[ExI] The Moon's Cold Embrace

Stuart LaForge avant at sollegro.com
Thu Aug 13 22:59:58 UTC 2020

Quoting Adrian Tymes:

>> ### If the ROI
>> is very low, the doubling time from the initial technology seed would be
>> too long to make it viable.
>> When you mention ROI, then you must have a profit model in mind for
>> what lunar settlers are doing.  Building condos or what?
> Presumably one or more of:
> * Exporting energy back to Earth
> * Exporting ores back to Earth
> * Constructing satellites and launching them into Earth orbit

Perhaps the simplest profit model for the moon might be as an  
advertising space. How much would a company pay to have it's corporate  
logo emblazoned across the moon at night? With a gigantic network of  
servo controlled reflectors in various colors, it would even be  
possible to make a Times Square-style scrolling marquis on the surface  
of the moon. Profits from this could be reinvested to build more of  
the infrastructure to make the moon colonizable.

> Any buyers, at least at first, will be on Earth.  Therefore, any initial
> ROI can only be from services & supply back to Earth.

The dark side of the moon offers a commodity impossible to find on  
earth or most of the nearby solar system: complete radio-silence from  
all terrestrial sources. This has immense scientific and strategic  
value. Commercial applications are possible as well.

> Fuel stations to the rest of the solar system is simply an insignificant
> market.  It'd be doing well to generate even a few million dollars per
> year, nowhere near the cost of setting up a lunar colony.  Services to
> things already in orbit generates even less money, within most potential
> investors' time horizons.  So neither of those ideas are worth serious
> consideration.

The economic value of the moon as a fueling station would be expected  
to increase over time as a network effect of more colonies being  
established throughout the solar system.

Stuart LaForge

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