Cool! Let’s go to Enceladus!

So that’s why aliens in UFOs have been visiting Earth

I fully support exploration of Saturn’s moon, Enceladus. It’s a complicated body, it’s got frozen water ice, it has oceans of water beneath all that ice, and analysis has shown that it has all the elements essential for life (CHNOPS). Even a biologist would love to know more!

So here’s someone with a plan to get to Enceladus, the Space Ocean Corp. I hate it already. It’s fantasy math.

SPACE OCEAN CORP is a private Texas holding company. Incorporated September 2021. Regulation D 506(C) Unregistered Security Offering. Investor Deck (pdf)

Water is worth $1 Billion per gallon in space (on Mars, on other moons and planet). If a mission to collect it costs $8 Billion; and we’re able to collect just 10 gallons, it can be sold at a $2 Billion net profit. Collect 1,500 to 100,000 gallons, then gross profit is $1.5 Trillion to $100 Trillion.

I’m not an economist, but…isn’t scarcity the reason they’ve invented this imaginary value of $1 Billion per gallon? It’s not really worth that much. No one is paying (or can afford) a billion dollars for a gallon of water. This entire prospectus is built around this magical number as if it is real.

There are over one quadrillion gallons of water on the moon Enceladus. The volume of a sphere of water with a 25 mile deep radius is approximately 72 quadrillion gallons. If we set up a well for $6-$8 Billion, the initial cost to Space Ocean Corp investors will be a drop in the bucket compared to the ROI gain in market cap.

I can multiply numbers together. I can calculate the volume of a sphere. That is not the basis for a complex, high-tech space industry. But they’re using this elementary fact to fish for investors! Stupid, innumerate, delusional investors. Is Peter Thiel available?

They continue. They’ve got a glib Neil deGrasse Tyson quote! That’s worth money, right?

Goal: Extract & Store water from ocean moons. Phase 1) video an ocean on a moon in the solar system. Phase 2) extract water from that moon. Phase 3) sell the water to space companies and organizations. Phase 4) repeat. Phase 5) Video every ocean in the solar system.

“Water in space costs $10,000 per pound to put into orbit … If you can get it there cheaper, that’s a business model.” Neil deGrasse Tyson
The Future of Colonizing Space- Neil deGrasse Tyson- WGS 2018

Space Ocean Corp and several organizations are partnering up to send a spacecraft to collect water on Enceladus, with the potential to generate a profit of up to $100 Trillion from the initial investment of $8 Billion. Join us!

The ocean on Enceladus is 25 miles deep, making it a valuable source of water in deep space, worth an estimated $1 billion per gallon. We are looking to collect between 1,500 and 100,000 gallons of water from this source and store it on the moon or in orbit, at a Lagrange point, for sale to space organizations.

We’re aiming to launch a private mission to Enceladus, despite the fact that there have been more than 10 government missions already planned for the moon.

By the way, every page on that site has a header with that slogan, Video every ocean in the solar system and store the water, to sustain life in space. It’s in their goals, to video an ocean and to video every ocean in the solar system. I don’t get it. Are they counting on that sweet YouTube money to make them profitable?

I would just ask a simple question: where is that $100 trillion profit coming from? Who is paying that money to Space Ocean Corp? Carolyn Porco (you know, the famous planetary scientist) had that same thought, and asked them about it.

When I asked, ‘What’s your business model?’, they said, ‘Musk’.

What did I tell you? They’re looking for stupid, innumerate, delusional investors. That’s a good choice, except…Musk doesn’t have $100 trillion.

I would love to see Enceladus explored, but one thing this company ignores is that if there is extraterrestrial life there, we would need to be exceedingly careful to avoid contaminating it. I don’t see Space Ocean Corp giving a damn about that — more likely they’d be complaining about the environmentalists wrecking their money-making plan. They are from Texas, after all.


  1. Reginald Selkirk says

    this imaginary value of “$1 Billion per gallon”

    You sniped the easy criticism.

    will be a drop in the bucket…

    They bring the funny!

    There is plenty of water right here on Earth. So sourcing is not the issue. It’s getting it from here to there. How is sourcing on outer moons going to be any cheaper? They have gravity, just as the Earth does. And they don’t have rockets. You would have to take the rockets to them, at considerable expense; whereas there are already rockets here on Earth.

  2. says

    So here’s the thing. As soon as you start selling a valuable commodity, the price is going to decrease. That’s how supply and demand works. An increase in supply with a rigidly set demand is going to reduce the value of the commodity. The $1B/gal claim is ludicrous. The NDGT quote is much more realistic. So here’s the thing, at $10,000/lb, how much water can you orbit for $8B? That works out to 800,000lb. Who needs 800,000lb of water in space? That’s almost as much mass as the entire ISS. You make that much space water available, it’s going to crash the value. There just aren’t enough people who want to buy it to recoup that investment.

  3. says

    So here’s the thing. As soon as you start selling a valuable commodity, the price is going to decrease. That’s how supply and demand works. An increase in supply with a rigidly set demand is going to reduce the value of the commodity. The $1B/gal claim is ludicrous. The NDGT quote is much more realistic. So here’s the thing, at $10,000/lb, how much water can you orbit for $8B? That works out to 800,000lb. Who needs 800,000lb of water in space? That’s almost as much mass as the entire ISS. You make that much space water available, it’s going to crash the value. There just aren’t enough people who want to buy it to recoup that investment.

  4. says

    Not to mention that the water on Enceladus is saline and probably contains who knows what else. Are they figuring the potential ridiculous costs of purification? Plus, who the hell says that water is ours to exploit? What if there’s life there? Do they just commit genocide to make a profit?

  5. nomaduk says



  6. remyporter says

    So, as someone actively working on missions to find water on the moon: we want to find water on the moon for a variety of reasons. It would support human habitation. It allows us to refuel on the moon, and it allows us to use the moon as a staging area (launching a deep space rocket from the moon instead of the Earth lets you build bigger rockets that launch with less fuel- and less fuel to orbit means much more payload, thanks to the rocket equation).

    Extracting water from Enceladus wouldn’t help, because, last I checked, it still orbits Saturn. Saturn is moving quite a bit faster than Earth, which is why it’s orbit is so much larger, and if you want to bring that water anywhere near any missions happening in the next two decades, you’re going to need to put huge amounts of delta-V into slowing that water down. The energy costs are bonkers. It’d be cheaper to launch the Atlantic Ocean. (No, I haven’t done any napkin math to prove that, I’m making a hyperbole)

    It also ignores that there are loads of NEOs that likely have trapped water and other mineral content. Asteroid mining in NEO is the logical next step, not some Kronian Moonshot.

  7. robro says

    As the Enchilada…I mean Enceladus water begins to arrive on Earth, I’m confident that someone will discover it has amazing healing properties to cure all types of illness. This discovery will drive up the price exponentially.

  8. StevoR says

    @ ^ remyporter : “Saturn is moving quite a bit faster than Earth, which is why it’s orbit is so much larger,”

    Er, actually no, sorry. Saturn orbits much slower since its orbit is further out. Its the closer planets that move faster I’m pretty sure. Might want to check Kepler’s Laws.

    But its certainly true that Saturn is lot further away with a lot of closer icy bodies to use instead.

  9. StevoR says

    @12. robro : Actually given its very possibly got its own microbial (or even maybe bigger?) life in it I suspect Enceladese water may be rather toxic and not good for one’s health at all!

  10. Dunc says

    The only really important words here are “Regulation D 506(C) Unregistered Security Offering“…

    Readers may wish to be aware of this SEC investor bulletin concerning private placements under Regulation D:

    Red flags. Fraudsters may use unregistered offerings to conduct investment scams. See our Investor Alert about red flags to watch out for in an unregistered offering. It may be difficult or impossible to recover the money you invest in an offering that turns out to be fraudulent.

    Not that I expect many readers here to qualify, since private placements under Regulation D 506(C) are limited to “accredited investors” only:

    An individual is an accredited investor if they:
    * earned income that exceeded $200,000 (or $300,000 together with a spouse or spousal equivalent) in each of the prior two years, and reasonably expects the same for the current year, OR
    * has a net worth over $1 million, either alone or together with a spouse or spousal equivalent (excluding the value of the person’s primary residence and any loans secured by the residence (up to the value of the residence)), OR
    * are a broker or other financial professional holding certain certifications, designations or credentials in good standing, including a Series 7, 65 or 82 license.

    I’m kinda surprised they’re not incorporated in Delaware…

  11. Rob Grigjanis says

    StevoR @13: Yeah, spherical orbital speed at distance R from the sun (mass M) is

    v = √(GM/R)

    Saturn’s about ten times as far as Earth, so has about 1/3 the orbital speed.

  12. robro says

    StevoR @ #14 — That there may be microbial organisms on Enceladus is highly speculative, but if there are such things, I’m confident Space Ocean Crop will use “science” to purify the water making it safe for humans to enjoy it’s amazing healing properties.

  13. Reginald Selkirk says

    What if there’s life there? Do they just commit genocide to make a profit?

    I’m going to file that under “rhetorical questions we all know the answer to.”

  14. says

    This nonsense reminded me of the film Raise the Titanic, which was one of the big budget flops in the immediate aftermath of Star Wars. It cost 40 million (1980) dollars to make, but made only 7 million. Lew Grade, the head of ITC Entertainment and the film’s producer, later quipped “it would have been cheaper to lower the Atlantic.”

    At least that money produced a film. I suspect the only thing the money thrown at this project will do is produce lawsuits.

  15. nomaduk says

    timgueguen@20: I remembered that comment as well. It was made in reference to the enormous and unanticipated expense of constructing the Titanic model and then realising that the original pool in which to float it was not large enough and that a new, even more expensive pool had to be built.

    The film apparently had potential, but the screenplay was edited to remove all the interesting bits from the novel, and was so despised by the author, Clive Cussler, refused to have any of his novels again turned into films for some twenty years. The resulting box-office and critical failure of the film was such that Sir Lew (or Baron Grade, or The Right Honorable The Lord Grade, as you prefer), left the entertainment business and ITC Entertainment, a shell of its former self, limped along for another decade or so. ITV currently own its library.

  16. StevoR says

    @ ^ timgueguen : Huh. I loved that ‘Raise the Titanic’ movie as a kid and the Clive Cussler novel. One of – if not the – the first movies I ever saw. See : Er, does this need a spoilers WARNING?

    Plus this 5 & a half minute long clip of, well, the title moment being achieved

    Hasn’t aged well -just like the eponymous vesel itself. Remember this film was made before they found the wreck and popular belief was that the ship had sunk intact in one piece..

    Incidentally on how deep the wreck is well there’s this comparison of shipwreck depths which is 6 mins long.

  17. seversky says

    They should leave it as a pristine,. virgin moon – whether it likes it or not – and rename it Inceladus

  18. says

    When I asked, ‘What’s your business model?’, they said, ‘Musk’.

    Just charge all spacefarers $8 billion per month for a blue checkmark and start raking in the dough.

  19. says

    I saw Raise the Titanic in the theatre as well. So ITC got at least 5 bucks or whatever a kid’s ticket was in 1980 out of me.

  20. chrislawson says

    First of all, Greg Costikyan was writing about the problems of economics in space way back in 1981. Admittedly he was talking about interstellar trade rather than interplanetary, which is at least an order of magnitude harder. But the basic logic still applies: the costs of moving things through space is very, very high, and most of it is due to unavoidable physics constraints.

    Others have already pointed this out, but even the basic logic of this plan fails. The reason water is so expensive in orbit is that it has to be launched there. To get water from Enceladus, we would have to launch the mining and purification equipment, and not just to low earth orbit, but all the way out to Saturn. And then, having extracted and purified the water, we have to launch it from Enceladus and return it to Earth orbit. There are clever things you can do with Hohmann transfer orbits to reduce the required delta-v, but you can’t entirely negate it, and at the cost of massively increased transit times. Whatever rocket fuel is used to get the water off Enceladus has to be launched from Earth as well.

    High probability this is a scam.

  21. larpar says

    Well, to be fair, if anyone would buy space water for $1B/gal when it’s available for $83,400/gal from Earth it would be Musk.

  22. tacitus says

    Well, wouldn’t you know, it’s a small world. Todd Wallach, the COO and a board director is a member of the “Explorer’s Club” co-founded by none other than the intrepid billionaire Titantic explorer, presumed dead, Hamish Harding.

    Oh, and another board director is also on the board of directors of Space Adventures, “helping take the first eight private citizens to the International Space Station.” Another super-rich thrill seeker.

    And the company president. Paul S Mamakos, is a piece of work:

    He has a bachelors degree in Holistic Wellness and an Associate Degree in Aviation Flight Technology. He’s also a graduate of the Monroe Institute and an author.

    Paul studied yoga for 4 years with Sri Swami Satchidananda at Integral Yoga in Buckingham, Virginia; and also with Dr. Gabriel Cousens of the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center in Patagonia Arizona. He’s a world expert in the field of meditation, subtle states, and remote sensing.

    Remote sensing? From the context, I’m guessing he’s talking about woo, not technology.

    Super unserious people, clearly. Avoid.

  23. birgerjohansson says

    I am sure Enceladus is a nice place. If you just wait a century when sapient androids and robots can adjust to the ambient conditions it may become a popular place of travel.

  24. tacitus says

    One gallon of water in deep space is worth nothing if there is no use for it.

    This is their Vision statement:

    Organize space missions to each of the moons, planets, and asteroids in the solar system to take video of the surface level liquid oceans and oceans beneath the surface ice layers. Inspire generations.

    Paul S Mamakos – CEO Ocean Camera Space Corp. September 2021

    This is stupid on multiple levels.

    How many missions? There are hundreds of moons in the Solar System and millions of asteroids. Only an ignorant fool would formulate a vision statement for space exploration this way.

    “Surface level liquid oceans” where? It’s possible that Titan has surface level liquid lakes, maybe oceans, of hydrocarbons, but that’s it. There’s nowhere else in the entire Solar System with surface oceans, except Earth, where all you need to take a video is to visit the seaside and use the phone in your back pocket.

    Also, even the largest asteroid, Ceres, is not believed to contain liquid water. Some claims have been made that it might, but they are highly speculative and most planetary scientists are very skeptical. No other asteroid can possibly contain an ocean of any kind.

    Finally, inspire generations? We live in a world that got bored with the Moon landings within four years. How many people know we still have a working rover on Mars, or that we currently have seven operational spacecraft in orbit around that planet? (I didn’t even know it was that many!).

    Nobody cares, except people who have more money than sense and would rather spend it on pointless space missions than use their access to vast wealth to improve life for billions of people here on Earth — because that would be too hard, apparently…

  25. cag says

    You forgot to mention the other directors:
    Charles Ponzi
    Billy Sol Estes
    Charles Keating
    and the top brass at Enron.
    The list goes on.

  26. wzrd1 says

    I’ve already got massive amounts of water that was gravitationally isolated and purified, then stored on water moons.
    So, if anyone’s in the neighborhood and needs some, pop on down the ‘ol gravity well, chip some off, filter it and enjoy. Suggestion: Chip off extra and separate the hydrogen and oxygen so that you can climb back out of that gravity well. While waiting, enjoy the wonderful view of either Saturn or Jupiter.
    And their wonderful radiation environment.

    Seriously, he’ll mine ice and sell it to anyone who happens by. Because, it’s utterly impossible to land right next to his mine and chip away to your heart’s content, warm it, filter it and leave. Or maybe he’s planning on shooting at claim jumpers?
    Because, one cannot make a maser and cook anyone shooting at oneself…
    And so it begins, Star Snores.
    “In space, no one can hear her complain that you stole the blanket…”

  27. geezer septuagenarian says

    There is water in the asteroid belt that is a heck of a lot closer but still not very practical.

  28. wzrd1 says

    geezer septuagenarian, it would be practical from one perspective. If mining for minerals for in situ usage, a “bycatch” of water would then be practical. One might even make up for losses from one’s craft/habitat.

    Still, I’m amazed we’ve not heard a business prospectus for hydrogen mining from Jupiter. Just get a long hose…
    Give it time, I’m sure we’ll hear that one soon enough. It’ll be pumped out by hand wave…

  29. says

    …They’re looking for stupid, innumerate, delusional investors.

    I hope that gaggle of Titanic-tourists already chipped in…

    …one thing this company ignores is that if there is extraterrestrial life there, we would need to be exceedingly careful to avoid contaminating it.

    They’re Brave Captains of Industry — they’re not bound by such innovation-killing rules!

  30. DanDare says

    It costs a lot to move water from Earth to space. Is it that much cheaper to move from the surface of a moon into space? They are assuming zero dollars per litre to escape the moons gravity well.

  31. says

    It’ll be pumped out by hand wave…

    Yeah, pumping things out by handwave is one thing tech-bros are good at, ifyouknowwhatimean…

  32. says

    tacitus@28, I assume in this case remote sensing is what most people know as remote viewing, the supposed psychic power to gain information about an object or a place at a distance from the psychic. The US government spent 20 million bucks between 1975 and 1995 to see if remote viewing could be used for spying, with no credible results.

    “Remote Viewing” is also the final track on Tangerine Dream’s 1981 album Exit.

  33. wzrd1 says

    No, remote sensing is via sensors, such as ground penetrating radar.
    Although, to the techbros, it’s more like the psychic bullshit by the time they promote whatever snake oil they’re peddling. Largely, due to most people’s conception of our technology being based off of something from a Sci-Fi show.

  34. tbrandt says

    Ok, let’s see–water from my tap costs around a penny a gallon, and it costs $10,000 per pound to put something in space according to Neil DeGrasse Tyson. A gallon of water weighs about 8 pounds. So, the price of a gallon of water in space should be 8 times $10,000 plus a penny, which is… let’s see… yes, $1 billion. I guess it all checks out.

  35. Kevin Karplus says

    The numbers are way off. It costs about $2700/kg to lift stuff from Earth to LEO with a Falcon 9 (currently the cheapest method, I think), and the price is expected to drop to about $1000/kg if Starship is successful (I’m a bit dubious about that). Even at $2700/kg, the cost is only about $10,220/gallon (a bit more if include the cost of the container).

    A launch to GEO with a Falcon Heavy is about $14k/kg (based on the recent ViaSat-3 launch).

  36. says

    Oh, and why are these morons talking about Enceladus?! Europa is much closer and (IIRC) has more water (both solid and liquid). And even when we do make it out as far as Saturn, Titan will be the more interesting moon to stop at.

  37. wzrd1 says

    Raging Bee, true, but if you’re studying Titan, why would you want to get water from Europa beyond a refill along the way, assuming a favorable grand tour type course?
    Either way, once around Saturn, Enceladus is right there and both moons bear a lot of study.