Introduction to Artemis Project Cost Estimates
Previous moon base studies have based their cost models on the
performance of government projects and assumed revenues would come
only after decades of development. The resulting high capital
costs and long term before realizing any profit made it impossible
for private enterprise to finance a manned space venture. The
Artemis Project addresses both the cost and revenues issues.
Because this is private enterprise venture, we can reduce
development costs by designing the spacecraft to commercial
aerospace industry standards, and financing becomes realistic
because the project offers an immediate return for the investment.
Analysis of government-sponsored space projects shows that no more
than 10% of the money, usually even less, is actually spent on
developing and operating the spacecraft. The rest goes to the
enormous support effort and inefficient organizations necessary to
answer the changing whims of the U. S. Congress, support a large
institutional bureaucracy with extensive fixed assets all over the
world, and to adapt to the government's management-by-meetings
philosophy. While some of these extra costs can be trimmed, most
of the overhead is the inevitable nature of government programs.
Private enterprise does not, and could not, work that way. By
organizing as a private company, acquiring resources no sooner
than necessary, using the project schedule as a working tool
rather than worshipping it, and refusing to allow the project to
lose sight of its goals in favor of implementing some politician's
social agenda, the costs of any program can be reduced by a factor
of ten or more. Additionally, the Artemis Project reduces its
costs by using technology and resources already developed in
previous manned space flight programs.
Our current estimate of the total cost of the space flight program
through completion of the reference mission is US$1.421 billion.
This level of investment is quite common in the business world.
For example, one new deep-water oil rig typically costs about one
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