Brad R. Blair
Brad Blair has spent twenty years developing technical and economic systems to enable planetary surface in-situ resource utilization (ISRU). As a professional space consultant to NASA, Bechtel Nevada, Raytheon and the Canadian Space Agency, he has authored or co-authored a number of technical reports and over 50 conference papers on topics related to accessing the wealth of space for the benefit of mankind. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Engineering Geology, and Master's degrees in Mining Engineering and Mineral Economics from the Colorado School of Mines. Blair began his work with mining systems working with a small team of grad students under the leadership of Mike Duke, the director of what is now the CSM Center for Space Resources. Being with one of the largest academic group actively studying in-situ resource utilization, when the 2004 Vision for Exploration was released many of the team joined Lockheed-Martin's team for the Concept Exploration and Refinement (CE&R). Blair left the group to join Raytheon's Senior Advisory Board for their CE&R architecture. While Blair has maintained his affiliation with the center, he has primarily gone into consulting. While a member of the CE&R advisory board to Raytheon, Blair helped bring the ISRU element to the lunar architecture plan, while participating in analysis studying the possibility of space commercialization opportunities. From 2006 to 2007, he worked for DigitalSpace corporation on Small Business Innovation Research relating to simulating lunar mining and robotic systems utilizing open-source software. He also worked as a consultant for Bechtel Nevada on lunar base simulation for NASA-SOMD. After 1 1/2 years, Blair began developing proprietary technology for the Centennial Challenges program for the Centennial Challenges power beaming, MoonRox and excavation contests. While the power beaming contest became short-lived as a result of the passing away of his partner Dr. Bernard Eastlund, MoonRox generated a significant amount of intellectual property. Unfortunately, Blair's work on the project was put on hold for the third contest, a system for the Lunar Excavation Centennial Challenge, which was entered, but did not win the competition. He then spent a year working with Penguin Automated Systems writing a report for the CSA on ISRU. Recently, Blair has worked with a handful of entrepreneurial start-up companies and a law firm working on the challenges for space commerce, governance, and property rights.
Mining Engineer and Mineral Economist, Space Studies Institute