Email Newsletter of The Moon Society
January 2011

Banner adjusted

Lockheed-Martin would send Astronauts to Location Above the Moon's Farside


Return to Moon

NASA's new direction, "The Flexible Path" would go beyond low Earth Orbit where it has been stuck since the return of Apollo 17 crew from the Moon in late 1972. Suggested destinations include the Lagrange Points (where the Earth's and the Moon's gravity cancels out) and near Earth Asteroids, and when we've mastered that, we can think about Mars.


But Lockheed Martin has found a way to involve the Moon. What they are proposing is not a manned Moon landing mission, but a manned mission to the Earth-Moon L2 point some 41,500 mi (65,000 km) above the center of the Moon's Farside shown above. The purpose would be to teleoperate landers on the Farside which is always hidden from Earth. To date, no lander has set down on this hidden hemisphere for the simple reason that there is no line-of-sight communications with Earth. The Lockheed plan would have the crewed Orion capsule in a "a halo orbit" around the L2 point, to allow it to see Earth over, under, or to the side of the Moon to maintain communications.


While this does not get humans back to the Moon, it keeps the Moon in the public eye, and does accomplish valuable lunar science that promises to give us a more complete picture of the geology and resources of this out-of-signt-out-of-mind part of the Moon, all while accomplishing "Flexible Path" directives. Whether this happens or not is up to NASA and Congress, but we find it an interesting proposal. 


Read the article 

Read our article in MMM #241, December 2010

(requires current Moon Societyusername & password)

Can we afford to return to the Moon?

You may be one of many members and other lunar outpost supporters who have been in the doldrums and discouraged over the cancellation of the Constellation program as too costly, and the redirection of NASA away from the Moon.


Dr. Paul Spudis, a Senior Staff Scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, is one person who believes the answer to the question above is an emphatic yes. But we have to do it in incremental steps which build capacity and capability in a logical way, and with missions that employ robots and teleoperated equipment to prepare the site, deploy the utility systems, and then construct the base. 


When that is done, Human crews can come, and freed of these manual chores, they can get down to doing what they came to do: explore their surroundings, experiment with lunar materials, and learn how to live off-Earth. In this respect, Spudis' plan is in synch with Russian and Japanese thinking. But Spudis and his colleague  Tony Lavoie have much more to say about the kind of staged transportation system that could make all this not only possible, but affordable.  And there are others working on affordable transportation systems as well. So we should all take heart. The Moon is far from forgotten!


Read the blog article


Read his full paper which goes into great detail and the nitty gritty.

Teleoperated and robotic eequipment aAstroboticst work on the Moon: Astrobotics Inc.

Two space planes may vie with new capsules for personnel transport to & from space


The Shuttle Era is all but over. Commercial companies continue to make progress towards providing free market manned access to space and back, to the ISS, to new commercial space stations, and for tourists to tourist facilities in orbit.


Space-X broke new ground in successfully testing its Dragon Cargo carrier and bringing it back to a safe landing on Earth. Lockheed-Martin continues to develop its Orion Capsule, even thought the Constellation Program, of which it was a part, has been scrapped. Orion may serve as an assured return vehicle attached to the Space Station, but will be available for other uses as well. [See the article above!] Boeing is developing its own CST100 crew capsule for bringing crews to future commercial space stations, and is working with Bigelow Aerospace in this regard. These capsules follow in the mold of Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo. The Dragon capsule has a much improved ablative shield that will allow the capsule to be reused over and over.


But for some customers, a landing at sea or on an empty desert or plain will not be good enough. For a controlled landing on an airstrip or airport of their choice, two space planes are in the works, both receiving major development money from NASA. Sierra Nevada is developing the Dreamchaser, a dream of Jim Benson founder of SpaceDev. But Dream Chaser will have competition from a space plane being designed and built by Orbital Sciences. 

 Commercial Manned Access

Top: Space-X Dragon, Lockheed-Martin Orion, Boeing CST100

Below: Sierra Nevada's Dreamchaser, Orbital's unnamed space plane

Print Your Own Membership Card

Sample Card

Simply go to the Moon Society home page:

Now scroll down the left hand menu to Members Menu and click on the link:

Members Only


On that page the first two options give you access to newsletter files. 

The 3rd option reads:

"Get printable Moon Society membership card in pdf format. 

Wallet-size Moon Society membership card. (Requires a PDF reader such as Adobe Acrobat Reader)"

Click on this link. If your browser recognizes you and has stored your Moon Society username & password, your membership card will download immediately. 

If not, you will get a request to enter your user name & password, and if you enter it correctly, your card should download right away.

You can then print your card on any kind of paper or card stock in any color. 

This card will help you remember your membership number and expiration date.

We are proud to have you as a member!

If you do not know your username & password or wish to have us reset it, email

Contact info up to date?

Have you moved or changed any other contact information since you first joined the Society?

We can get you up to date.

Just write with your current information. We can also reset your username and password if desired


Already a member or former member?

Did you know that you can renew/rejoin for two years at the applicable rate and get a third year free? Renew here


Are you an ISU and/or SEDS alumnus?

If so, can we put you on a mailing list for advice and review on proposed Moon Society projects, contest, competitions aimed at young people and student groups? Write us


Download our new 2011 one-page Calendar

Print to 8.5x11 inch cardstock

Trim to fit 8x10 inch picture frame

ISDC 2011
Quick Links
Get the Goods
Cafe Press Logo
Join Our Mailing List

Moon Society Publications and Free Downloads
Frontlines: President's monthly report: click on the image link below the Moon Society announcements list on our Homepage


Chapter Events:

Moon Miners Manifesto India Quarterly: MMM India

Moonbeams Science Fiction:

MMM Classics:

MMM Theme Issues:



Contact Us - questions about logins, updating your contact information, provide input on projects, website, other - Chapter Events -questions about chapters and outposts - article submissions, letters to the editor of Moon Miners Manifesto - article/story submissions to Moonbeams (science fiction short stories) - article submissions to MMM-India Quarterly - letters to the editor of Moonscapes - Moon Society India - MMM-India Quarterly Editorial Staff

This email was sent to by |  
The Moon Society | 7347 W Ridgeview Ct | Mequon | WI | 53092