My Profile

David Heck

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Why I Want to Build a MoonBase

The Moon is the gateway to the Solar System. It has valuable resources that when utilized will enable true space commerce beyond LEO and GEO using advanced manufacturing. These space commerce markets could include fabrication of solar cells and panels for Space Solar Power, future Mars settlements, etc. A Moon Base would allow industry and government agencies develop and prove techniques for collecting, processing and utilizing these resources with realistic devices in a terrestrial analog site.

I'm Passionate About

Creating novel solutions to technical issues using existing and/or advanced technologies and demonstrating them with low cost methods. Lunar Commerce has many operational issues that I believe can be solved by thinking “sideways”, i.e. approaching them from non-traditional approaches, such as combining low tech methods with new approaches for Robotic Blacksmithing, Swarm Manufacturing, etc.

The Moon is a wide open frontier waiting for those crazy ideas that just might work!

Professional Biography

I am an Associate Technical Fellow on Boeing Research & Technology’s Materials and Manufacturing Technology team. I have 36 years of experience at Boeing with 21 years designing aerospace structures and 15 years working in advanced manufacturing R&D. I have 11 patents covering a wide variety of manufacturing topics.

I have represented Boeing in several domestic and international research consortia including the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (, the Advanced Forming Research Centre (, and the Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow in Detroit ( Each has major industrial partners such as Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, GE, Alcoa, United Technologies, etc. as well as major domestic & international universities including CSM, MIT, OSU, Penn State, and Universities of Kentucky, Michigan, Sheffield (UK), Strathclyde (UK),Tennessee, Texas, etc. I have developed and directed Core Research Programs, equipment acquisition and planning, new industrial partner recruitment and developing government proposals

I have been Program Manager for several multi-million dollar CRAD projects from the Office of Naval Research, Air Force Research Lab, DARPA, etc., as well as several large internally funded research projects. These projects have included new materials such as Metal Matrix Composites, new manufacturing technologies such as Advanced Metal Additive Manufacturing, etc. All of these have had direct impacts on product/component performance, reduced cost and/or novel product capabilities.

My Lunar interests include surface systems including operations such as navigation, collection & transport, processing such as melting, refining, manufacturing, recycling & filtering, and structures such as habitats and support structures. In the Moon Society, I developed over 20 small demonstration ideas that could be potential Moon Base projects.


How I and/or my organization will contribute to building a MoonBase. - 250 Max Characters

I will use my extensive experience with large research consortia to help define the organization, and my extensive research experience in Materials & Manufacturing Technology and system design to define solutions to industry enabling research topics.

Let's Talk About

Make it on the Moon & Research Centers

My Areas of Expertise

My expertise is aerospace materials, fabrication and joining. The materials include traditional metals, Metal Matrix Composites, and Fiber Metal Laminates.  Fabrication includes Metal Additive Manufacturing, Advanced Machining & Sheet Forming, Advanced Metal Casting, etc. Joining tech includes Friction Stir, Linear & Rotary Friction Welding, traditional welding methods.

My design experience includes military aircraft (F-15, F/A-18E/F), commercial aircraft (737, 787) & spacecraft (CST-100).