top of page

Science Deck

About Virginia Edition's Science Deck

Science Deck seeks to engage, educate and inspire people about commercial space activities that advance Robert and his wife Virginia Heinlein’s dream of humanity in space. These in-depth and scholarly publications are written by the foremost experts in the field of space research and technology.

Space Mineral Resources

Space Mineral Resources - A Global Assessment of the Challenges and Opportunities.

If you recieved a Space Mineral Resource Card with password you can click here to access your PDF copy.

Space Elevators

An Assessment of the Technological Feasibility and the Way Forward

If you recieved a Space Elevator Card with password you can click here to access your PDF copy.

Space Solar Power

The Case for Space Solar Power by John C. Mankins

If you recieved a Space Solar Power Card with password you can click here to access your PDF copy.

Global Human Mars System Mission Exploration Goals, Requirements and Technologies

Global Muman Mars System Missions Exploration Goals, Requirements and Technologies


This book identifies, assess and synthe-sizes a global set of goals with it's related criteria requirements for future human exploration of the Mars system.

High Praise for Space Mineral Resources 

"Space Mineral Resources: A Global Assessment of the Challenges and Opportunities is an International Academy of Astronautics study edited by Art Dula and Zang Zhenjun, is the most extraordinary reference on the topic of space-based resources ever produced. As humanity moves off-planet, to access the riches that surround our world, and create an economy of abundance, we will look to this work to guide us on the policies, laws, markets and technology to enable our future. Space Mineral Resources is a book to inspire the grandest dreams of humanity."

~ Peter H. Diamandis, 2006 Heinlein Prize Winner, XPRIZE Founder and Executive Chairman and Singularity University Co-founder/Executive Chairman, Planetary Resources


"This is the most comprehensive analysis of the potential and methods of asteroid mineral resource recovery I've come across to date. Many of them don't have the credibility behind the content as is in this compilation. From my research (I'm an aerospace professional) he contributing authors are the respected names in the field and the material is laid out in a fashion that demonstrates that celestial resource recovery is not science fiction, but an achievable and potentially, a tremendous profit potential for the right investor(s)." 

~  Chris H. Amazon Review


High Praise for Space Solar Power

"If you want to know about Space-based Solar Power - what it is, how it might work and why it is important - this is the book you should read. I should know. I wrote a book on Solar Power Satellites (Springer 2012) and I am the editor of a Journal that has published numerous articles on this topic at

John Mankins sits at the top of this emerging field in terms of conceptual design, detailed knowledge of the related science and engineering, technical leadership internationally (via the International Academy of Astronautics, NASA, the National Space Society and the annual International Space Development Conferences) and long-term professional interest and engagement.

What is really remarkable is the clarity with which he writes about complex technical, business and societal issues. This book can be read by any intelligent and interested layperson - and with patience can learn from it - which is what all of us are going to have to do to figure out how to tap this most logical source of clean/abundant/renewable energy."

~ Don Flournoy, Prof. of Telecommunication, Ohio University; Editor, Online Journal of Space Communication


"Space Solar Power is an important future energy resource for the Earth. This book presents the argument for an exciting method of accessing renewable energy from our neighbor, the Sun.  The approach presented by the author, John Mankins, a visionary technologist and former NASA manager, leverages and builds upon the investments of government, and more recently, private industry, in space technologies and infrastructure, and advances in microelectronics and robotics, with the goal of establishing orbiting satellites that efficiently and affordably collect and beam energy from the Sun to receiving stations on the Earth.

Fossil energy fueled the Industrial Revolution, a period of enormous economic growth and improvements in living standards, providing substantial benefits to the developed nations during the 19th and 20th centuries.  However, in the 21st century, as other nations seek to emulate the economic success of their neighbors, attempting to provide a means to reduce poverty and achieve economic growth, it is becoming abundantly clear that the fossil energy approach is unsustainable. We simply must develop alternative, renewable energy resources if our civilization is to continue to flourish.

Terrestrial solar and wind will become important energy sources, but they are unfortunately intermittent.  Space Solar Power can deliver energy 24 hours per day.  Mankins' book puts forth a viable plan for how we can establish Space Solar Power as a viable cornerstone for our renewable energy future."

~ Robert S. Wegeng Amazon review


"The most recent state of the art in space solar power satellites. This book is the most recent book on this subject, and one of the most complete. It traces the history of the subject,and gives the most recent developments. The links to the files on the subject are also interesting. "

~ James F. Mcenanly - Amazon Review


bottom of page