THE ARTEMIS PROJECT
PRIVATE ENTERPRISE ON THE MOON
Financing the Project
Section 3.3.
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Getting Investors

We are extremely aware of how difficult it is for a new company to get financing, which is why we are laying out the program so carefully in our business plans and bringing on board corporate partners who are experts in each industry associated with the Artemis Project.

Preliminary space missions would help forge the spaceship team and convince our audience (everybody in the world) we can do it, and of course would generate lots of publicity. That's great; all these things are important and the project lives on publicity. But the technical question of whether we can do the moon base is not the key issue for potential investors.

Suppose, for example, you are a venture capitalist considering investing in the publications business unit. We're seeking financing to launch our line of magazines, books, and calendars. Your question is whether those publications are going to sell. Is the market big enough? What's the return on investment? Do you have a way to take your cash out of the business?

You ask about our ability to do spaceships; we show you the corporate team members who do have a track record in building and flying spaceships. But when you ask about our ability to create, market, and distribute publications, well, duh . . . we have one of the top editors in the business, a team of award-winning hard-sf writers, some of the best popular space writers; but the rest is still up in the air.

And publications are our strong suit.

Then you ask about predicting public interest in this audacious project, and our ability to generate and exploit that public interest. Nay-sayers will cite a few dramatic cases of failures to do this ("The Last Action Hero"), and optimists will cite hundreds of successes. The only way to know for sure is to hop into a time machine.

Quoting myself: There's no question that the Artemis Project will work; it a question of how long it will take. Given a thousand years, we could fund a moon base from the proceeds of a lemonade stand in Alice Springs.

In a similar vein, LunaCorp could do their lunar rover solely by saving a bit of profit from the sale of each CD, and saving up until David Gump's great-great-grandchildren finally are able to fly the lunar rover. (We do not recommending this approach.)

The challenge is to balance the required capital against the time it takes, and the level of public interest the project generates. More initial capital means higher business risk, but it also means a higher level of public interest because it makes it relevant to the lives of people who want to go now. This is the complex equation we are working to solve.

Financing the Project

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