Revenue Sources
Section 3.4.
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Long-Term Revenue Sources for the Lunar Community

After the first flight, the entertainment value of each subsequent lunar mission will decline. Our current model shows the entertainment value dropping off exponentially, declining perhaps 50% with each flight. It wouldn't go completely to zero [you can always sell another picture book of Venice] but close enough in terms of paying for moon flights as being negligible.

Which means the lunar base must become self-supporting as quickly as it can, producing marketable items on the moon for sale on Earth. This, of course, is the real reason for going to the moon; it's the real vision behind doing the Artemis Project in the first place.

There are hundreds of papers on how to do this, but for a quick summary of potential lunar resources worth selling:

The economic value of these things depends on whether we're talking about the short term (first decade after starting up the base) or long term (30 years later). The profit potential of some of them is in the trillions of dollars over a few decades. It's important that we remain flexible and adapt to whatever market conditions exist at the time, rather than tie ourselves to a rigid plan now.

Commercial passenger rockets Consider one scenario as an example: Someone builds a 50-passenger commercial rocket capable of supporting the crew and passengers for a two-week vacation in Earth orbit. Meanwhile, we've got an oxygen plant going and can ship bottled oxygen to LEO cheaply. So, we refuel the ship in Earth orbit. Now we can fly to the moon, land, take off, return to Earth orbit, and slow down to a normal LEO circular orbit. From that point on the passenger ship is back to the mission it was orginally designed for.

For more about this scenario, see the essay about Your Vacation on the Moon.

Technical note: You might have noticed the missing hydrogen in this scenario, assuming we're using H2-O2 as propellant for the passenger rockets. That comes up from Earth; but it's a small part of the total mass of the vehicle. Oxygen accounts for 85% of the weight of the vehicle when it starts out for the moon.

Revenue Sources

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