• Artemis Moonbase Sim 1 Powerpoint Presentation

    if you have Powerpoint on your computer, download this 11.7 mb production graciously created for us by one of our mission volunteer CapComs, Gerry Williams of Mars Society San Diego.

    Gerry carefully selected appropriate photos posted on the MDRS season five website. Check the Crew #45 files on this site:

    Then he organized them according to our listed projects. The show is very well done, and we thank him for it.

    I had received this file some time ago, but as I did not have Powerpoint at the time, I could not view it and did not realize how neat it was.

    The presentation was put together using a special narrow font, Arquitectura. If you do not have this font installed in your computer fonts folder, the text may overrun the borders of the slides and be partially hidden under inset photos. You can download this font, either for Windows or for Mac from: (near the top)


    Peter Kokh, crew commander

  • Candidate Analog Sites for a Lunar Research Station

    For the sake of argument, let’s pretend that money is not a problem. The Moon Society has decided to find a location for its own Analog Research Station in a more geologically and morphologically appropriate area. What locations might make a short list, if we were constrained by logistical practicalities to the area of the continental U.S., “the lower 48” states?

    Our first search turns up four promising areas, all in the Western States, each offering extensive lava flow sheets and attendant lava tubes:

    • El Mapais National Monument just south of Grants, NM off I-40, closest air hub Albuquerque, NM at 80 miles

    • Craters of the Moon National Park in Eastern Idaho, closest air hub Salt Lake City, UT 270 miles. Boise has regional service at 184 miles. Pocatello has feeder service at 80 miles away.

    • Snow Canyon Sate Park outside St. George, Utah 121 miles from Las Vegas and 300 from Salt Lake City and 220 miles from the Mars Desert Research Station. Feeder service into Cedar City, 60 miles NE of St. George

    • Bend, Oregon - in the high desert just east of the Cascades. Closest air hub: Portland 185 miles

    Location of prime Lunar Analog Sites

    EL MAPAIS National Monument

    Just considering the logistics, accessibility by road, rail, and air the El Mapais site in New Mexico takes the clear edge. And logistics are very important: getting people and supplies in and out easily and inexpensively, and quickly. However, The Moon Society has no current members nearby, though four former members were last listed in Albuquerque. If just one of them could be reactivated to assist crew members coming and going, that would be a big plus.

    First, however, we would have to assemble a small team, 2-4 persons at most, who would have to go to the area, and, equipped with detailed topographic maps, individually check out various spots. We would prefer to be on BLM public land just adjacent to the monument, and have approved access to a lavatube. It would also be desirable to be off any of the regularly used tourist roads, tracks, or trails.

    The El Mapais site does have the slight advantage of being within a few hours drive of Spaceport America being built by Virgin Galactic for tourist suborbital hops in the area north of Las Cruces. But then, visitor traffic is _not_ something this writer and former MDRS crew commander sees as a plus. Visitors are a big simulation-distrubing distraction.


    COM NP is really no further, or not appreciably further from Salt Lake City, than the Mars Society’s desert station outside Hanksville in south central Utah. It’s just a question of going north instead of south. An asset would be personnel on the ground in Salt Lake City, who might be willing to facilitate crew arrivals and departures, and do scout work for sourcing supplies in SLC. By the way, I personally love SLC! Nestled up against the awesome Wasatch Range, it has no rival for scenic setting.

    Boise is closer, but may not enjoy as favorable round trip air fares from other points as does Salt Lake City. Seven former members are from the Boise area. There is feeder service into Pocatello Regional Airport, an 80 mile drive from the Park, via SkyWest, serving United and Delta passengers) from both Boise and Salt Lake City.

    Again, as with El Mapais, we’d have to spend some time looking for just the right spot, as noted above. William Fung-Schwarz, Artemis Moonbase Sim 1 Health & Safety Officer, who lives in Salt Lake City, has already identified “seven places to start looking” on the basis of aerial maps of the region. Again, as with El Mapais, the area receives appreciable tourist traffic, a plus at the visitor center, a minus if they interfere with out operations or intrude upon our area of operations too closely.


    A short drive NNW of St. George, Utah, this park does have lavatubes and deserves a visit. St. George is on I-15, 121 miles from Las Vegas to the south, and 300 miles from Salt Lake City to the north.

    In February 2005, on my way back to SLC from my first tour of duty at the Mars Desert Research Station, I had time to pay a personal visit to one lava field area just west of Fillmore, Utah, 150 miles SSW of SLC on I-15, and just 3 hours from the Mars desert station. But on first inspection, the site did not seem at all suitable and had no lavatubes nearby. The area’s terrain is very rugged and clumpy, difficult to traverse on foot, impossible in a vehicle without first grading a roadway. Plus, it was heavily vegetated with bushes and shrubs.


    Bend is the location of the _former_ Oregon Moonbase of the Oregon L5 chapter of the National Space Society. There are three great pluses to this location. One, we have a sizable critical mass of very knowledgeable volunteers in the Oregon L5 NSS chapter, based in the Portland metropolitan area. Two, if we were able to re-secure the lease that the Oregon L5 chapter had on the site some 5 miles northeast of Bend on Bend city water works land, that would be great. The pair of lavatubes there has been thoroughly investigated with both geological and engineering reports. I had a personal guided, very thorough tour of both tubes in 1992 as the guest of Bryce Walden and Cheryl York of the Oregon Moonbase team.

    If the former Oregon Moonbase site outside Bend is no longer available, there are many other lavaflow-lavatube sites nearby to Bend. And with the Oregon Moonbase - Oregon L5 Society team still intact, and actively partnering with the Moon Society, we have ready volunteers to visit the other site options and prepare a report on the basis of which a decision can be made.

    But that we have a critical mass of supporters three plus hours away, is the biggest plus, and certainly puts Bend at the top of the list. If and when we decide that the Moon Society needs its own Analog Station in an area geologically and chemically and landform-wise analogous to lunar sites, the Oregon team could have all its ducks in a row. Meanwhile, we’d have to investigate the other two general areas from scratch.

    So as of this point in our investigations, the Bend, Oregon area seems the candidate “site to beat.” But, pending a field trip to investigate, the handiness of the Snow Canyon site to both Las Vegas and Salt Lake City, as well as to the Mars Desert Research Station, makes that site a potentially strong challenger. Las Vegas has been the preferred site for a Moon Society Visitor Center, and that is a consideration also. See Project Leto:


    1. Determine if the former Oregon Moonbase site is still available
    2. A team field trip to Snow Canyon State Park, St. George, UT

    - Peter Kokh

  • The View From L5

    Link: http://www.moonsociety.org/2003-pcsn/16-L5view.html

    Why NASA should put a RelaySat & Dedicated Moonscope at L5

    Planetary Scientists and others have prioritized sampling missions to the South Pole Aitken Basin, some of which lies within the 60° slice of the Moon’s Farside around the east flank of the Moon. A relay satellite at L5, a stable Lagrange point at which gravitational forces of Earth and Moon are neutralized, would provide communications between Earth and ground probes and rovers within this area.

    Objects at (L4) L5 forever (precede) trail the Moon in its orbit around Earth, “flying in formation" with the Moon at a 60° angle, as seen from Earth. The distance from (L4) L5 and the Moon is the same as that between Earth and the Moon, an average of 238,000 miles. So the advantage is not in proximity, but totally in the angle of perspective.

    We also encourage NASA, as part of its outreach mission to both the public in general and to students in particular, to combine a small telescope with the communications relay in one package or bus.

    The telescope could be smalll, with an 18 inch (45.5 cm) mirror, and dedicated to observing the Moon from this new perspective. The telescope would view the Eastern 2/3rds of nearside from a different angle, and would show the adjacent 1/3rd of Farside, not otherwise observable from Earth.

    This telescope would be dedicated to amateur astronomers fascinated by the Moon and could switch between preprogrammed scans and views requested by amateur astronomers.

    NASA would determine the size, shape, weight, and power constraints of the telescope as well as its telemetry interface. But design of the telescope would be the work of an amateur astronomy team, greatly increasing public interest.

    There is precedent for such an approach. In 1984, a team based at Rensalleer Polytechnic Institute in New York State began work on designing an Amateur Space Telescope [AST] to fit in a NASA “getaway” special package. After the Challenger Accident in early 1986, the project was abandoned.

    The design project was well developed at the time, specifying an 18 inch Ritchey-Chretien (version of a Cassegrain) Telescope design.

    These AST plans could be dusted off, but the team could also decide on a clean slate design, given the advances in telescope design in the past two decades.

    NASA would foot the bill for construction of the telescope and mating it to the relaysat package. NASA would also launch the combined package.

    An “Amateur Lunar Flank Telescope” control center would be set up, possibly in Baltimore in connection with the control center for the Hubble Space Telescope. But other options should be looked at including a university-based center.

    The object is not to discover new features either on the Nearside portion in the telescope’s view or in the adjacent Farside area. The purpose would be to increase public and youth interest in the Moon and support for Moon missions to come.

    If the technological and outreach success of this project warranted, NASA could then launch a twin relaysat/telescope package to the L4 Lagrange area, extending the view available to amateur astronomers on Earth to more than 5/6ths* of the Moon’s surface.
    [* The Moon’s libration or wobble would extend the views around both east and west limbs, or flanks to more than 60° into Farside, leaving only a small “orange peel slice” of farside out of reach]

    The view from L5 would allow such interesting features as Mare Moscoviense and the major craters Tsiolkovsky, Mendeleev, Schrodinger and countless others to be seen from Earth for the first time, as well as to give face on views of several maria now seen only edge on along the Moon’s eastern Limb: M. Humboltianum, M. Marginis, M. Smythii, and M. Australe. We’d see Mare Crisium and Mare Anguis (dubbed “Angus Bay” by Greg Bennett) and M. Fecunditatis at the center of the hemisphere of the Moon visible from L5 instead of 60 degrees off to the right. Our view of them would be less distorted than in the view we now get from Earth.

    A twin telescope at L4 would present a grand view of Mare Orientale which we now see only edge on, as well as some very rugged highland terrain on Farside. And, of course, the companion relay sat would extend communications to another 1/6th of the lunar surface. NASA must address the challenge of communicating with surface probes on the farside at any rate.

    A simple and inexpensive third component of such a package could be a simple dust counter. Its purpose would be to characterize the “environment” around the L4 and L5 areas, which theory suspects will act as gravitational “Sargasso Seas” attracting dust and larger debris. Both areas have been proposed as locations in which we might someday construct Space Settlements as envisioned by Dr. gerard O’Neill, famous for his Island 1, Island 2, and Island 3 concepts. Indeed misty glows have been seen in the night sky in both of these areas by some amateur astronomers under ideal observing conditions.

    For an Amateur Lunar Flank Telescope team to raise the money to build such instruments would be quite a challenge, with the odds of success against them. But with NASA footing the bill out of its mandated outreach program, would fit nicely into the Vision of Space Exploration program. The project might also energize SEDS chapters (Students for Space Exploration) and lead to the formation of new SEDS chapters.

    We challenge and encourage NASA to consider such a student/NASA mission. We see this as a win-win proposal.

  • Keeping in Touch with the Moon Society

    One possible reason that some members fail to renew their membership is that they never get email updates on Society Progress, let alone renewal reminders. There are three main reasons why this may happen:

    • The member changes his/her email address and fails to notify the society.
    • The member's Internet Service Provider employs spam filters that may intercept Society email: if you are an att.com DSL subscriber, you will be one of these. All society email to att.com addresses is automatically rejected by att.com's filters. You have not blacklisted us, but your ISP has.
    • The member has chosen to receive the newsletter electronically, and expects it to show up in the email box. Or the member does not have high speed/broadband access and finds it difficult to download the newsletter files which average about 1 megabyte each.

    Changing your email address:

    If you change your email address, do not notify us, and have chosen to receive the electronic version of MMM, you will not get notices when a new issue is available for downloading. If you fail to check pdf file availability on your own, you will stop hearing from the Society and inevitably lose interest.

    Here is how to avoid that unhappy situation. - First, go to www.moonsociety.org/mymoon/
    This is your own personal Moon Society webpage. You need to establish a username and password for access to this page and will be prompted to select a username and password if you have not done so already. Choose a username and password that is easy for you to remember, for example, your username can be your email screenname. Pick a password that is meaningful; a pet's name, a science fiction hero, or a password you are used to using on other sites.

    On this page,
    you will find your personal contact data in the upper left hand box, and you can click the edit option to make needed changes in email address, postal address, phone # etc. By doing this you assure that your newsletter arrives in your new mailbox if you have moved and chosen the hardcopy newsletter option. It also guarantees that Society email will be sent to your current email address.

    If you get the newsletter electronically only, when you next renew, you can select the hardcopy option at no extra cost, and still download the pdf file. This would ensure that MMM still comes your way in one form or another. Of course, we need you to notify us of any contact information changes, or make the edits yourself.

    Bypassing ISP Spam Filters

    You can make sure that society email ends up in your In email Box, simply by putting the various Society email addresses in your address book. This will allow your mail program to recognize our mail as mail you want to read. Here are the addresses in question:

    mail from the Society President

    mail from the Secretary

    mail from Membership Processing (renewal reminders)

    optional Discussion List

    Team Participation reminders
    teamdir@moonsociety.org - notice that the next issue of MMM is ready for downloading at www.moonsociety.org/members/mmm/

    Please take just a few minutes to add each of these addresses to your email Address Book. This process is called "whitelisting," obviously in contrast to "blacklisting.' That you yourself have not blacklisted any address is not the point. Some ISPs will do so on their own without explicit countermeasures on your part, such as we have described above.

    Receiving your Newsletter electronically

    Moon Miners' Manifesto is published ten times a year. When it is done, the editor sends it as a pdf file to two locations:

    • to the printer who produces hardcopy from the pdf file, to mail to those who have chosen the hardcopy option

    We do not email the pdf file directly to members. It goes into the /members/mmm/ directory given above and members with valid current email addresses on file automatically get an email message stating that the newsletter is ready to download, along with instructions on how to do so.

    So if we do not have your current email address, you do not get this notice. If you have neglected to select a username and password, you will not have access to these pdf files. It's as simple as that. We need your active cooperation for the electronic newsletter option to work.

    If you do not have a fast internet connection, you may want to select the hardcopy option when you renew.

    Now you are all set for an interactive membership experience!

  • How does the Artemis Project™ fit into the Moon Society’s Goals?


    First let me say that I have been,and still am an ardent supporter of the Artemis Project™ since the day I first learned of it early in 1995. I understand and share the deep devotion to the Project shared by most Moon Society members who joined in the ASI days prior to the Moon Society founding convention in July 2000. At that time, the Moon Society took over membership services from Artemis Society International.

    I am concerned about legal issues, but am not an expert on them by any means. I do _not_ propose importing the Artemis Project Reference Mission™ into a Moon Society wiki accessible by everyone.

    I _do_ propose starting an open-source wiki-based commercial moonbase reference mission -- from scratch. This approach should avoid proprietary issues.

    Now if TLRC [The Lunar Resources Company] can ever put together the resources to make the Artemis Project™ real, I will be cheering from the front row.

    But establishing a commercial moonbase, as a start towards civilian settlement on the Moon, is a more important goal than helping any one particular for-profit enterprise achieve it, including TLRC.

    That is why, a fresh start wiki-based commercial moonbase reference mission, listing and working out the many conceivable options at each phase of such a project, should be a resource available to any for-profit corporation who can come up with the resources to make such an undertaking a reality.

    We should not aim at producing a "reference mission" i.e. ourselves selecting the best combination of proposals for each phase. We should leave that to whomever wants to pick and choose from the options sketched in the wiki to put together their own mission plan. But comparing options, brainstorming new ones, to fully flesh out the options -- now that we should help do.

    So I am talking not so much about a Moon Society divorce from TLRC/Artemis Project™, as about holding them at arms length while opening up a wider set of possibilities to anyone and everyone who may be interested, TLRC included.

    Again, that the goal to be achieved is far more important than the identity of who achieves it. Whether another US based startup goes the distance, or some outfit in Singapore, Russia, or Shangri-La does not matter. As an International Society, we must be open to projects started and/or owned by non-US companies or consortia. That humans settle the Moon is our goal.

    We will all be cheering on a US/NASA/International moonbase effort.

    Speaking for myself, I will be much more enthused about loop-the-Moon tourist flights and eventual tourist surface excursions, because I personally suspect that this kind of activity is more likely to lead to lunar resource development and civilian settlement. But that's just my personal opinion. And actually, an Artemis Project™ type commercial outpost finds a better fit in that scenario than in the international lunar science outpost scenario.

    The chances of such a NASA/partners start being sufficiently open-ended and expansion-driven so as to lead to civilian settlement are realistically next to none. Any governmental/international outpost will put people on the Moon, and brighten our day. But we want a presence that will be permanent, and only civilian settlement can set human presence on the Moon on the path to permanence, immune to politically or economically motivated budget and program cuts.

    So that does make the dream that drives the Artemis Project™, the driver behind Moon Society efforts and projects. The point is that realizing the dream is more important than who realizes it.

    We all owe our existence to Gregory R. Bennett, Dana Carson, Randall Severy, and Ian Randall Strock, who incorporated The Lunar Resources Company. We'd all like to see them succeed. But we should aim at supplying the idea resources to anyone who might be able to put the necessary resources together.

    Right now, on our Projects Page, the Artemis Project is still listed as our flagship project.

    I would change that, the Board consenting, to:

    "The dream of a commercial moonbase leading to civilian settlement through open-ended expansion, for example, as illustrated in the Artemis Project™, defines the ultimate goal of the Society. All other projects that the Society chooses to engage in should be selected according to their potential to promote achievement of this vision."

    Now perhaps we can phrase this more succinctly. But you get the idea. "To the Moon to stay" is a bit too succinct to be useful, as too many people are deluded into thinking that a NASA outpost would guarantee that. Only ghost towns can be promised. Permanence must be earned.

    We have tried to outline the Society goals clearly in "Who We Are & What We Do" -- see the link top center on our front page.

    Yet many say they are unclear about what the Society's goals are, and where we are headed.

    I think that is because some have very unrealistic expectations. We are limited to what we can do by our numbers, our treasury, and available volunteer labor. That makes "bending metal" and going on to establish our own outpost totally unrealistic. But we can make a critical difference!

    We do need to prioritize membership expansion. And while inviting anyone and everyone, and valuing everyone’s contributions, we need to concentrate especially on recruiting people with special relevant talents, and people with available free time. We also need to make it easier for people to list us in their wills, etc., so we can build an endowment fund that will enable us to undertake ever more ambitious projects.

    From our Artemis Society beginnings, it should also be clear that our goal is not to cheer on or push a NASA/international outpost, as much as we would all like to see it become real. Why? Because the chances of such an outpost going on to be the nucleus of civilian settlement, are as great as those of a snowball surviving a close encounter with the sun. Politics, budget realities, popular support are all both unpredictable, fickle, and irrational. An international outpost in which expansion is not a part of its game plan, is not part of our dream. It's that simple.

    Such a limited science outpost will indeed stir up enthusiasm for more in people of talent and ability, however. It will be encouraging. That's good.

    At the same time, such an outpost will have made many irrational choices because of budget pressures, and the results of these compromises may lead many to think that the dream is impossible. So a limited science outpost could also be a negative factor. That's bad. In the past, NASA's deep pockets have discouraged would-be startup competitors. Space in general and the Moon in particular, do not have to be as expensive as any government entity will inevitably make it seem.

    How can the Moon Society fitting in? Our work as a society can help define, publicize, and promote the development of the technologies, systems, and attitudes that will enable a first outpost to undertake prompt, inflationary expansion, leading to a switch from staffing by temporary personnel on fixed tours of duty to civilians, choosing to adopt the Moon as their new homeland, working to support themselves and to earn credit from exports to attain export-import break-even, and making themselves and their families at home on the Moon.

    I am well aware that we may have some members who would be quite content with an Antarctic style human presence on the Moon. But the Society must not itself ever be content with that. The fire in the gut of the Artemis Project™ founders, and ASI members, must continue to blaze in our own gut.

    Peter Kokh
    President, The Moon Society


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