The development plan of a properly designed lunar base will involve all interested parties, including governments, universities, commercial enterprises, and non-profit organizations. Of these institutions, commercial enterprises may have the most to offer. Investor-funded commercial operations in space (e.g., communication satellites in geostationary Earth orbit) have grown steadily, so that they now exceed (taxpayer-funded) governmental space activities by a substantial margin. The same trend of economic activity may be expected for the development of lunar infrastructure projects.
Using the present economic systems of the Earth as a model, governments will coordinate scientific projects on the Moon, and investor-based commercial (forprofit) enterprises will undertake the task of building infrastructure projects such as the lunar railroad (discussed later in this book). One such commercial project will be to build solar panels on the Moon from lunar regolith materials. The electric energy from the "Lunar Power Company'' will supply the energy markets on the Moon and, with sufficient growth, will deliver energy profitably to Earth markets. The growth of energy, mining, manufacturing, telecommunications and transportation infrastructures on the Moon will give rise to a self-supporting lunar economy that will be financed primarily by commercial investors. When permanent human habitation becomes possible, tourism and related commercial industries will add to the economic activity between the Earth and the Moon, and a robust and growing "bi-planetary" Earth-Moon economy will come into being.
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Do we really want the one thing that gives us its resources unconditionally to suffer even more than it is suffering now? Nature, is a part of our being from the earliest human days. We respect Nature and it gives us its bounty, but in the recent past greedy money hungry corporations have made us all so destructive, so wasteful.