit and veggies for everyone!  No-one would ever be hungry again.

Unfortunately, development in this field is hampered by general skepticism from the mainstream scientific community, a lack of willingness to accept that the universe is more complex than we thought, and a certain stigma from its connection with the UFO community and conspiracy theories.  None of this really matters - if these technologies have real potential, and the evidence suggests that they do, then, in light of the potential benefits, we should be investing as much as possible in their rapid development.

Hopefully this technology will begin to be taken seriously and developed by others in the near term, so we can use them.  Otherwise we may invest in them ourselves when funds are available.

Zero-Point Energy

This technology is very much in the same category as levitational propulsion, and indeed, many of the people researching one are also researching the other.  The existence of ZPE is predicted by quantum physics and refers to very high levels of energy available everywhere in the universe, even in a vacuum, which is why it is also sometimes known as vacuum energy.

The value of ZPE technology is even greater than levitational propulsion.  Not only will we not need fossil fuels or nuclear fission any more, but if ZPE power plants can be made cost-effective, then they will even compete with solar and wind, which are dependent on weather.  But ZPE is always there - everywhere!



Environment Control Systems

An ECS (Environment Control System) controls parameters like the temperature, humidity and constituents (most importantly O2 and CO2 concentrations) of air within a volume such as a habitat or greenhouse.  Actually, any air-conditioner, heater, humidifier, dehumidifier or air-scrubber is an ECS of some description.

ECS's are needed for any communities in extreme environments, whether in the desert, in polar regions, or in space.  We will develop these types of systems for use in advanced ecovillages before using them in analogue and real space settlements.  For example, when building ecovillages in the Queensland outback, we may like to build environment-controlled greenhouses so the residents can grow their own food locally.



Analogue Research

This is unlikely to be a directly profitable activity.  Nonetheless, major benefits can be gained by investing in analogue research:

  1. Knowledge and experience.  Plenty of valuable experience can be (and is being) gained from analogue space settlements on Earth, which provide insight into many of the engineering and human factors challenges we will face in space.  We will certainly avoid many costly mistakes by operating analogue stations on Earth before building real ones.
  2. Advertising.  Analogue space settlements gain attention in the media and especially in the space community.  Sponsoring these projects would be good for our reputation and for getting the company known.

At this stage it is envisaged that AscensionTek will mainly support Mars-Oz (the Mars Analogue Research Station being built by Mars Society Australia), and possibly also analogue studies being proposed by the Mars Foundation.  I would also like to build a Moon/Mars analogue space settlement in Antarctica, eventually working our way up to the Institute for Colonisation and Exploration.



Proceed to Phase 3: Space Property Development.