Work Breakdown Structure
Section 3.7.
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Lunar Sample Return Project

The Lunar Sample Return task list is structured around sending a probe to the moon, returning with a payload of moonrock, and selling it for a profit. This is to provide funding for the main Artemis Project manned flight, to gain experience and credibility for the Artemis team, and to demonstrate provate enterprise can do planetary space flight. The first step of the Sample Return Project is to draft a business plan, primarily to present to investors.

See section 5.5 of the Artemis Data Book for a description of the sample return mission.

As these tasks are mostly interdependant, it will be necessary to go back and update previous assumptions as mass, requirements, and similar variables change.

Mission Design

Establishing the mission design is one of the first priorities of this team. The basic operations of the spacecraft, if it needs to bring along return oxidizer, and if an orbiter is left behind with the return fuel are all important issues which need to be resolved before much of the further work can be started.

Flight Hardware

One of the first considerations is the requirements and performance of the spacecraft, and how much mass it can return to Earth. Detailing what parts will be required is also essential to determining a launcher and giving a precise cost estimate.

Revenues and Marketing

Here we need to establish the big 'If' of this venture: how much money will it make. To do this we can do various depths of market research; ranging from educated guesses, to grilling groups of co-workers, all the way up to a full-blown (and expensive) market survey. With a topic such as buying a piece of the moon, concept shock makes a quickly-done market survey worthless, unfortunately, so there is little middle ground between estimates and $100k market surveys.

Cost Analysis

The costs are a vital part of the Money Story which we have to present to investors. Although much of it relies on decisions to be made regarding mission design and vehicle parts, much preliminary work and research needs to be done.


Each of the funding methods need to be broken down into how much money we can expect from that source, how we can attract that type of funding, what other variables there are to consider, and making material to present for each investment strategy.

Sample Return Business Plan

Much of this relies on research in tasks above, but many items can be done now. Directly working on the business plan is one of the most beneficial ways to spend time on the Sample Return Project. This is the primary short-term goal of the team, and needs to be completed as soon as possible. The sooner this is completed, the sooner we can go to the moon.

Remaining topics from the standard business plan outline:

Work Breakdown Structure

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