Brad Blair, 1965–2022

Brad Blair

Brad Blair, a prominent member of the lunar in situ resource utilization (ISRU) community, passed away unexpectedly on June 25, 2022. Blair was a professional consultant on advanced mining technology and the economic use of space mineral resources, as well as a visionary entrepreneur with the ability to network and bring together experts in diverse fields of research to collaborate on projects related to economic resources in space.

Blair held degrees in Engineering Geology (B.Sc. 1989), Mining Engineering (M.E., 1993), and Mineral Economics (M.Sc., 2004) from the Colorado School of Mines (CSM). He began researching lunar ISRU technology in 1989 under NASA Space Exploration Initiative funding as a graduate student at CSM. During the summer of 1999, as a visiting professional in the Exploration Office at NASA Johnson Space Center under the mentorship of Douglas Cooke, he learned and practiced the art of cost estimation in support of a design reference mission for human Mars exploration. From 2001 to 2005, he and a small team at CSM conducted research for NASA on topics related to ISRU technology, cost estimation, and space resource economic analysis.

Blair worked under numerous U.S. and Canadian government research contracts and consulted for aerospace and mining industry clients on ISRU systems development and economic analysis. He participated in two NASA Centennial Challenges and was an advisor and participant in several startup companies. Blair was founder and general partner of NewSpace Analytics LLC in Idaho Springs, Colorado; senior consultant to Xtraordinary Innovative Space Partnerships, Inc. (XISP-Inc); part owner of Orbchem LLC; and was in the early stages of a new startup venture called Moonrise Mining Inc., working on a revolutionary new concept for conducting mining on the Moon. Blair was also the primary inventor named on several preliminary patents that were filed with the U.S. Patent Office.

Blair served in a number of nonprofit service roles, including member of the Board of Directors of United Societies in Space (USIS) since 2006, Chairman of the Board of the International Space Development Authority Corporation (ISDAC) since 2011, and Advocate of the Space Frontier Foundation (SFF) since 2011. He also served as a regional board member for the National Space Society and was a longtime contributor to their vision and mission. A devoted father, husband, and colleague, Blair’s integrity, visionary ideas, and intellect will be greatly missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him. A GoFundMe page has been established in Blair’s honor: https://gofund.me/5060ea7b.

— Portions of text provided by the National Space Society