English 44

The Artemis Project

Have you ever had the fantasy of visiting the moon, grabbing a rock, and you throw it1 into space so it will float forever? Soon, if you’ve got the cash, you’ll be able to. Enter the Artemis Project. This new, and bold2 project is a private venture that will establish a permanent, self-supporting manned lunar base – which translates3 into a community on the moon that people can live in.

Gregory Bennett, the founder of the Artemis Project, responds to skeptics by saying that it’s not a question of if it will work or not work,4 but rather how long it will take to complete. [5] Nevertheless, on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot on it’s6 craggy surface. That moment became a crowning achievement for both the space community and for humanity itself. Despite the significance of the occasion, viewers almost undoubtedly thought, “That looks like fun!” when they first saw images on the television screen of Armstrong’s weightless7 figure bouncing.

The Artemis team is taking a practical approach to a human fantasy: they are marketing the project of a lunar base as purely entertainment.The goal is to pay for the initial lunar base primarily by exploiting9 the fun factor in space flight. The project is modeled after mass-marketing ventures that tie movies and television shows in with associated merchandise and services. Artemis Project comic books, toys, magazines, and action figures are already developing.10

So what will a two-week vacation to the moon cost? Apparently about the same as a grand tour of European capitals. For around $10,000, you will have the opportunity for playing11 in zero gravity, sightsee for the few days it takes to arrive, and take some moonwalks. If you’re in the mood, perhaps you’ll take12 a bus tour of the moon’s surface in a special lunar-mobile. [13]

At first, the expedition-class flights will be for rugged explorers, the sort of people who go on safaris, climb mountains, and explore hidden caves. Eventually,14 however, the lunar tourism industry will grow into luxury-class trips suitable for the casual sightseer. A five-star hotel is already in the works. However, if you are one of those ready to book a flight, don’t pack your bags quite yet – your flight is not scheduled to depart for at least a couple of decades! [15]