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Guest: Derek Webber; Topics: We discussed lunar commerce and the role of semantics per Mr. Webber's Space Review article from Nov. 16, 2020, "Lunar Commerce: A Question of Semantics." There is a link to this article on our blog.
We welcomed Derek Webber back to the program to discuss his Space Review article from Nov. 16, 2020, "Lunar Commerce: A Question of Semantics." Be sure to read his article paying special attention to timelines and activity development per each timeline period. You can find a link to his article on our blog. Let us know what you think after reading his article and the list of suggested businesses to likely be developed in his estimate phases for lunar development. Please post your comments on our blog.
I started the discussion with a bit of a tease for Derek given the Channel No. 5 new tv perfume ad, "Dancing on the Moon." I suggested Derek add dancing on the Moon as a potential lunar commercial activity. Derek was not familiar with the Channel ad or the Moon being used to sell the perfume for the holiday season so I sent it to him. You can see the Channel ad here: https://www.wonderlandmagazine.com/2020/10/30/marion-cotillard-chanel-no5. After talking about the Moon making it into a top television commercial for a huge international product this holiday season, we got down to discussing lunar commerce by asking Derek about his article. Almost immediately Derek suggested 2060 as the magic date lunar commercial development would have progressed far enough for continued commercialization to be with private money, not government money, and by the then the Moon would likely be Earth-independent. Don't miss this discussion as it was key to understanding of lunar commerce and how it will probably develop over time. Soon thereafter Derek was asked about lunar settlement and the timeline for it. Our guest talked about long duration government type projects, Artemis for example, thus the first ten years would be public money, not so much commercial money and rather than thinking lunar settlement, one might think lunar outpost or research facility with government astronauts. During this early development phase, our guest suggested the most likely lunar commerce would be in the form of lunar orbital activities.
Todd sent in an email asking about China and their reaching lunar commercialization before us. He also wanted Derek to comment on the national security threat posed by China according to many people in and out of government. Listener Karen sent in a note asking if the lunar commercialization timeline could be sped up with more money. Derek then talked about value in commercializing the Moon, resource extraction, HE3 as an example and a not so great public interest in lunar commercialization. In fact he said that the public was far more interested in asteroids coming close to Earth than in lunar commercialization. Derek was asked about private companies and their willingness to invest in lunar landers. He pointed out they were being paid by the government. Don't miss this part of the conversation. He also mentioned other lunar focused programs sponsored by NASA and government money. I then asked if it was not appropriate for government to install space infrastructure just as government had done here at home, citing many well known examples. He agreed but said even so, it would take a very long time for commercialization to evolve. Once again, don't miss what he said and what he wrote about this in his Space Review paper.
Marshall called to talk similarities with Lewis and Clark and lunar development. Derek expanded the discussion with Marshall to include robotics and robots. Our guest was then asked just how essential was it for cislunar to develop. Marshall then brought up the need for food and farming, citing his own wheat per bushel per acre yield as an example.
After Marshall's call, I asked Derek what we needed to be doing today to see lunar commercialization the way he predicted it for 2060. He was not sure but said definitely the answer was not Artemis. He explained his answer so listen to what he said, then comment on it on our blog.
Dallas gave us a call to talk about the need for cislunar transportation. Dallas and Derek had quite the conversation about cislunar development, specifically transportation so don't miss a word of it. Dallas and Derek spent most of the rest of the program talking cislunar, how to sell the Moon and commercialization to the public, why transportation was so key, the need for making propellant on the Moon and much more. They talked SpaceX and their plans but Derek wondered why they were not engaging in orbital tourism. They did mention the upcoming trip around the Moon . Derek then talked about his Moon Village Associate work.
Before ending, Ft Worth John called to compare lunar commercializing and travel with Mars. Both agreed the Moon was far simpler and far more available at this time than Mars.
Please post your comments/questions on our blog for this show. You can reach Derek Webber through me or his website, Spaceport Associates, www.spaceportassociates.com/whoarewe. Note that this page will take you to a comprehensive timeline analysis of Derek's lunar commercialization plans. Derek's contact information can be found at the bottom of the Spaceport Associates home page.