Business Plans List

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Contents


This is a Lunarpedia category list of every conceivable way we’ve thought of for a lunar settlement to make money. We do not know what ideas will actually work so we started by listing everything, even bad ideas.

The money making ideas below are linked to business plan summaries. A full business plan is something you can take to the bank to get a loan. These are just simplified summaries to clearly define the idea.

To write a business plan you must have the business environment clearly defined. For this list two separate settlement time periods are covered, Near-Term and Long-Term. Each is supported by a defining scenario, to Near-Term Business Scenario and Mid-Term Business Scenario, to give a good idea of the state of the lunar settlement at the time the business plan is being put forward.



Near-Term Lunar Business Plan Summaries List:

Many, many lunar money-making ideas that fit the Near-Term Business Scenario.

Helium-3 Medical

The harvesting of commercial quantities of Helium-3 on the Moon for making medical isotopes on Earth. This effort involves processing moderate amounts of lunar regolith for Volatiles. See Harrison Schmitt.

Lunar Hydrogen

Harvesting hydrogen from lunar regolith to use as fuel for returning to Earth, shipping lunar products to Earth, and later for trips on to Mars and Earth-crossing asteroids. See Volatiles and Harrison Schmitt.

Lunar Oxygen

Harvesting Oxygen from lunar regolith for use as propellant oxidizers and in air for return trips to Earth and later for trips on to Mars and Earth-crossing asteroids.

Atmospheric bulk gas

Harvesting fill gas for ship and building atmospheres. These include Argon and Nitrogen.

Ore Concentrates

Regolith fines are processed to the level of ore concentrates with 95% by mass of mixed valuable mineral grains. Some elements made available are metal ores: KREEP, Titanium/iron. Some are other mineral concentrates: frits (fine ground minerals used for coloring ceramics and glass), and trace minerals for medicines and industrial processes.

Mass to Earth Orbit

Contained regolith and lunar rocks are sent back to near Earth orbit for use for radiation shielding, small particle protection, and thermal stabilization.

Writing non-fiction

The writing of biographies, popular science, oral histories, and documenting the grand lunar adventure by those living it.

Writing fiction

The writing of novels, story collections, and oral histories by individual Moon dwellers.

Songs and Music

Writing and performing of songs and music from the Moon. Making both remote live performances and recorded pieces.

Photography

Exploiting the exotic location to take still photography for science and advertising. This product is electronically transmitted to Earth.

Media Production

Production of major media pieces about the Moon or space settlement, such as CinaMax Specials, or regular program for TV on science, or even a lunar soap opera.

Speaking Engagements

Remote broadcasts and public outreach presentations made by individual Moon Duellers.

Lunar Crafts

Small objects handmade by the workers in lunar ceramics, scrap metal, glass using the prototype shop in their spare time. The products are shipped back to Earth primarily as ballast top-off.

Moon Art

Artistic installations built on the Moon of rock, glass, ceramics, and found materials. These installations are financed by grants and may be done by Moon people or Earth controlled robots. One form is the “Art of the Cairn” or rock stacking.

Lunar Rocks

Small lunar rocks and regolith samples logged and labeled properly. Mostly small in mass with color increases value. Shipped back as ballast top off. Sold over the Internet.

Lunar Herbs

Herbs and spices grown hydroponically in Moon soil. Freeze dried and shipped back to Earth. This effort is a side product of early efforts to grow food on the Moon.

Scientific Instrumentation

The installation and maintenance of science instruments on the Moon. Buying a miner’s time is usually cheaper than sending a dedicated astronaut.

Earth Surveillance

The Moon is the true high ground. Installing instruments and generating data for weather prediction, treaty compliance, and energy usage.

Amateur Astronomy Rentals

Time on amateur astronomy equipment on the Moon. Small robot telescope on Moon, time rented over internet.

1/6 g Technical Services

Exploiting lunar environment to material processing, lunar minerals, high vacuum, direct sun light, and 1/6 g. Largely proprietary product development testing for private companies.

Managing the Bone Yard

Salvage of materials abandoned on the Moon, such as decent vehicles, and managing the reuse of these resources.

Teaching

Teaching and tutoring remotely. A university professor with an endowed chair. Masters classes for science students.

Exercise Programs

Hours of daily exercise is a requirement for living in space. This can be very boring. This plan includes contests and net casts to make it more bearable. The sells of advertising banners at major events and “Be Fit like an Astronaut” videos support this effort.

Consulting

Providing consulting services for aerospace business, robotics, and space operations. This effort is done remotely. Some highly trained and experienced people are on the Moon.

Off-World Business Administrator

Serving as a member of the Board of Directors of a corporation (likely aerospace or technology firms) or as any other kind of administrator for private industry.

Technical Design

Contracting to provide technical services, such as engineering design. This idea is viable because some of the most experienced specialists available are on Moon.

Software Development

Contracting to provide software development services remotely. Again, some of the most experienced specialists are on Moon.

Web Site Design

Contracting to provide Internet Web Site Design. This is a part-time job for technical people in a prestige location.

Electronic Game Design

Contracting to provide digital game designs. This is a part-time job for technical people and an offshoot of training rover work.

Off-World IT Services

Providing off-world information technology services. These include an off-Earth data node, science data routing, and big hard drives in lunar cellars. This service will be advertised as IT that would have survived the end of the dinosaurs.

Internet Sales

Signatures, memorabilia, lunar rocks, dependent on ballast top-off shipments back to Earth.

Internet Blog

“The View from the Moon”, with advertising.

Emblems on rockets, buildings, launch facilities, and the lunar rovers look like NASCAR race cars. White rocks on a hill side are reserved for settlement name, as is done in the American West. Large rock and trench logos beside corporate facilities that are visible on approach.

Lunar Tourism

“You on the Moon” General tours, lunar skiing, and exploration expeditions. All very expensive.

Remote Tourism

Robot rover on Moon operated by tourist on Earth goes exploring, hourly rentals, organized major explorations, cameras, robot arm. Sample return is very expensive. Effort supported by an electronic game for practice.

Lunar Funerals

Providing funeral services on the Moon. These services are varied and include burying ashes, laser engraved rock markers, cairns, and extreme long-term media (etched on silicon or sapphire blank) digital record. It includes robot burial in a granted one million year memorial. Some miners will have theological credentials to officiate. This service is very expensive for Earthers, but all lunar settlers are entitled to a funeral.


Your near-term idea here

Please fill out your own Business Plan form.


Mid-Term Lunar Business Plan Summaries List:

Several lunar money-making ideas that fit the Mid-Term Business Scenario.

Helium-3 Power

Harvesting Helium-3 for the generation of power on Earth. This effort dependents on both the success of new fusion reactors on Earth and on development of large scale volatile harvesting on the Moon. See Harrison Schmitt.

Elementary Materials

Lunar processing of ore concentrates to produce 80% plus pure element. Materials would be farther processed on Earth. Only the most valuable elements. Requires a large amount power and industrial facilities on the Moon.

Construction Materials

Titanium, aluminum, iron to steel, and alloys, formed into beams and tubes, for construction in Earth orbit and lunar mines. Requires large amounts of power and large industrial facilities.

Lunar Glass

The manufacture of lunar glass for radiation protection of solar cells and other optical and electrical applications. Used on the Moon and in Earth orbit.

Polar Water

Waters and other volatiles harvested from the Cold and the Dark at the poles. Could provide large amounts of oxygen, hydrogen, ammonia. Cryogenic mining equipment is required and is completely different from regular lunar mining operations.

Retire to the Moon

Retirement living on the Moon after a guaranteed one way trip. This is a life style for the extremely rich and major Company stock holder. Advanced living space and medical facility are required before this service can commence.

Reentry shields

Ablative disks made from lunar regolith and resins shipped from Earth. Mixed is applied to a low mass structure shipped from Earth. Important for reducing the cost of returning materials to Earth but the quality control requirements are very high.

Earth Crosser Abatement

Provide fuel, oxidizer, and mass for adjusting the orbits of Earth Crossing asteroids. Throw lunar rocks at them.

Solar Power Satellites for Earth

Power generation and transmission to Earth. Many technical challenges to be overcome, particularly in transmission. New technologies must be invented and developed.

Your Mid-Term idea here

Please fill out your own Business Plan form.



Earth-Based Business Plan Summaries List:

Several down-to-Earth business ideas that are completely dependent on the existence of a lunar settlement:


NASA Contracts

Well established practice. Critical in the astronaut time period but fading after that.

Commercial Contractors

The design and construction of the mining and large habitat equipment needed to mine the Moon. Peaking in the miner time period but continuing indefinitely. Job generation is always of interest to politicians.

Commercial Cryogenic Contractors

The design and construction of the specialty equipment that is needed to mine in the cold and the dark. Very special equipment will be needed to harvest this important resource.

Helium-3 Brokerage

Helium-3 for for first for medical purposes and then power on Earth. See Harrison Schmitt.

Medical Isotope Manufacture

The processing Helium-3 for medical applications. See Harrison Schmitt.

Sales of Lunar Crafts

Broker for small items sent home by lunar settlers.

Materials Processing

Processing industrial materials, such as ore concentrates, shipped from Moon.

Your Earth-bound idea here

Please fill out your own Business Plan form.



Bad Business ideas Not covered in this list:

A number of business ideas that are just plain ‘’’bad’’’ and are ‘’’not’’’ included on Lunarpedia. These ideas are mentioned here solely for completeness.

Phony Land Sales

The sale of non-existent lunar land claims to gullible people on Earth just like the Lunar Embassy now does. This has been done to death.

Telemarketing

If you are calling from the Moon, who would hang up? Even with a nearly two second round trip delay? I would.

Marriage Services

Marriage services officiated remotely. A miner with theological or magistrate credentials presides while dressed as Elvis or a space alien.

Confidence games

Running stock pyramids and Internet scams run over the Internet. It is going to be hard to put someone already on the Moon for life into jail.

Real Moonshine

An alcoholic beverage is distilled on the Moon in small quantities. It is then blended and aged back on Earth. The feed stock for the still is mostly food waste.

Cigar wrapper leaf

A high value agricultural product, cigar wrapper leaf, is grown on the Moon and sent home for processing.

Moon Hemp

The raising of marihuana or other illegal drugs on the Moon.

Air Shows

Demonstrations of precision flying on the Moon for the entertainment of Earth audiences. This idea involves putting on hair-raising displays of lunar lander flying that risk lives and waste fuel.

XXX-rated movies in 1/6 g

Just plain bad taste.

Your bad idea here

You do not need a business plan for ideas on this list. If you want to salvage any of these bad ideas, simply write a business plan summary then move the idea to one of the other lists.

A blank business plan summary form is available at Business Plan form.