- how will we pay for space development and settlement? -


The Space Development Network is working to establish a new type of analogue base called the Moon-Mars Analogue Base (MMAB). The preferred funding for this project would be full philanthropic funding at a level where it could be developed rapidly and at a professional level. This would take tens of millions of dollars. If such funding cannot be secured, the MMAB could still be developed at much lower funding levels starting small, developing much more slowly, and at a layperson's level using volunteer help, university projects, and using Kickstarter funding.

The lowest level of development would be an illustration of a full-scale InstaBase model made of sheet plastic assembled inside of a gym using tape. Indeed, we have now completed this project and am shipping it to partners in Boca Chica. We plan to inflate the InstaBase around times of significant SpaceX launches in Boca Chica and so continuously increase exposure to the space-interested public going to watch those launches. The time-lapse image of the "construction" of that inflatable habitat could itself generate media interest thereby attracting greater support.

Of course, the easiest and fastest form of financing would be if a wealthy individual with a strong interest in space would like to finance the development of the Moon-Mars Analogue Base (MMAB). Why would someone do this? The MMAB provides a unique opportunity to impact the future of humanity by demonstrating to the decision makers that development and settlement are possible in the near-term. So the philanthropist's "investment" could be leveraged to gain much greater (e.g. government) investment in this approach. And also, with the series of PR events resulting from the MMAB, the philanthropist could gain media attention to goals for space development that he/she has.

Barring this preferred approach, we could also conduct a series of Kickstarter campaigns starting with one for between $20,000 to $30,000 to construct a durable InstaBase structure made out of vinyl by the companies that make those children's bounce houses. This would be followed by a whole series of subsequent campaigns to raise money for the development of the components inside of the InstaBase, hardware outside, and ultimately the specialty habitats comprising the International Lunar Base (mock-up).

Finally, there have been many suggestions as to how the MMAB could sustain itself financially by various commercial ventures. Ideas include gaining revenue as an educational center where elementary and high schools pay to have their students tour the facilities, receive educational programs, and perhaps participate in workshops. Similarly, the MMAB could be a tourist destination.

Ultimately though, if the MMAB were to become a replica of a base on the Moon or Mars then the MMAB could serve as a resort of sorts where the spouses of people interested in moving to the Moon or Mars could experience what living in such a facility would be like. Using creative approaches (e.g. using tethers) they might even experience what it is like to move in a 1/6th or 3/8th gravity environment.

The Moon-Mars Analogue Base (MMAB) can be funded with either philanthropic donations or using Kickstarter campaigns.

Join the Space
Development Network
Next Section