[L.E.T.O. = Lunar Exploration & Tourist Organization]
Project Leto is the first major long term project for the Moon Society. It is a strategic plan to build a full-scale simulation of an initial lunar exploration base. It would be marketed for outreach purposes, analog research, and as a tourist destination.
We have been in the process of assembling a business plan and soliciting funding for the project. The initial site would likely be located in Las Vegas (to capitalize on the large tourist industry) As it matures, Project Leto would encompass activities at many sites, including locations in Hesperia, California and Hawaii. Other candidate locations being considered include Oregon, Idaho, Arizona, Florida, and New Mexico.
One option is to construct a pair of identical analog research stations, one for tourists to visit in Las Vegas, and another in a remote location with terrain analogous to what we will find on the Moon. This second station would then be where the real research is done. But visitors to the twin station at the tourist center would be able to listen in, and watch by webcams.
Meanwhile, the Society has engaged in a Moonbase Simulation Exercise at the Mars Desert Research Station (M.D.R.S.) in Utah, in order to build up the experience and know-how within the Society that will enable us to better design, deploy, construct, outfit, maintain, and operate such a Lunar Analog Facility as part of Project Leto.
"Artemis Moonbase Sim 1" conducted February 26 through March 11, 2006 was thus an important first step towards the realization of the more long term Project Leto.
In the months after this exercise, we will be consdering our next step.
Please visit our Lunar Analog Research Proposals Page