Hi there. I’m Ben Smith, I own and run Lunar Homestead. I’m not a big fan of titles but since I’ve started Lunar Homestead I’ve taken on the title of “Independent Lunar Settlement Scientist”. I think it’s catchy. Check out my page on What is an Independent Scientist?
I’ve been passionate about space exploration as far back as I can remember. In some parallel dimension, an alternate Ben actually became an Astronaut and is currently living somewhere on the Solar frontier. I hope he’s having fun.
Unfortunately, we never got the grand space adventure we were promised. And being an Astronaut (or Cosmonaut or Taikonaut) isn’t as amazingly awesome as we were told it was going to be. We waited over 45 years (Apollo 17 December 14, 1972) for humans to go beyond Low Earth Orbit. 45 years! What went wrong?
I thought about this question for a long time (decades!) and I’ve finally come to a conclusion and a solution that seems right to me. Governments and corporations are not the answer. They’ve had plenty of time and opportunities to make human settlement of the solar system a reality. The answer is individuals and small groups of individuals. That’s how I came up with Lunar Homestead. I explain in much more detail elsewhere in this site.
OK, so why am I qualified to research the technology and techniques needed to live permanently on Luna? I don’t have a PhD, work in a fancy lab, teach at a prominent university, or lounge on mountains of cash. That question actually set me back for a long time until I decided that I didn’t need any of that stuff. Most scientists throughout history didn’t have any of that stuff either and were very successful. “Gentlemen scientists” were far more common before the 20th century, when official funding (government, non-profit, and for-profit) for science significantly increased. I figure I can’t go too far wrong following the footsteps of two of my favorite scientists – Benjamin Franklin and Nikola Tesla.
What I DO have are:
- An insatiable curiosity. Learning new things is fun!
- A love of science and a passion for anything related to space (especially Luna). Although I find most of the hard sciences fascinating.
- A desire to contribute to the scientific endeavor again. I spent many years away from scientific work and I found I missed it dearly. That whole “absence-heart-fonder” sure was true. But this time I wanted to work on mysteries that I found compelling. On my terms. So, I need to color outside of the lines a little.
- Scientific background and training. I may have “just” a BS in Environmental Science but I know how to do research. More importantly, I know how to research how to do research. While I’d like to eventually earn a PhD someday, I just can’t figure out how to justify the cost. It would be more for my ego than anything else.
- Mechanical and electrical aptitude. I’m pretty good at designing, building, and fixing things. And my vision of Lunar Homestead research requires the skills of a mechanic, electrician, and plumber far more than those of an engineer. Simple and low-tech are the keys to opening up the solar system.
I’m also an active member of The Moon Society (joined 2018). I’m the Membership Coordinator (since late 2018) and on the Board of Directors (since 2019). I was one of two people that made the website reboot happen and have been involved in most Society activities.
Alright, that’s enough about me for now. Maybe I’ll add more stuff later. And maybe not. I really don’t like talking about myself all that much. There’s far more interesting things out there to discuss. Like permanent Lunar settlements!
Check out my LinkedIn account for my work/education history. But if you’re THAT bored you should really just go outside and play.