What is Lunar Homestead? The simple answer:
Lunar Homestead is a Lunar settlement research company.
Nice, right? Let’s break it down.
Lunar Homestead Goals
- Create the technology and techniques (TECH) needed for sustainable and permanent Lunar settlement.
- Prepare people NOW so they can use the tech in the future (TRAINING).
- Teach everyone about the Lunar Homestead concept.
That’s it. Create the frontier enabling tech and the floodgates will open. Train future Lunar Homesteaders NOW so they can use the tech once it’s created. And move the Lunar Homesteading concept from fringe to accepted. There are A LOT of steps between here and there and I can use YOUR help to make Lunar settlement a reality.
Lunar Homestead Vision
Here’s how it plays out in my ideal future:
- Anyone (small groups, small governments, corporations, large governments, etc.) can buy a package of Lunar Homestead Kits.
- They then ship the kits and their initial settlers (Pathfinders) to Luna. Maybe through SpaceX or Blue Origin or some other rocket company. Lunar Homestead isn’t worried about the transportation component. There are plenty of talented people with deep pockets working on transportation.
- The Pathfinders use the initial Homesteading Kits to build out the Core Homestead. Other Kits are shipped in as needed.
- The goal of the Pathfinders is to build out the Homestead so more Homesteaders can be brought in.
- The new Homesteaders expand the base so more settlers can be brought in.
- Now there’s a permanent settlement on Luna. Hopefully LOTS of settlements.
Why Lunar Homestead exists
- There are many, many unknowns about long-term living on the Lunar surface. In fact, the largest category would be “Stuff we don’t know we don’t know”, followed by “Stuff we don’t know”. “Stuff we know” is pretty small in comparison.
- We (humanity in general) need solutions to as many of these problems BEFORE we start putting lots of people at risk. The public barely tolerates the risk a handful of select, and highly trained, astronauts take when they fly to Low Earth Orbit. The fallout from large numbers of settlers dying on the Moon would be catastrophic. And WAY more catastrophic for the settlers themselves.
- More fundamentally, we’re not going to get even medium numbers of people on Luna if we don’t hammer out basic life support and quality of life issues. Very few people will sign up for a permanent ascetic monastic lifestyle with the constant threat of instant death just outside the pressure hull. Homesteads need to be nice, comfortable places to live.
- “Big Science” (governments and corporations) is working on the shiny problems. Making a faster/reusable rocket is sexxxy. Figuring out how to make an airlock completely from local materials with an almost non-existent industrial base is not. Lunar Homestead is focusing on the small scale, non-sexy, absolutely critical problems.
- I firmly believe that small-scale is the key to opening up the solar system. Governments and big business didn’t move humans out of Africa. They didn’t settle the American West. They aren’t responsible for any voluntary (key word) mass settlement of people. They may set up the environment that encourages people to leave and they can help expand and enhance existing communities. But on the whole, large scale settlement is the product of individuals, families, and small groups. They take the risks and establish the first settlements. Business and government build upon those initial communities.
- Luna (the Moon) is just a place. There’s nothing mystical or super-dangerous about it. Sure, the Lunar surface environment is pretty hostile to human life (all life really). But humans are really good at adapting and thriving in hostile environments. Early Homesteaders on Earth may not have to deal with vacuum, hard radiation, and reduced gravity. But Lunar Homesteaders don’t have to deal with extreme weather, dangerous animals, and the lack of instant (or near instant) communications. Both groups have problems with extended supply lines (try moving goods long distances with just pack animals). And we have much better technology and a substantially deeper knowledge base. I’m not saying Lunar Homesteading will be easier. But it’s not impossible either.
- That’s why I’m working on Homesteading solutions, not bases or outposts. Governments and big business are already working on those. Humanity will be one step closer to being a space-faring species once we have the technology and techniques that will allow individuals and small groups to establish themselves on the Lunar surface. And most of this knowledge is transferable to the settlement of Mars, asteroids, and free orbiting settlements. It can even be used to help save the Earth. Once we are firmly established on Luna, we can go ANYWHERE.
The Lunar Homestead mission
- Identify gaps in our knowledge and technology needed for permanent Lunar settlement.
- Conduct research into these issues to identify and create solutions.
- Assist Research Partners in conducting their own research projects. We need to make sure all the tech works together.
- The end goal is to have “on-the-shelf” hardware and techniques that other researchers or Homesteaders can use.
- Make all research and solutions openly available to everyone. I’m a firm believer in the Open Science concept. I’ll post all Lunar Homestead research on this website, the LH YouTube channel, and as much media as possible.
- Create training content for future Lunar Homesteaders.
- Establish a community of people interested in space settlement and people interested in actually BEING a settler.
- Define, refine, and share the Lunar Homestead concept.
- Engage the public with the Lunar Homestead concept and Lunar settlement in general.
- Collaborate with Lunar and space organizations to get our messages out.
Build tech + settlers use tech = many thriving settlements on Luna and throughout the Solar system
Contact Lunar Homestead
Ben Smith Bio
About the header photo:
I combined two NASA photos in MS Paint and then added my own doodle. It’s supposed to show life in a Lunar Homestead. It’s crude but hey, I’m not an artist. Besides, it’s supposed to be a bit funny.
Moonscape – NASA ID: 9312448 (images-assets.nasa.gov/image/9312448) – Taken by Apollo 17 mission (1972-12-13). Taurus-Littrow region.
Earth – NASA ID: a-sky-view-of-earth-from-suomi-npp_16611703184_o (images-assets.nasa.gov/image/a-sky-view-of-earth-from-suomi-npp_16611703184_o) – A composite image of 6 orbits of the NASA/NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership spacecraft (2015-04-09). Created by the Ocean Biology Processing Group at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.