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Stated Objective: To establish a large scale, economically viable, permanent human settlement on the Moon within the next 25 years.

The Return to the Moon (RTM) Project is a self explanatory, long term goal of the Space Frontier Foundation. The project encompasses all of the Foundation’s efforts geared to achieving this goal.

In keeping with the Space Frontier Foundation’s stated mission of “opening space exploration for all humanity within our lifetime” there are three crucial aspects to the RTM project goal of a lunar settlement:

1.     It must be large scale so that it is accessible to the greatest possible number of people from every cross section of the population.
2.     It must be economically viable (i.e. profitable). Profitability is key to ensuring permanence. “If it pays, we will stay.”
3.     It must be done within our lifetime: we want to see an operational settlement within the next 25 years.

If our efforts are successful, then normal everyday people may have a real shot at visiting the Moon in our lifetimes. If you are a little older than 40, the chance still exists that you could have the opportunity to take that trip of a lifetime.

Return To The Moon Conference

The Space Frontier Foundation runs an annual event called the Return To The Moon Conference as a critical part of the RTM Project. The purpose of the conference is to advance both government and private efforts to return to the moon. In previous years, it has been held in both Houston and Las Vegas and has enjoyed the participation of many well known and accomplished scientists, engineers, authors, astronauts, visionaries, entrepreneurs and people from many different backgrounds. We have been honored by the presence and support of Captain John Young, Dr. Buzz Aldrin, Dr. Harrison Schmitt, and Gene Cernan, all of whom have walked on the surface of the Moon. Additionally, we have hosted presentations from such authorities as Dr. Alan Binder (Lunar Prospector mission), Dr. Paul Spudis, Dr. David Criswell, Dr. Wendell Mendell, and many others.

The RTM Conferences share a number of general objectives:

1.     To serve as a forum for sharing new ideas, discoveries, and achievements related to lunar exploration, science, and development.
2.     To create an opportunity for attendees to network and establish new links with members of the community who share similar interests.
3.     To refine the objectives of the RTM project, assess progress, and develop plans and strategies to deal with the changing social, economic, and political environment.
4.     To bring critical information about what is happening in space exploration generally, and lunar exploration specifically, to the public.

Additionally, each year we concentrate on a specific theme or area where it is perceived that more attention or emphasis may be warranted. This year for example, we are focusing on the impact and the potential of the private sector on government activities in space.

Our most recent event was Return to the Moon VI Conference (RTM VI) in Las Vegas on July 21-23 2005. For more information please click here to visit the Conference page.

We expect that you may have a number of questions on your mind.
Questions such as: How large is large scale? How many people would this first settlement support? Can it really be done in 25 years? Who will build it?

And probably many more questions. We want to give you all the information available and help you understand our project and our objectives as clearly as possible.

For that purpose we have compiled a list of FAQs that you can use to familiarize yourself with general details about the RTM Project.

Finally, If you don’t see your question, or a sufficiently similar one on the list below, please take the time and e-mail it to us. We will be glad to forward it to one of many experienced and accomplished experts in that field and get you the most accurate and complete answer possible. We may even add it to our FAQ list below.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1.     Why do we want to go to the Moon?
2.     Why spend money going to the Moon when there are urgent needs here on Earth?
3.     What will the first large-scale lunar settlement look like?
4.     How much will it cost to visit the Moon?