Our primary goal is to establish a permanent, self-supporting exploration base on the moon. From this initial base, we will explore the moon to find the best sites for lunar mining operations, and for a permanent lunar community. Along the way, we begin commercial flights to the moon. At first these will be expedition-class flights for rugged explorers, the sort of trip that will appeal to folks who enjoy safaris, climbing mountains, and spelunking hidden caves. Eventually, the lunar tourism industry will grow into luxury-class trips on large spaceliners.
The economic future of the lunar community will include supporting scientific investigations and lunar exploration, lunar industries (and their support to other space industries), homesteading, and tourism. Once the exploration base and transportation systems are fully operational, we expect that the largest revenue producer will be tourism.
In the ancient Greek pantheon, Artemis is the twin sister of Apollo. Apollo is the sun, and Artemis is the moon. She is also goddess of the hunt, a constant reminder that ours is a voyage of exploration, where we live off the land and return things of great value to our home.
The initial stages of the Artemis Project, up through establishing the exploration base on the moon, are funded primarily by revenues derived from the entertainment value of space flight. The entire future of the human species is at stake, and extraterrestrial resources might be the last, best hope for man on Earth, but hey, we're doing this for fun; never mind any lofty goal. To keep costs under control, the spacecraft are built using commercial aircraft standards and procedures.
This first step provides a modest habitat on the moon and leaves the transportation system in orbit. At that point, the project is operating in the black.
It's not a question of whether this approach will work, but how long it will take. The more effective we are in building a participating team, the faster we get there. If everything goes right (it won't), we could land the first permanent habitat within eight years after the start of formal Preliminary Design phase.
Artemis Society International is a membership organization with local chapters and representatives on every continent in the world. ASI's efforts to define the lunar development program are organized into technical committees and project teams. You'll find descriptions of these committees and teams in sections 6.7 and 6.8 of the Artemis Data Book.
At the leading edge of this effort is ASI's Electronic Communication Technical Committee. This committee maintains a host of communication forums for the the members of the Artemis Society, and continue to develop communication tools that enable a team spread out around the world to work together productively. The Electronic Communication Technical Committee's web site is in section 9 of the Artemis Data Book.
A good place to start your exploration of the Artemis Project web site, is the table of contents for the Artemis Data Book, which organizes all the plans and information related to all aspects of the program. We also offer a tour of the Artemis Project starting in section 1.4.
You'll find lists of things you can do throughout the Artemis Data Book, especially in the sections devoted to individual technical committees. A very broad range of skills, talents, and resources are needed to make the project happen; it's a lot more than building and flying spaceships. You might be interested in helping fill in the technical blanks in the Artemis Data Book. You might also want to help with the Artemis Society's organizational work, or participate in the revenue-producing side of the project.
Information about Artemis Society International is in section 6 of the Artemis Data Book. The business of the Artemis Project is covered in section 3, and participating companies and organizations are listed in section 10.
The Artemis Project will establish an economic environment where commercial interests are able to conduct business profitably on the moon and elsewhere in cislunar space. That provides a stable economic foundation for the resources needed to do whatever you want to do on the moon at the least possible cost. Steady continuous development in space is assured, independent of changing political environments.
Since the success of the program depends on an international team to get things started in many different arenas, several rewards are designed into the program to reward early participation. For example, all else being equal, priority for use of the available resources will be assigned to indviduals in numerical order by Artemis Society membership number. (In other words, it won't work to wait and show up just in time to help us take the cookies out of the oven.)
The Artemis Project is not a government program. Like any corporate entity, governments may be program participants, suppliers, or customers; however, some restrictions on government participation are necessary to maintain the basic character of the project.
The Artemis Project should not be confused with the Common Lunar Lander project that NASA conducted for the Space Exploration Initiative a few years ago, or the European Space Agency's standard satellite program. It is also not affiliated with the companies who make watches, intimate apparel, medical equipment, or program scheduling software, or several thousand Greek restaurants and other businesses around the world which bear the name of the goddess of the moon.
Finally, the Artemis Project is not a forum for social engineering. The project is focused on the single goal of establishing a self-supporting, permanent lunar base. Social causes and politics are kept out of the program, except as necessary to achieve the moon base goal.