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You are here: Home => Membership => Budget


Donations Budget - March, 2002


Below is a list of items we need to buy, and particular projects with specific prices. If you click on a price, it will give you a form whereby you can pay by credit card. Or, if you prefer, you can mail a cheque or do a bank transfer.

Before going through this list, please understand that to date the cost of PERMANENT has been almost entirely underwritten by the founder of PERMANENT, Mark Prado, out of personal money, totalling tens of thousands of dollars. Several other people have donated from tens of dollars to a few thousand. We do not perform government contracting, nor do we get paid by anyone to do this in a dependent, biased way. In fact, we forego other work in order to spend time on PERMANENT. We do:

  1. what nobody else has done,

  2. what nobody is realistically going to do in the forseeable future (sometimes "talk is easy", from experience with institutions and individual human nature, and knowing the difference between talking and really doing -- planning vs. implementation), and

  3. what we think needs to be done.

If someone else is doing good work, then we cite them and help them as best we can, and do something else along the lines of prerequisites 1 through 3, and which is practically and realistically applicable to near-term PERMANENT. This is what it will take to make PERMANENT happen.

As many people know, when our founder Mark Prado was a consultant in the Washington, D.C., area up through 1994, he made lots of money per day worked, with a flexible schedule so that he could devote a lot of time to PERMANENT. He is no longer in that situation. He moved to Asia in 1994, but after a career change into consulting to multinational engineering and construction companies followed by the 1997 Asia economic collapse, he settled down in a remote and cheap part of Asia living like a monk, with only occasional small-scale consulting to multinationals in a recessionary Asian economy. Frustrated with my marketing-to-real-work ratio, he just hunkered down and started living similar to a monk, working on PERMANENT by internet. This resulted in the PERMANENT book and the current PERMANENT website. However, the PERMANENT library is missing many important documents after 1998, as PERMANENT can no longer afford to buy the expensive technical books in the U.S. plus pay overseas shipping, even though these are very important in order to update the PERMANENT databases and the PERMANENT website.

Others have filled in some of the gaps by sending some vital materials and making monetary donations from time to time. Fortunately, Asia is very cheap to live in, and skilled programmers are available when necessary.

Sam Fraser has come over from New Zealand to help out with the artwork and managing local skilled labor.

However, nobody here can fill in for analysis and writing, and that in turn is based upon technical research of the best literature.

We are not asking you to just send PERMANENT money. No, we are instead telling you what we need, what it will cost, and how to get these resources to us.

For example, first on PERMANENT's list of budgetary items is a short list of half a dozen research documents. If you would follow the specific instructions for ordering a particular research book and arrange to ship it (e.g., if mail ordered, put in my address, or else order it to yourself and then re-ship it), then you will be making a major contribution as it will enable us to add these technical resources to the PERMANENT databases (reviewed documents database and researcher database) and the PERMANENT website, and you will qualify for all the benefits of people who buy the PERMANENT book without having to buy the PERMANENT book, too. In fact, unlike the book buyers, you will be recognized for having contributed to the process -- not just a consumer, but someone who made a difference.

If you already have any of these publications, aren't really using them, and would like to send them to us to make use of, then the same benefits apply!

If you buy or send any of these resources, then you should send me e-mail so that I can take them off the list below. You should use the following shipping address:


[Address removed for security reasons, but please inquire. Yes, it's next to the place pictured to the right, a Buddhist wat, partly designed and built by my wife's father.]



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Technical books needed


The bi-annual SSI conferences are the leading conferences on utilizing lunar and near-Earth asteroidal space resources. The bi-annual ASCE conferences are a close second. They were the only two regular, bi-annual conferences to focus on utilization of space resources up through 1998. Since then, the Return to the Moon conferences (focused on the Moon, I guess) have joined the ranks, and are sold by SSI.

  • Space Manufacturing 13, from SSI, proceeds of the 2001 conference, $45 for book plus shipping overseas of either $5 for surface or $20 for air, see http://www.ssi.org/catalog.html to order directly, or click here to donate money for us to order it for PERMANENT: $50 surface, or $65 air. Note: the price of the book goes up from $45 to $75 on August 1, 2001 !!

  • Space Manufacturing 12, from SSI, proceeds of the 1999 conference, $75 for book plus shipping overseas of either $5 for surface or $20 for air, see http://www.ssi.org/catalog.html to order directly, or click here to donate money for us to order it for PERMANENT: $80 surface, or $95 air.

    (We already have conferences 2 through 11, and all their other materials of importance.)

  • Return to the Moon II, from SSI, proceeds of the Lunar Development Conference which took place in the year 2000, $45 for book plus shipping overseas of either $5 for surface or $20 for air, see http://www.ssi.org/catalog.html to order directly, or click here to donate money for us to order it for PERMANENT: $50 surface, or $65 air.

  • Space 2000 (Albuquerque conference), from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), $126 for non-members overseas (as compared to $78 for domestic members), ASCE Ordering Information. Details: Space 2000, Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference and Exposition on Engineering, Construction, Operations, and Business in Space held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, February 27-March 2, 2000, Stewart W. Johnson, Editor, Phil Richter, Editor, Rodney Galloway, Editor, and Koon Meng Chua, Editor, ISBN: 0-7844-0479-8, Stock Number: 40479, Pages: 1072, Soft Cover, Published: 2000, American Society of Civil Engineers, List $105.00 / Members $78.75, International List $126.00 / Members $94.50.

    We already have the 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996 and 1998 conference proceedings, but don't have the 1988 proceedings, which are:

  • (Much lower priority than any of the above): Space 1988 (Albuquerque conference), from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), $138 for nonmembers overseas, ASCE Ordering Information. Details: Engineering, Construction and Operations in Space, Proceedings of Space 88, Stewart W. Johnson, Editor and John P. Wetzel, Editor, ISBN: 0-87262-671-7, Stock Number: 671, Pages: 1361, Published: 1988, American Society of Civil Engineers, List $115.00 / Members $86.25, International List $138.00 / Members $103.50.

    The SSI and ASCE conferences are covered in the PERMANENT database section.

    The last conference I attended was the 1998 ASCE conference on Engineering, Construction and Operations in Space, where I participated as a speaker in one session and a moderator in two other sessions. Unlike previous conference proceedings where I published technical analyses, in the proceedings of the 1998 ASCE conference I published a paper on the advent of internet "conferencing". Among other solid benefits, this can bring about more convenient and cost-effective people networking, fill in the gaps in the time between conferences, and prepare for more productive in-person meetings at physical conference venues.

    I go to conferences to meet people, and to a much lesser extent to learn things from presentations. I prefer to skim through conference proceedings and read the technical papers in detail rather than spend days attending authors' verbal summaries, the latter of which is neither cost nor time-efficient. Group analyses and discussions are often productive, but to be most productive, the group members should be familiar with the published analyses to date, which is often not the case. While professional conferences are attended by many people who are well read in the literature, there are still far too many people who have not read the literature and who want to talk and participate mainly in person.

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  • Putting it all online


    The PERMANENT library & database is the core of our operation. It is the professional literature base.

    Every paper in the PERMANENT library is entered in the database, the best ones are summarized in an editor's (my) review, and also cited on the website in the applicable subcategory.

    The database used to be online. This leads me to a technical resource we need:

    • Lotus Notes database server -- We have a database of technical papers and reports most relevant to utilization of near-Earth resources, and meticulously organized by subtopic. It was previously online publicly on a server in Canberra, Australia, thanks to Jonathan Ricketson. However, Jonathan moved and is getting settled in Europe, though no fixed address, no stable income or job, and no ability to help like before at this time. We need another host on the internet for our Lotus Notes database. (We do NOT have in-house Lotus Notes expertise, so we need that, too, but could live without it. If someone just comes up with a Lotus Notes server constantly connected to the internet, and knows how to get our database up on it, that's enough.) For more information, see the PERMANENT section on our online databases

    We could always rent space on a commercial Lotus Notes server, but we are already stressed with our monthly budget. The Notes database would be a recurring, monthly expense, unlike books and other resources. Right now, we just keep the Notes database offline, keep it up to date, and respond to requests by e-mail.

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    Translating into foreign languages


    We should translate the PERMANENT concepts into easy reading by leaders of other spacefaring nations. Translations are welcome in any language, but there is at present no translation known to me in Russian or Chinese. China is training astronauts so that it will soon become the third manned space program, more than 40 years after the Russians and the Americans.

    We can dramatically reduce the cost of PERMANENT in two ways: 1. moving it to the private sector, and 2. using offshore skilled labor around the world.

    • Translation of the PERMANENT website/book into Russian. This can be done with much less expensive offshore labor -- Russians. We have a researcher in Russia willing to manage this. (He previously designed the Russian landers for the Mars moons, and asteroid landers, and has published technical papers.) We will then have a Russian version of the PERMANENT website, and can also publish it on CD-ROM and on paper. I'd seriously consider a royalty-free, non-exclusive printing in Russia, whereby the Russian(s) who does (do) this can keep the profits. Translation cost could be around $850, and would be given out in progress payments. The $850 could be broken up as follows:
      • Section 1: Asteroids: $125 - Russian
      • Section 2: Lunar: $100 - Russian
      • Section 3: Transport: $85 - Russian
      • Section 4: Industry: $60 - Russian
      • Section 5: Products and Services: $125 - Russian
      • Section 6: Space habitats: $125 - Russian
      • Section 7: Law and government: $60 - Russian
      • Section 8: Missions: $70 - Russian
      • Section 9: Business plan: $50 - Russian
      • Other miscellaneous -- 14: To do list, 10: databases, 12: feature articles: $50 - Russian

    • Translation of the PERMANENT website/book into Chinese. Like the above, we use offshore skilled labor.
      • Section 1: Asteroids: $125 - Chinese
      • Section 2: Lunar: $100 - Chinese
      • Section 3: Transport: $85 - Chinese
      • Section 4: Industry: $60 - Chinese
      • Section 5: Products and Services: $125 - Chinese
      • Section 6: Space habitats: $125 - Chinese
      • Section 7: Law and government: $60 - Chinese
      • Section 8: Missions: $70 - Chinese
      • Section 9: Business plan: $50 - Chinese
      • Other miscellaneous -- 14: To do list, 10: databases, 12: feature articles: $50 - Chinese

    • Translation of the PERMANENT website/book into Japanese, French, or any other language. However, this would cost more, and/or may entail different conditions as regards royalties and exclusivity.

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    Recurring expenses


    You should understand that I'm overseas but pay bills in the U.S. as follows:

    1. Web hosting for the PERMANENT website (it's not the cheapest ISP because we pay for reliability, speed with high traffic, extra disk space and extra mailboxes)
    2. Our own e-commerce system (1998 to present)
    3. Health insurance :)
    4. Occasional miscellaneous

    All of this is paid for by people buying the PERMANENT book using the e-commerce system.

    The only way that I get money into my U.S. bank account is by selling books. (I pay postage here in local currency from my occasional local consulting.) That U.S. bank account is tied to a credit card which is billed for the website, e-commerce, and any other expenses.

    (Rex Stephens audits the account and deals with local U.S. matters.)

    Sometimes it runs out of money, and in emergencies the following people have put money into the account by "book purchases" whereby they say it's a donation and not to ship the book:

    • Sam Fraser of Hamilton, New Zealand -- many, many donations -- too many! (and underemployed)
    • David Kantymir of Ottawa, Canada -- many donations -- too many! (and unemployed)
    • Rex Stephens of Flagstaff, Arizona -- many donations -- too many! (self-employed, and living economically)
    • Steve McCann of Wichita, Kansas
    • Lloyd Robins of Sydney, Australia
    • Bob Fogarty of outback, Idaho

    In Thailand, I make money locally, and I do not take money from PERMANENT but use it to pay PERMANENT's bills in the U.S. and my health insurance. My Thai wife is extremely economical and has been instrumental in reducing my costs to the bare minimum (and amazingly). Country Thais are amazingly simple and cheerful. (My wife Ajchara formerly worked for an architecture company before the 1997 crash, but prefers the countryside. We have a daughter, Angela, now 5 years old, a country girl.)

    I think that you can do a lot with a little bit of money. I do not believe in waiting until later, and I do not believe in building up a huge "nest egg" for when you're too old and steeped in other ways. There are countless excuses to put off work now and do something else, getting blown along with society's consumerist trends according to the lifestyles of the late 20th and early 21st century. The only thing I really need is internet and a computer, and I've already got that. (internet is good in Thailand, and good dial-in ports are ubiquitous.)

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    PERMANENT's "nest egg"


    Our "nest egg" is the enterprise of "offshore skilled labor", or "transnational labor", using less expensive skilled labor of less developed countries such as Russia and India. Mark Prado and Sam Fraser are building that up. It has started by exporting programming, artwork and engineering analysis & design to the West, but this business model will expand into space development components as soon as we have real opportunities, including giving any entities around the world an opportunity to have a stake in space development "for all mankind".

    I'm still young (42), energetic and creative. When I was in my 20s, I volunteered for nonprofit "cause" organizations in Washington, D.C., and saw too much time and effort going into fund raising and, shall I say, "inefficient" spending. Frankly, a lot of that went to egotistical, self-righteous and self-aggrandizing "leaders". Power corrupts. Our mission is an "open source" one, to help educate and enable any other entities in the world to develop the space free enterprise economy and get our species off the planet in a self-sufficient and decentralized way.

    If someone donated millions of dollars, then we would bootstrap quickly. However, we're not going to wait for that, nor fall into the perpetual fundraising trap. You can make a lot with what you've got. Maybe not enough, but I think we've come a long ways on a few tens of thousands of dollars, mostly one guy's personal money. We're going to keep on working on what we think most needs to be done and which nobody else is doing, now.

    If I've got my time, a nice environment, and a resultant good mindset, then I can work as both a prime mover and a catalyst via internet to get the species off the planet in a sustainable business. It needs:

    • The overall concept -- DONE, and continually updating
    • A collection of the state of the art technical publications -- DONE, but slightly out of date
    • A database of competant and willing people -- DONE, but slightly out of date
    • A business plan -- DONE in very general terms, NOT DONE in specific terms
    • Contacting philanthropic billionaires and bootstrapping millionaires -- STARTED

    I obviously don't have the money to build hardware and go to the Russians to launch it. The only way to make this happen is as a business with the best team.

    You can help with either your expertise, time and energy, or else with financial support for our expertise, time and energy.

    All the best,
    Mark Prado
    Physicist, and Founder of PERMANENT (1985)

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    This page was last updated: 25 March 2002