Section 1.2.
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Basic Functional Requirements for Moonbase Artemis

Ultimately, we want to see a thriving spacefaring community. Besides digging up moon dirt and separating out the good stuff, that includes people living on the moon, in space, on space stations and even spaceborne cites, building solar power satellites, mining asteroids, building communities on Mars, exploring the outer planets, conducting exploration and scientific research in all these environments, and doing whatever it is people want to do.

We have a host of options to choose from. The path we take in developing lunar base to achieve that grand vision is not well-defined. However, we don't have to narrow down that field right now. We have sufficient information to define the basic requirements for the core of a lunar exploration base.

No matter what path we eventually follow, the initial lunar base must:

  1. Support visiting crews, and keep them happy and healthy

    We'll probably learn most of what we need to know for long-term habitation of the moon by providing this function.

  2. Be indefinitely maintainable, in place on the moon.
  3. Have an open architecture so that we can upgrade any of the lunar exploration base's systems.
  4. We'll want to close the life support loop as quickly as we can to reduce resupply requirements; and if computer systems continue to become obsolete at the rate they are now, we might be replacing large chunks of the electronics on every flight

  5. Support the crew working outside on the lunar surface, and maintain all the equipment they need to do this
  6. Provide power, data, communications, and life support for the crew
  7. Support mining on the moon
  8. Support use of lunar material
  9. Support space traffic to and from the moon
  10. Support industrial processes on the moon
  11. Provide and maintain storage and garages for external equipment
  12. Look neat

    All other considerations aside, don't forget that we're in show business here. Even beyond the initial entertainment ventures used to establish the lunar exploration base, the lunar tourism industry will depend heavily on its facilities presenting an exciting, comfortable place to visit.

Exactly what the external equipment will be depends on what we learn along the way. If we can afford it, or if we need a large population on the moon right away, we might put priority on searching for a big cavern where we can establish a large, permanent community. Alternatively, if we can automate a lot of the processing and have customers for lunar oxygen, we'll want to put our priorities on those industrial processes and a launch system to get payloads off the moon.


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