|Headquarters||Del Valle, Texas, United States|
|Bill Stone (Chairman)
Dale Tietz (CEO)
Jim Keravala (COO)
Shackleton Energy Company 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.
Shackleton intends to undertake lunar prospecting. According to their website, they originally stated that they would place a team on the moon within eight years. They have now removed many of those dates from their website after meeting no milestones and failing to secure funding.
The company plans 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. They further state that they plan to have humans stationed on the Moon by March 2021
In the belief that significant reserves of ice will be located, the company hopes 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 hopes to build a fuel-processing operation on the lunar surface and in propellant depots in LEO. Their equipment would 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."
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. At the end of the fund raising period, only $5,517 was raised of the $1.2 million (0.46%) they hoped for.
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, have put in place a "voluntary, non-binding coordination forum (the Coordination Mechanism) where nations can share plans for space exploration and collaborate to strengthen both individual projects and the collective effort."
Shackleton Energy Company (SEC) [is] a wholly owned subsidiary of Piedra-Sombra Corporation