Peter Kokh, Expedition Leader/Commander
Peter Kokh joined the National Space Society, then the National Space Institute, as "Life Member #2" shortly after it was founded by Werner von Braun in 1974. As a result of an L5 Society chapter colonizing effort by members of the Chicago and Minnesota chapters (including fellow MDRS crew #34 member, Ben Huset!) in September 1986, he helped cofound the (Milwaukee) Lunar Reclamation Society (L5) chapter of NSS. He was chair of ISDC '98, held in Milwaukee. And in 2001, he created and continues to maintain the Space Chapter Hub website to provide a common resource watering hole for chapters of the National Space Society, the Mars Society, and the Moon Society.
He has served on the Moon Society Board and as Moon Society Chapters-Coordinator since the fall of 2002, and was elected Moon Society President in August 2004.
But Kokh is best known as the editor and principal contributor to Moon Miners' Manifesto. Known widely as "Moon Miners" but referred to by Peter as "the Manifesto." Published ten issues a year continuously since December, 1986, MMM celebrated its 19th anniversary with the December 2004 issue #191. Currently MMM serves several NSS chapters as well as the members of the Moon Society, its principal client.
At the International Space Development Conference in Denver in May 1988, Kokh and Dr. Gay Canough began brainstorming strategies to take the discussion of a privately designed and funded lunar polar orbiter capable of searching for water ice at the Moon's poles, out of the realm of paper studies and on to the road to realization. This quickly led to the Lunar Polar Orbiter Conference held in Houston in March, 1989.at which Dr. Alan Binder came aboard to lead the design study. The rest is History. Lunar Prospector orbited the Moon in 1998-9 and far outperformed our wildest expectations. The lesson: determined activists could actually accomplish something of real significance.
Peter has tried his hand as an amateur space frontier artist by experimenting with "lunar paints" made entirely from materials producible from moondust. He is also the designer and producer of the 30-some sets of "gravity bricks", many owned by chapters of the Moon Society, the Mars Society, and the National Space Society, floating around North America.
A proud Milwaukeean all his life, Peter's hobbies include astronomy, hiking, his dogs, running a website for his "challenged" inner city Milwaukee neighborhood, and keeping up his home and Wisconsin north woods cottage.
The big secret, of course, is that despite Peter's clear passionate interest in the Moon, he started out as "a Mars man" and remains an enthused and dedicated Mars settlement advocate to this day. His rag, MMM, devotes at least one issue a year to Mars, and as chair of ISDC 98, he gave Robert Zubrin the plenary session he needed to announce the founding of the Mars Society to take place in Boulder two and a half months later. Peter is an active core member of the Wisconsin Mars Society and served previously on MDRS Crew #34 in February, 2005.