Dear NASA,

I’m writing to thank you for my family’s vacation of a lifetime. The staff and logistics for my Moon Excursions vacation exceeded my expectations. I had previously climbed Everest on a trekking expedition, but the Moon Excursion is by far the summit of all my travel adventures.

Our day at the International Space Station Towers, accommodations going to the moon, and the room (and view) at Tranquility Towers: wonderful! What an amazing starry sky!

Our activities on the moon were great: the day-long Lunar Rover tour, the lunar observatory, low gravity bungee jumping. I’m a great golfer on the moon. My kids loved seeing the robotic construction sites and the automated greenhouses. The ‘cow over the moon’ banquet was endearing.

I recommend no one miss the low moon orbit tour, even with its additional cost. There are not enough superlatives to describe what it feels like to fly over the back side of the moon at 5,000 feet.

My only regret is I didn’t reserve more slots, to take my future grandkids. It looks like it’s only going to get better.

Contents

  1. Dear NASA,
  2. Overview
  3. Subscriptions & Lotteries
  4. Why not Mars?
  5. Why Not Privatization?
  6. Let’s Get Started

Overview

It’s time NASA and the other national space agencies give back to taxpayers who have financed their exploits up to now. We landed on the moon almost 50 years ago, spent an additional $500 billion, and what do we have to show for it? Pictures of Pluto and a Mars Rover that spends more time sniffing than my dog on his walk.

I propose focusing NASA primarily on building a tourist infrastructure on the moon. It’s close by and we have most of the needed technologies. Now all we need is a president who understands the value a robust tourist industry.

This proposal gives NASA and its partners an unambiguous mission statement: make two-week vacation packages to the moon profitable at $100K per passenger. This is comparable to $60K charged by some tour agencies for a climb to the summit of Everest.

The Moon Excursions proposal gives immediate and lasting benefits to all humanity. Everyone can dream of taking a moon vacation, even if only at retirement. And, healthy profits can be made with a volume of ~500 paying tourists per week, about the capacity of a 747.

Subscriptions & Lotteries

Reservations are by subscription. You put $2K down and make monthly payments of $200. For those who can’t afford a subscription we run a lottery.

Reservations and lotteries are international in scope, with your place in line partially based on your nation’s contributions to the effort. Slots can be publicly traded, informing the price for future subscriptions.

We grow and maintain a multi-year, $10-20 billion backlog of paid reservations. This provides the financial strength for the mega-private sector loans we need to build the infrastructure.

Why not Mars?

Mars is not tourist friendly. Travel to Mars is only for elites: another Apollo 11 leaving us empty for another 50 years. There are no ancient civilizations waiting to be found on Mars.

Everything needed for safety and comfort on Mars is needed on the moon, and the moon is closer. There’s much to learn before venturing out to Mars, e.g.:

  • Off-earth farming
  • Idiot-proofing buildings & equipment
  • Remote diagnosis, treatment and surgery for medical emergencies
  • High-volume, low-cost transport to-and-from the surface at the destination

Talk to me about manned trips to Mars only after we learn how to economically, reliably and comfortably transport and lodge thousands of ordinary people on the moon. It wasn’t for naught God gave us this stepping stone to the universe.

Why Not Privatization?

Only NASA has the branding needed to pull in the subscriptions and lottery players that make this work. Only a US Government agency can be trusted internationally to direct the subscription monies to their intended purpose. Only NASA has the connections needed to engage significant contributions from other national space agencies.

Of course NASA will leverage private partners in this effort. But only NASA contains or has access to the top skills and experience needed to manage a project of this scope and complexity. And, NASA is cheap and effective.

Private industries[1] can piggyback on the tourist infrastructure once it’s in place.

Let’s Get Started

Redirect most existing NASA funding into the Moon Excursions program. Only continue non-tourist funding for GPS, ATC, Weather and other satellite programs that can be viewed as part of the national infrastructure.[2]

Deploy sections of the lunar infrastructure immediately. Just send stuff there: manufacturing equipment, construction materials, facilities, power, water, air, farming supplies (e.g., phosphates), recycling equipment, etc. Use this to stake out prime lunar real estate: at the poles or on the equator near the far side – near side boundary.[3]

Start subscriptions and initiate lotteries now. Float the first of the consortium mega loans. Use the monies to supplement NASA’s budget and accelerate the infrastructure build.[4]

Beam me up, Scotty!


1. For example, asteroid mining or permanent disposal of radioactive wastes. Disney may even want a piece of the action.
2. Let the geeks fund their own hobbies: space telescopes, planetary probes, etc. They can use crowd sourcing to fund ongoing science missions, e.g. Mars Rovers, Hubble, etc. Or, just put these missions into sleep mode. Perhaps a future administration will again decide to be more generous with elitist science projects.
3. We’re looking for a large hill in the middle of a large flat area. Dig a hole into the top of the hill as deep as the hotel will be high and twice as wide, seal and pressurize the hole, build the hotel, then strip away the surrounding hill. Result: a luxury hotel on a hill with a view. Later hotel construction can perhaps use robots or prefab construction enclosures, eliminating the need for the hill.
4. This is good for stickiness. The idea is to amass maybe a trillion dollars in public & private sector obligations for this project, with an ambiguous U.S. government backing. Should a future administration try to pull the plug on the program it will cause massive negative repercussions to the U.S. treasury, the economy, international relations and NASA’s reputation. It’ll get tied up in the courts for decades.
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