1 March 1999
The Artemis Project reference mission lands the core element of a permanent exploration base on the moon. The Artemis Data Book details each part of the flight all the way to the moon back, with one exception: the reference mission starts and ends in Earth orbit.
We did this on purpose. When we first defined the Artemis Project reference mission, many organizations and companies were already working on solutions to the cost of getting to Earth orbit. Today, there are even more people working on this.
Roton is an excellent example of this, and in the philosophy of the Artemis Project, they are developing their launcher entirely as private enterprise. If the new Roton rocket is successful in significantly lowering launch costs, we will be able to establish our lunar exploration base much sooner.
Roton also provides the world business community with a concrete example of private enterprise in manned space programs. For us to succeed in our quest for the moon, it is vital that the world's financial institutions get past the concept shock. Until now, almost all the private investment in space has been focused on robotic spacecraft, and most of that was telecommunications satellites.
We look forward to the day when we can lower the cost of access to orbit even more by creating more demand for transportation of passengers and freight all the way to the moon. Today we hail the progress made by Rotary Rockets in moving us a giant step closer to the Moon!
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