Business of the Artemis Project
Section 3.
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The Artemis Project as Fiction

A common criticism of the Artemis Project is that it would be possible to take a billion dollars off the cost by simply doing the whole project as a computerized special effect instead of in reality.

If our goal was to make a movie about travelling to the moon we could do it a lot faster, better, cheaper using special effects labs. Star Wars special effects are certainly more visually exciting than anything from actual spaceflight to date. Even if you were to look at a NASA film clip and analyze how it could have been better (admittedly true of almost any real space film clip), the special effects artists would still be able to blow you away.

But after you've seen a special effects movie, that's all you've got. There's no residual hope that you, too, might be able to do those things. No hope for your children or any progeny who will remember who you are. The appeal of the Artemis project is that it's real.

People are often worried about the kids. When we were growing up, we dreamed that we'd get to fly in space ourselves, but for kids today some think the fantasy itself was sufficient. I disagreed with his conclusion that kids had changed. Kids today embrace the fantasy because that's all they have! In 1972 the government changed the rules; space travel became something only government employees could do.

By opening space for private enterprise, we're changing the rules back. The appeal of once again being able to dream that space is open to everyone, not just to the government's manufactured heroes, is what makes people want to embrace the experience and to be a part of making it happen.

It'll take one heck of a marketing scheme on all levels to get the mass appeal needed to make the balance sheet work. Fortunately, manned space flight gets a heck of a lot of media attention, and a private company audaciously attempting something that has heretofore been the sole province of big government is Really Really Big News.

Business of the Artemis Project

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