Lots of room on the moon
The surface of the moon is the size of Africa. That's plenty big enough for more than one project, and many people have plans for lunar development. Having the name of the moon goddess on the first spacecraft to land on the moon is not important; getting it done is.
Artemis is an egregarious goddess; she likes company. The more, the better. Our economic forecasts for the lunar community rely on creating a large, stable population on the moon. To achieve economic self-sufficiency, we have to devlop a host of industries. Here is a list of some of them, linked to their respective sections of the Artemis Data Book.Space Transportration
Space Traffic Control
Planetary Mission Support
Spaceborne Habitat Development
Recreation and Tourism
Tourist Transportation Systems
Transportation Nodes in Earth Orbit
Lunar Launch Systems
Lunar Surface Transportation
Industrial Transportation Systems
Power Systems Manufacturing
Life Support Utilities
Thermal Control Systems
You can see from the list above that we still have a lot of planning to do to establish a permanent, self-supporting lunar community, and there's plenty of work for everyone. The question is not who will be first, but rather how we get enough of these things going at once to make the moon a nice place to live.
Developing the moon is our number one goal
A related Frequently Raised Objection is the fear that the Artemis Project, being based on a philosophy of entertainment as the economic driver for lunar development, will lose its focus on lunar development and become nothing more than an Earth-bound entertainment industry.
Don't get those concepts inverted. We are planning to get to the moon and to stay there via entertainment and tourism. Tourism will always play a major role in the economy of the lunar community, but it is not the end goal.
The goal of Artemis Society International is to establish a permanent, self-supporting lunar community; not just to provide entertainment. You might say we hope to do everything we do in the most entertaining manner possible; because it's fun, and there is money to be earned from fun.
Start with what you know
Yet another related Frequently Raised Objection is that current Artemis Project program participants focus on certain industries, while leaving out others. Some folks tend to extrapolate this single data point to derive all sorts of interesting misconceptions about the Artemis Project.
We tend to be best at what we're familiar with. That's an important part of the formula for success in any business. However, there are many companies now involved in the Artemis Project; and we can expect there will be many more. Even with in the broad categories of "entertainment" and "tourism" you will find many more specialized firms, each playing its role.
That's even happening right now, in a smaller scale; consider the sundry roles of TransLunar (developing merchandise), Lunar Traders (retail sales of merchandise), TransOrbital (developing robotic spacecraft), CyberTeams (developing network-based team software systmes), Village Networks Limited backbone internet services), VSOP (computer-generated artwork), LunaSoft (computer games), DayStar Designs (graphics layout and integration), and The Lunar Resources Company (program integrator).
Then on the non-profit side of the Artemis Project, we have Artemis Society International (the meeting ground) and affiliate organizations such as the Lunar Reclamation Society (publishers of Moon Miners Manifesto), Oregon Moonbase (on-site experiments with lava tubes and lunar terrain), and the SETI League (defining the equipment we'll need for using the moon as a platform in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence).
We could cite several examples of companies that do very well in more than one industry. Disney is a pretty good example of one doing well in both delivering entertainment and tourism. Even an aerospace giant like Boeing dabbles a bit in entertainment -- they now charge a fee if you want to our the mammoth airplane factory in Everett, Washington.
If you surf around the Artemis Data Book, you'll find that we've at least outlined our approach to analyzing the long-range economy of the lunar community. These subjects, including those from the list above, are group in the Artemis Data Book under Section 2, Scenarios for Manned Space Development.
The Artemis Society's sundry technical committees are filling in the blanks here and there -- it's a huge subject so we'll be building our knowledge base for a long time. We expect this effort continue long after planting the first footsteps of the first permanent citizens of the moon.
The two primary drivers for the financial future of the lunar community are (1) closing the loop using in-situ and asteroidal resources as much as they can, and (2) providing services to terrestrial customers so that there is a positive balance of payments to cover goods that must be imported from Earth.
Private development makes new government missions feasible
Right now, in late 1999, there is no visible path for creation of new government-sponsored manned missions to the moon, or anywhere. Hiding behind an era of perceived prosperity is the fact that taxes are at an all-time high while governments at every level are cutting back on services to their citizens. This is not an environment that promotes new, expensive government development programs.
Private development will reverse this unfortunate trend. By opening the bounty of the universe to people here on Earth, we bring new wealth to the world-wide human economy. And, through the efficiency of private enterprise, we lower the costs of government-sponsored missions to the point that governments can restart their programs of space exploration.
There are many services we hope to be able to offer to NASA and other countries' space agencies, so that they can reduce the cost of the government-sponsored space development programs. We can provide housing, electrical power, mining, materials processing, processed oxygen and other volatiles, personnel to staff laboratories, robot repair, communication stations, vehicles to fetch water ... eventually even major spacecraft subassemblies.
We should emphasize that we're not attempting to run around NASA. Rather, since it is now financially feasible for private enterprise to pick up the wand, private enterprise should do so. In other words, let's get off NASA's case and do what we can to help push out the boundaries.
If you don't like it, just ignore it.
One of the appealing points of the Artemis Project is that if you don't care about it, you can ignore it. We're doing as much as we can without using up the taxpayers' money. That does not exclude supporting or even participating in government-sponsored space programs. There's no doubt that we can develop the moon faster if we have tax money to do it with, but we are creating a program that doesn't depend on tax money.
I'll tell you my personal priorities for what I'd like to see NASA do, with all possible disclaimers that it's nobody's opinion but my own.
First, development of the International Space Station is a critical part of the long-term conquest of space. This is the world's first sustainable manned spacecraft, designed to be maintained indefinitely in low Earth orbit. The ability to sustain a spaceborne facility is vital to development of the moon, or anywhere beyond the surface of the Earth.
Second, I see development of core technologies for lower-cost access to Earth orbit as a vital step. Look at the cost estimates for the Artemis Project, or for any space development program. Launch from Earth's surface takes the huge majority of the effort.
And third, I want NASA's next big space program to be to develop the technologies required to establish a human outpost on Mars. This is a perfect government program. Mars is beautiful. Mars is romantic. Mars is inspiring. We just gotta do Mars! Unfortunately, Mars is a tiny, cold, dead planet with a poisonous atmosphere located in an orbit equally inconvenient to almost anywhere in the solar system. After years of effort with thousands of people trying to work the problem, we have not been able to define a viable economic model for private development of Mars. That makes it wonderful place for a politically motivated space development program.
NASA is already on the way with its first permanent space station. There's a lot we can do on the moon to help NASA achieve the two latter goals. Our presence on the moon creates a demand for low-cost access to space. The industrial infrastructure on the moon lowers the cost of building big things in orbit, whether they be space stations, power satellites, or even Mars ships.
Then, in the future, when private industry has developed on the moon and the technologies are in place for long-duration manned space flight, we will see private industry moving on to all the regions of the solar system and beyond.