During the construction phase, engineering and industrial capabilities are organized to develop and build the new infrastructure. This creates significant economic opportunities through the adoption of new but mature (TRL 6-9) technologies emerging from government, university, and private labs; through the need for systems architecting and systems engineering planning services; through the design, production and construction of the facilities and systems comprising the infrastructure and the industry building this infrastructure; and through the use of financial services to raise, manage, and disperse the significant funding generally required for infrastructure projects. (See block 1 in the figure above.)
While the economic advantages of building new infrastructure have long been recognized—often resulting in favorable government policies, regulations, laws, and financing—the implementation of the Spacefaring America Initiative to industrialize space and open space to American spacefaring operations will bring these economic advantages to the American aerospace industry.
The first construction phase of an integrated spacefaring logistics infrastructure may last for several decades as new infrastructure capabilities are established to extend safe and routine human operational capabilities throughout the Earth-Moon system. Comparable to, and perhaps exceeding, the economic scale of building America’s interstate highway system, this undertaking will open the door to expanding current American aerospace businesses, creating new American design and production businesses, and extending traditional American commercial financial services related to infrastructure development into space. This will also provide significant new opportunities for technology-focused “new space” companies to mainstream their technologies, products, and services.
An important national accomplishment of the initial construction phase is achieving “industrial mastery” of commercial human spacefaring operations. Nations compete economically, socially, and politically using their industrial capabilities. As the build-out of the initial America spacefaring logistics infrastructure is undertaken, America will become a true human spacefaring nation, surpassing all other nations that have not successfully undertaken similar infrastructure development. Just as American leadership in commercial aviation enabled the American aviation industry to establish industrial mastery by the 1960s, the same will happen in the new American spacefaring industry in the coming decades.