Lunar Boom Town/LOX Domestic and Exports
It is an interesting fact that if you heat lunar regolith to the proper temperature it releases oxygen as some of the minerals breakdown. This oxygen can then be cooled to a liquid and bottled.
There is an interesting NASA contest to design a tiny lox extraction plant for a demonstrator. 
How can we make money off of such a common place material so easy to extract?
What can we do if others start combining lox extraction with other processes to make more efficient use of the energy consumed? Upgrade or liquidate.
Initial Capital Investment Required
Who can we sell Lunar Lox to?
1. Estimate size of initial market for:
- NASA South Pole Base
- Boomtown Starter Tourist Facility
- Our own staff
- Other likely early Boomtown settlers
2. Estimate operating costs
- Initial equipment
- Salaries initial operations
- Depreciation of equipment
3. Project Revenues (set prices)
4. Acquire long term contracts with NASA and other customers, if possible
5. Upgrade plan to meet growth in demand.
6. Franchise to other Lunar Settlements
7. Establish export to LEO, cisLunar and interplanetary facilties
Plant Development, Installation, and Operation
- 1. Select plant design for minimal risk and operating costs
- Request a couple of plant designs from the Engineering School once we have output projections. In the business world we would need seed capital to complete the engineering sufficient to evaluate our business model in pursuit of final large capital investment to install and startup the plant.
- 2. Contract for shipping to facitily location
- 3. Acquire deed to site or merely appropriate good location?
- 4. Hire and contract for adequate training of installation stall.
- 5. Hire and contract for operations staff ... staff housing? families? retention? etc.
- 6. Place all supporting admin and tech staff possible at Terran HQ and use teleoperations and teleconferencing where possible. i.e. Vendor contracting, bookkeeping, payroll, plant monitoring, sales staff, etc. on Earth
- Begin initial operations.
- Begin incremental upgrades as feasible per TQM (Total Quality Management) and business management.
Short Term Risks
NASA may locate on top of easy ice supply and crack O2 for breathing and H2 for rocket feul via electrolysis.
- Risk reduction possibilities
- Support/Establish alternate feuls or means to orbit so H2 is more valuable as Water, No surplus oxygen then available from electrolysis of lunar ice
NASA may have own regolith processing facility for extracting lox.
- Must price oxygen so NASA prefers its personnel to focus on Scientific exploration or technology development rather than operating oxygen extraction process.
NASA may contract with existing Aerospace Behomeths to supply oxygen via import or regolith extraction
- Become a regular political contributor to key U.S. Congressional members and candidates.
- Get oxygen supply contracts signed early in startup process, prior to investing capital and incurring sunk costs.
Long Term Risks
- Competitors get jump and we can never quite catch up with facilities, tech improvements, and economies of scale.
- Governments or others choose to finance competitors.
- Space industrialization stalls, markets dissipate or never materialize
- Extraterrestrial metals extraction takes off and produces oxygen as process byproduct
- Carbon retrietral from asteroids produces water and oxygen as well
Possibly Applicable Technical Papers
- http://web.utk.edu/~pgi/lunar/page1.html A slide show explaining what is in lunar soils and how to process the content to acquire oxygen, hydrogen and rocket feul.
- http://www2.potsdam.edu/exochemistry/process.htm A summary of various techniques of producing oxygen from regolith.
- http://www.nas.nasa.gov/About/Education/SpaceSettlement/spaceres/I-1.html Has quantitative requirements estimates in tables for air and food requirements per person/day in space habitat.