Cost Analysis
Section 3.2.
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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 billion dollars.

Cost Analysis

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