Precursor Missions in the Business Plan
Although our business plan is attractive even without it, it has been
suggested that we do some smaller projects to convince potential investors that
we know what we're doing. If our current discussions with existing space
companies go as well as they should, no one will doubt the project has the
required technical expertise on board.
However, we are considering some smaller missions on the path to the
moon. First, there are scenarios for operating the lunar transfer vehicle as a
manned free-flyer in Earth orbit, and even sending it on a trip around the Moon
similar to the Apollo 8 adventure. We're also looking at landing some very small
payloads on the Moon consisting of nothing more than a television camera with a
transmitter or recorder.
Although the business plan doesn't require these missions, there are still
compelling reasons to do them.
We might not need to convince investors, but we do need to convince our
audience and continuously demonstrate that we are making progress toward the day
when You, too, can fly to the Moon. We'll have to prove that expertise, and keep
proving it throughout the life of the project.
Even more important, a couple decades have gone by since anything has landed
on the Moon; and Clementine has been the only lunar orbiter. We need to prove to
ourselves that we know how to do this. The small television probes are intended
to be a pathfinder to serve that purpose. They'll also scout landing sites, and
serve as navigational beacons for our manned spacecraft.
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