Our Vision and Mission

Updated August 8, 2011

The Moon Society - Who We Are & What We Do

The Moon Society, founded in 2000 by Gregory R. Bennett, seeks to inspire and involve people all over the world in the continued study and exploration of the Moon with the goal of accelerating the day when there will be civilian settlements on the Moon, making use of local resources through private enterprise both to support the pioneers themselves and to help alleviate Earth's stubborn energy and environmental problems.
What we are not
We are not designers, builders, or purchasers of rockets, habitat modules, or other hardware which will be involved in this effort. (Some of our members may be employed or involved with such efforts individually.)

Rather, our purpose as a society is both to help remove obstacles and to help lay foundations. We seek by all legitimate means available to us to promote developments that will aid those pioneers will go to the Moon to succeed in their ventures, and to advance the day when they will do so.
Our Vision says Who We Are
We envision a future in which the free enterprise human economy has expanded to include settlements on the Moon and elsewhere, contributing products and services that will foster a better life for all humanity on Earth and beyond, inspiring our youth, and fostering hope in an open-ended positive future for humankind.
Our Mission
Our Mission is to inspire and involve people everywhere, and from all walks of life, in the effort to create an expanded Earth-Moon economy that will contribute solutions to the major problems that continue to challenge our home world.
Briefly, we seek to address these goals through education, outreach to young people and to people in general, contests and competitions, workshops, ground level research and technology experiments, private entrepreneurial ventures, moonbase simulation exercises, tourist centers, and other legitimate means.
Our Strategy and Game Plan
Our strategy and game plan are guided by the "Lunar Frontier Enabling Test" which paraphrases the "Space Frontier Enabling Test" formulated by the Space Frontier Foundation.

A "lunar frontier enabling" project, technology, or policy is one which has as its effect the acceleration of the creation of low cost access to the lunar frontier, and to the space frontier in general, for private citizens and companies, and/or which enables or accelerates our use of space resources, and/or accelerates the rate at which wealth can be generated on the Moon and in space.

In other words, we ask this question: is the project or policy going to provide a return on our investment of time, energy, and money, if we define "return" to be the economically sustainable human habitation of the Moon and of space in general?

Any project, competition, paper, technology demonstration or other activity which does not meet this clear standard, no matter how well designed and energetically pursued, is simply a waste of time and resources and energies -- a detour or diversion.Promotion of public and entrepreneurial interest in the exploration, research, development, and habitation of the Moon

Stimulation of the advancement and development of applications of space and related technologies and encouragement of entrepreneurial development thereof

Collaboration between various societies and groups interested in developing and utilizing the resources of the Moon.
The Society has limited resources. We must use them to best effect. The "Lunar Frontier Enabling Test" helps assure that we do just that.

Challenges to our Mission - the vagaries of National Politics and Annual Budgets
Despite our best efforts, announced scientific or manned exploration lunar missions can be delayed, trimmed, emasculated, even canceled. In such situations, we need to maintain our determination, continue planning, and look for research and development opportunities that are not at the mercy of national budgets and the policies of changing administrations.

Many of the technologies needed to advance our goals are at a low "readiness state.
While NASA does involve commercial industries in efforts to advance the readiness state of some of these needed technologies, there is another path, not directed or incentivized by NASA at all, a road where the primary incentive is commercial profit: the route of "Spin-up rather than "Spin-off." For an explanation of how this works, taking a specific research item, read this paper:

"Spinning Up" Glass-Glass Composites Technology

The result is rather than spending federal mega dollars, and getting and maintaining approval for that, a private enterprise pre-develops an analog of the needed technology, specifically for profitable applications here on Earth, with the effect that a much higher technology level of a technology needed in space or on the Moon is put "on the shelf.'

If we do so for as many needed technologies as possible, the time from a "Go Decision" to Mission Accomplished is shortened as well as becoming much more affordable.

This pathway could work for many of the technologies needed. And while there may be reluctance and outright opposition to government expenditures, no one can interfere with commercial enterprise - unless the technology area involved is judged to be of military significance.

The list of such technology development opportunities that would advance our mission to see lunar settlement and industrial development for the benefit of our home planet is limited only by the imagination.

It is also critical that we inform ourselves and the public of improved pathway architectures to get us "back to the Moon to stay"
This will work to reduce the "giggle factor" significantly and to grow public support for a re-energized national space program.

For this reason, we maintain a growing list of such improved pathway architectures, under the news heading: On the Lunar Upbeat

On the Lunar Upbeat!
as of August 8, 2011
Paul Spudis: Can we afford to go back to the Moon?

Paul Spudis: An Affordable Lunar Base

Dallas Bienhoff: Ten Technologies for Reusable Cis-lunar Transportation

Lockheed Martin: A Manned Orion Mission to L2 above the Moon's Farside

NASA JSC Project M: Robonauts to the Moon (video)

Thronston, Lester, Talay: L1 & L2 Affordable Human Stepping Stone

Jeff Greason: A Settlement Strategy for NASA

All of the above are reasons to take heart. We are making progress!

Helpful Moon Society and Moon Society Chapter Projects

Exhibits that inform the public of the possibilities
These can be done on the Society-wide level as was our 2007 Video production project and our 2008 construction of a table top Solar Power Beaming Demonstration Unit, followed up by the production of an "Online Kit" to assist other groups who might went to replicate what we did, and perhaps improve upon it. The goal is to expose as much of the public as we can afford to possibilities that will expand their expectations and support for space development.

Chapters and Outposts can also create exhibits that serve a similar purpose in their local areas. And if they share the plans for such exhibits, other chapters and outposts, not only in the Moon Society but in the National Space Society can replicate them, or improve on them, with the result that the world will spread.

Arranging and/or hosting public events: expositions, seminars, conferences.

Essay Contests on topics that expand the minds of young people.

Engineering and design competitions
One such suggestion is the Lavatube Skylight Explorer that will not only inform the public of what is possible but may catch the attention of a would-be principle investigator who would like to pursue such a project for NASA. This is a path not that different than that taken by enthusiasts in the late 1980s which resulted in the successful Lunar Prospector mission a decade later.
It is extremely important to realize that such design and engineering competitions need not be done on the professional college graduate level. The whole ides is not to predevelop the mission technology but to put the idea of what is possible in the heads of those who can do so.

We are a small organization, and if we choose to pursue such an option on the pro-level of the "big boys" we will never raise the funds and the support and the professional expertise to get it done. Worrying too much about all the obstacles will serve to put it off to another generation.

We must not be trying to compete with the big boys in NASA, in industry, or in Academia. We just need to illustrate possibilities to those who do have the expertise to take our concepts to the next level.
Developing and publicizing the path not taken is the key.
Demonstrations of new concepts is one way. Another alternative to the government megabucks path to technology crash-development, the pathway that makes Space seem significantly more expensive than it need be, is that of "Spin-Up" as opposed to "Spin-Off" - see the link to Glass-glass composites above.
"The Moon is the cusp at which the final stage of our current Inter-Continental Frontier Expansion  and our proposed Inter-Planetary Frontier Expansion meet."
We should not be shy about talking with our friends,our neighbors, and people in general about the grand significance of the threshold at which we find ourselves.
The Grand Epic of Human Expansion "Out of Africa"


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