Moonscapes: Email Newsletter of The Moon Society

 February 2011

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Teleoperated Equipment, Robots, & Robonauts will Open the Moon

In his blog post "Can We Afford to Return to the Moon?,"
Dr. Paul Spudis makes the case for the need to "design an architecture that accomplishes the mission in small, incremental and cumulative steps."

"The key to making all this work," Spudis says, "is the use of teleoperated robotic machines.  We go to the Moon robotically first and later with people. These robots are controlled by people on the Earth.  They prospect for resources, test techniques, evaluate product yields, set up processing plants, and begin harvesting lunar resources almost immediately.  The extracted products are cached on the surface for future use.  The entire lunar outpost is set-up and made operational by these robotic machines."


Why Robots and Robonauts first? Read the full article in Moon Miners' Manifesto -India Quarterly #9 pages 19-23


If that does not work, try

and scroll down the page and click on the cover image for #9


Also check out the following article, pa


ges 23-24 in the same issue of MMM-India Quarterly #9: 

Role of Robonauts & Robots on the Moon once Humans have settled in to stay.


And by all means do watch this video,

it is awesome and encouraging

The Google Lunar X-Prize: Morphing Competitions into Markets

 "Our goal is to prepare the way back to the Moon, so that when we do go back, we are better prepared and able to do more."

By David A. Dunlop, Moon Society Director of Project Development


"The Google Lunar X-Prize bills itself as "Moon 2.0" with a faith in the ability of competition, and human ingenuity, and non-governmental organizations to reach the lunar surface, move a short distance and transmit data including pictures back to Earth for the ridiculously small amount of a $20M first prize and a second prize of $5M. I use the adjective ridiculous for the amount of prize money not because I (and most ordinary people around the world) would not consider this amount a sizable personal fortune, but because by the standards of prior lunar missions and even other planned lunar missions by space faring powers the prize is only a small fraction of the realistic cost of developing the mission."


In this article, pp 14-19 of MMM-India Quarterly #9 , Dunlop suggests how teams that do not win the first or second prize can still make significant contributions. NASA has now entered the arena, adding to the list of incentives specific awards for needed data and for desired technology demonstrations. In this way, the results of the Google Lunar X-Prize competition can be multiplied, and lower the cost of future lunar lander missions, with the result being more exploration and knowledge for the investment


The ultimate goal is to bring closer the day when space agencies and commercial consortia can begin tapping lunar resources for the benefit of all mankind. 


pp. 14-19


If that does not work, try scroll down the page and click on the cover image for #9.

Earn a Lunar Study and Observing Certificate

When the Moon Society and the American Lunar Society, an organization of amateur astronomers interested in observing the Moon, mutually affiliated in 2005, ALS' Lunar Study and Observing Certificate Program became available to Moon Society members, as well as to visitors to our web site.

For more information, go to our homepage,, and scroll down the Main Menu in the left hand column, to "Moon Study Course" and click on that link. The direct address is

Having trouble visualizing human presence on The Moon?

We have posted a collection of relevant space art at this address:

Of course, we are always on the lookout for more realistic (non science-fiction) artwork.


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
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Google X-prize

Society establishes new membership class: space-focus campus chapters

Student Chapters - a radically new spin


 SEDS First

Mindful that we either attract more young members or we become increasingly irrelevant, we have been discussing a new approach to student chapters. In the past, a student or faculty member contacted us about setting up a student chapter at a college or university. This is an uphill affair. Inspired by our visit last November to the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (main U-IL campus) to attend the SEDS SpaceVision Conference, we have been considering how to tap into this pool of existing chapters (currently 28 in North America) of a friendly space-focused organization - Students for the Exploration and Development of Space.


We will now offer these existing chapters something akin to "Institutional Membership" in the Moon Society. At the February 16th Board Meeting, the Moon Society board voted unanimously to "amend the Moon Society's bylaws to institute a new class of membership called a "student organization membership." This class of membership would apply to existing student chapters of other national/international organizations such as SEDS - (Students for the Exploration and Development of Space) or FIRST Robotics.  These organizations can become student organizational members of the Moon Society.


For more, read

Earth><Mars><Moon "Gravity Jugs" 


Gravity Jugs 

If you are interested in public or school outreach, a set of these Gravity Jugs will be a big hit. Passersby are asked to pick up any two jugs at a time, one in each hand to sense immediately the difference in gravity between these 3 worlds.

98% of kids trying it, will say "cool" as their eyes light up and they "get it."


You can make your own set for less than $5 and in less than an hour with no special skills! For instructions, go to:

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:



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