#91 December 1995
Section 184.108.40.206.091.of the Artemis Data Book
by Peter Kokh, First Contact II Co-chair
On October 7th, 1995, at a Science/Science Fiction Convention in Milwaukee called First Contact II, LRS hosted a three-hour brainstorming workshop on the "Design Requirements for a Commercial Moon Base." The Lunar Reclamation Society (NSS-Milwaukee) and Milwaukee Science Fiction Services are joint partners in this new hybrid convention. Leading the workshop was the special LRS "Doer" Guest of Honor, Greg Bennett, CEO of The Lunar Resources Company in Houston, and chief architect of "The Artemis Project." Co-directing the session were Mark Kaehny and Peter Kokh of LRS. David Burkhead of Spacecub fame also participated. There were eleven of us altogether.
After a few general remarks about what we were going to attempt to do, identify things a first lunar outpost could do to make money, we broke up into two brainstorming groups (larger groups are unwieldy).
Greg Bennett, Mark Kaehny (group secretary), David Burkhead, Edwin Reck, and Mark Roth-Whitworth - came up with the suggestions below.
The numbering reflects only the order in which the suggestion was made - given the limited time, there was no attempt to put these ideas in a logical order, much less to come up with them in a logical order - brainstorming, by its very nature, has to be free-ranging and unfettered. The inevitable chaff can be separated out from the wheat later. The dynamics of group brainstorming is such that an idea presented "half-baked" by one person, can then be "fully baked" by others in the group. It is an exciting process.
The contents in square brackets, [ ], are added by the MMM editor, a non-participant in Group A, and may or may not accurately qualify or reflect the intent of the suggester.
full video interactive 3-D animation videotape with celebrity speakers.
Sell rides on training equipment similar to Rand Simberg's Space Lines. Actual training.
Photo CD-ROMs pictures. Documented Travelogs, National Geographic style.
An online WWW pay-for-data site.
Animé - Japanese Animation - CD-ROM, magazine story.
Licensing the Setting i.e. of "the Artemis Universe"
(6a) Creating "Artemis" Product Lines - Children's toys.
Scientific sponsorship - rack space and crew time, paid for by corporations as goodwill advertising
Hardware junkie big name contacts" - Bill Gates?
Flight Models - Estes type static models and mock-ups [for sale to theme parks, air and space museums etc.]
Babylon 5 newsgroups - meet people - Straczynski etc.
Sell Lunar Samples, Made on Moon scientific novelties
Sell [lunar regolith] simulants and scientific novelties
Television Story - Shows on all possible variations on "nationality of the Moon"
Solar Power Demonstration - small power satellite
"Save the Earth" - sell concern for Earth's future
Sponsoring Conferences - make money off of fame, leverage off fame (credibility problems?)
Sponsorship of Companies - "Proud Sponsor of ..."
Sell bricks made from lunar regolith simulant
Long term storage in cold rad-sheltered vacuum: sperm and egg bank; biological and pathogen samples; archival space for data and knowledge stored on magnetic media; etc.
Signs on the moon whose message can be telechanged from Earth, with image of sign in lunar setting transmitted to Earth - i.e. real time unobtrusive advertising on the moon.
High Definition digital video [the Artemis Story, etc.]
TV produced on Moon. Aerobics, Kick Boxing and Karate, [and the obvious bootleg videos which must remain rumored.]
Selling 1/6th g rides on counterweighted gym sets [such as the Mars-grav weight compensating gym set made by Ann Arbor Space Society]
Sports Programs [uniquely lunar sports that do not need a lot of pressurized volume - with fast, neat action and high spectator value - direct pay-for-view broadcasting to Earth]
Maps of Moonbase area [wall murals, placemats, anyone?]
[Static] Models and working models
[Merchandising mail order] Catalog of cool space stuff
Pay to work schemes [like architectural and paleontological "digs"] Hands on patronage. Field Trips. Sponsored trips [can be to terrestrial sites where neat preparation and simulation things are happening]
A newsletter "Holidays on the Moon" published when morning comes to the proposed settlement site [i.e. moonthly]
Medallions - [individualized] matching set - one sent to the Moon. You keep the other one.
Mission Control Center for the Artemis landing missions to be located in a Theme Park [pay-to-observe]
Coin-operated games; your face in a cool Moonbase setting
Limited Edition Prints, signed by artists, countersigned by the first return crew - e.g. famed artists like Kim Poor
Mural Pictures [Murals are scenic wall papers 4 large pieces across the top and 4 across the bottom, not pre-pasted. Environmental Graphics of the Twin Cities is top manufacturer of nearly 2 dozen scenes which sell for $40-50 and include Earth over Apollo 17 landing site, Columbia in orbit over cloud-studded Earth, and Saturn and its moons]
Space-wear and moon-wear clothing for Ken, Barbie dolls.
Peter Kokh (group secretary), Fred Oesau, David Crawford, Doug Seitz, Jim Plaxco, and Kevin Crowley.
Whereas Group A concentrated (not exclusively) on money-generating ideas to get the Artemis Project "on the way," Group B chose to concentrate (again not exclusively) on money-generating ideas that would apply "once a permanent occupiable outpost was set up."
Testing/tending of prototype feasibility demonstration equipment for mining operations, beneficiation processes, other processing: e.g. lunar oxygen production, silane [silicon-based analog of methane] fuel production; iron fine extraction and sintered iron product manufacturing; i.e. Artemis crew-members serve as time-share mission specialists for companies hoping to do industrial business on the Moon.
Money would be earned not only from providing time-share trained labor. Income would also be generated by carrying along equipment to the Moon, shipping back various processed and manufactured samples, etc. i.e. renting payload space and mass aboard the Lunar Transfer Vehicle, and descent/ ascent vehicles.
On-site advertising. More elaborate possibilities than in # 21 above because of the availability of crew for non-electronic changeouts, as well as part-time models, actors, etc. The availability of crew also permits greater latitude in changing the all-important background setting, i.e. in total picture composition. It allows moving "commercials" as well.
Setting up and tending telescopes and other astronomical installations (changeout of instrumentation) for university-consortia, etc. This would involve trained time-share crew as mission specialists, and fees for payload bay space and weight as in # 1, above.
Teleoperated "working" robot-rovers - Artemis sells minutes/hours for the right to teleoperate mobile equipment that (a) emplaces regolith shielding over the habitat complex; (b) grades approaches and aprons, improves landing pad, etc.; (c) collects dust and rock samples.
Time could be purchased directly, or, seeing that it would be expensive and eliminate all but the best-heeled of individuals, corporate sponsors (or Artemis itself) could raffle off the right to teleoperate such equipment, after a minimum number of hours of simulation training, of course, this included in the package, so that the actual time would be well spent, both to reward the lucky individual teleoperator, and to maximize for Artemis the efficiency and safety with which the needed work gets done.
This concept would not be unlike going on a paid "teleoperated" archeological or paleontological dig.
We noted that many income opportunities will presuppose that Artemis planners had picked a visually exciting site with its surroundings, not just a scientifically exciting one.
Photographic panoramas deserving of being rendered as wall murals (wallpaper, see Group A, above). This will include one of the Artemis Moonbase itself, either/both as under construction or/and as completed (phase 1), as well as various untransformed scenic vistas in the area.
Some of these murals could be available for open reproduction, others sold in limited sets of 100 to generate high individual auction/bid prices.
Telerobotic lessons sold separately to qualify winners of teleoperation time. See # 4, above.
$100 million lottery - winner to be trained as time-share mission specialist along on the first, or second mission.
Teleoperable manufacturing equipment to be engineered by rival competing engineering teams pro bono - the carrot reward being the right to get a percentage return or royalty on income generated by the teleoperated device for the its operational lifetime.
Entertainment pay-per-view TV produced on site, capitalizing on eerie effects of 1/6th gravity: one or two person ballet performances (doable on a small set); midget sumo wrestling (our apologies to the Little People or those of Japanese descent to whom our fun suggestion is offensive); once a bigger "gym" is available, Lunar Jai Alai.
Made, or hand-selected on Moon artifacts, coins, jewelry. Cut and polished breccia broaches or ring stones. Sintered iron coins to be polymer coated against rust on arrival on Earth. Items made of glass spherules. Necklace glass capsules half-filed with common regolith moon dust.
Weightier and thus much more expensive: sinter-cast block which bears your own footprints, made on the Moon with a casting or your very own foot/feet or shoe(s)/boot(s). Sinter-cast blocks with custom Valentine-type message.
Selling Names: of modules and parts of modules of the outpost and lunar descent vehicle. e.g. the John Doe porthole, the Jane Doe Hall (meetings, TV studio, dance hall, gym, Jai Alai court, etc. multi-use larger volume hard hull module or inflatable.
Also getting corporations to pay for additional mods or upgraded interiors of planned modules - all for the ad value = e.g. "furnished by Apollo interiors, of city, state."
Repository for cremation ashes. This can be under the open star-spangled sky, UV-protected by a glass pane.
Biological Quarantine Facility for sample all-but-extinct pathogens and toxins too dangerous to be kept indefinitely at the Contagious Disease Control Center in Atlanta. An associated lab could be a follow-on.
3D computer-controlled variable mold stamping device which will render your footprints/handprints and a photo of same on the Moon, in an area to be set aside not ever to be re-disturbed. Different from # 11 (second paragraph) above.
Lunar Spaceport Beacon which can flash messages (commercial ad or personal [monitored] for a high fee) in Morse code when visible from Earth during local Moonbase nightspan.
Along the same line, experiments in local nigthtspan fireworks and light shows to be paid for by sponsors on Earth for very large terrestrial audiences on special occasions.
Afterthought on # 11 jewelry ideas above. For necklaces, glass spheres with actual lunar vacuum (glass is stronger under compression)
Actual Signatures on the Moon: Artemis would sell the right (and small space) to write/engrave your signature on various pieces of structural or operating hardware
As I had guaranteed Greg Bennett as we were about to start, this process was sure to come up with many ideas that have already been thought of in previous Artemis Project brainstorming sessions, but also certain to come up with some new ideas previous groups had not thought of, or at least new variations. Afterwards, Greg assured me that the Workshop had delivered as promised. All participants found the exercise very stimulating and the high point of their convention.
In Houston and in Huntsville, the ideas outlined above will be merged with the results of previous marketing and income generating brainstorm sessions.
Additional ideas? Please send them to "Marketing & Income Ideas", ASI, PO Box 4878, Huntsville, AL 35815.
This was the fourth in a series of Mission Control Workshops hosted by the Lunar Reclamation Society. The first, at the ISDC '93 in Huntsville, dealt with three diverse Asteroid Base scenarios. The following ISDC '94 in Toronto, we hosted a four-group workshop on Tourism in Space. At the maiden First Contact Science/Science Fiction Convention in Milwaukee in 1994, our workshop dealt with Seafloor analogs of Lunar and Space Outposts (with special "Doer" Guest of Honor Dennis Chamberland of the League of New Worlds).
Our workshop topic for next year's First Contact has been narrowed down to two topics ("The Use of Lavatubes"; "Mini Lunar Biospheres") with the final selection dependent on the availability of potential "Doer" GoHs.
For the chance to contribute to this ongoing process, the pleasure was all ours. PK
Contents of this issue of Moon Miners' Manifesto