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The Big Moon Dig

Essays on Why, What and How

The Big Moon Dig - Return with us now to the Moon as we are preparing the ground for a real lunar settlement through study, simulations, team building, and exploration.

What we are doing in 100 words:

The Big Moon Dig is a massive online effort to lay the foundations for a permanent settlement on the Moon through organizing millions of people over the Web to explore possible sites and dig the major trenches needed for radiation protection of the settlers. The movement will utilize videos to build buy-in for the idea, online games to train people, and open source efforts to design the needed equipment and habitats. When we have demonstrated that millions of people are committed to this concept, then and only then, will we find the resources to send hardware to the Moon.

It now turns out that we can apply these ideas to Earth problems too.

Earth Raise from Moon


We have made several of our key ideas into short videos:


Here are all the books, Web pages, and articles we used to build the Big Moon Dig materials:

Earth Problems:

We can apply many of the same tools we are developing for space exploration to Earth Problems. A number of Hacks and contests are available that we can exploit:

    Global Grand Challenge

    The Singularity University is running a contest to present at a major conference. Here is the Big Moon Dig entry featuring a short video and essay.

  1. Watson Contest

    One way to build our idea is to enter high tech contest. This one is for uses for the big Artificial Intelligence from IBM called Watson.

  2. Baltimore in the Future Tense

    In the midst of the recent civil unrest in Baltimore in the Spring of 2015, it became obvious to us that some of our new ideas can be applied to problems on Earth. Our difficulty became explaining our approach in a manner that others can comprehend.

  3. "Dry California, New Science, New Ideas"

    2015 Singularity University Impact Challenge entry applying new science to California's problems.

Back to the Moon:

  • Why in two simple questions

    It is 2050. The human population of Earth has peaked at 10 billion and is now poised to fall to some as yet unknown sustainable level. The environment is clearly heavily stressed with global warming and sea level rise both evident. The production of many industrial commodities, like oil and copper, has peaked and is now in decline.

    • Question: What then is our greatest resource?
    • Answer: Our ten billion people!
    • Question: Why go back to the Moon?
    • Answer: To recover a positive vision of the future!

    But, if all that is a bit to heavy for you, then let's just go back to the Moon for the fun of it.

    fMRI of Eureka brain module
    fMRI of Eureka brain module
  • Proposals and Essays for the Big Moon Dig:

    1. The Big Moon Dig Game Design Document -- Details on what actions we must take to make the Big Moon Dig happen.
    2. BMD Lite Games, Step 1 Location Notes -- One of our first tasks is to choose a location for our lunar settlement.
    3. BMD Lite Games, Step 2 Habitat Notes -- Next we must make many critical design choices for our design of a lunar settlement.
    4. BMD Lite Games, Step 3 Ores Notes -- Here is our third game that is now under development. It is a discussion of lunar ores and how to find them.
    5. LRO Data to SketchUp Graphic -- Here is our procedure for obtaining LRO data and converting it into a SketchUp Graphic.
    6. LRO Camera Retrieval -- Here is our procedure for retrieving LRO camera images.
    7. Game proposal to Sono -- We are also looking at adding a game based on our MOVE team idea.
    8. Essay on Brain Apps -- These are foundation ideas we will be using for Vol. 02.
  • Business:

    Supporting the Big Moon Dig with Business Ideas, -- We now have a separate page dedicated to this topic.

    Lunar Surface from LRO Data
  • Converting LRO Data into a Lunar Surface:

    Converting science data to game surfaces, -- We now have a separate page dedicated to this topic.

  • 4th International Workshop on Lunar Science Applications Talk

    This is our presentation given on April 8-11 in Coco Beach, Florida.

  • Finding a Theme Song

    Essays are fine and necessary, but they rarely grab you. What we need is a theme song that will hit people in the gut. Here is a little contest to find theme song for renewing the great adventure of human space exploration.

  • Hard Square Science Fiction, Vol. 01

    on Sale

    In the first year of our project we produced an e-book of five science fiction short stories about space exploration in the near future. You can purchase Vol. 01 for only $2.99 either from: in the Kindle edition., or from Smashwords in any of eight common electronic formats.

  • Disclaimer

    The Big Moon Dig has no association with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    We would like to thank NASA for the use of many pictures, which we are careful to credit.

  • Key Web Links

    In our essays we provide long lists of books, courses, and Web links. A few are worth repeating here:.

    • Our Project:

    • Science:

      • "Foldit" by Adrien Truille -- This Web site lets people at home work out the shape of real proteins and thus provides real value for medical research.
      • "SETI@Home", Berkeley -- Let's your computer search scientific data for extra celestial singles when you are not using it. This is the first of the great crowd science projects.
      • "Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter", (LRO) a NASA instrument -- LRO is the NASA mission that first generated the new space requirement for radiation protection, and then when on to provide the mapping data for our games.
    • Courses:

      • Coursera -- A dozen of these Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC) have provided key concepts for our effort.
    • Fun and Games in Space:

      • Goggle X-Prize -- This contest is to put a small rover on the Moon. If this works then all the rovers in our stories and games make since.
      • "Moon Base Alpha", NASA -- This is a game about handing an emergency at a lunar science station. Unfortunately the station design predates the new radiation shielding requirements.
  • Please Join our Mailing List

    If you would like to be kept abreast of progress on the Big Moon Dig, or have any input, please complete our little form, or simply e-mail us.

    Tom Riley photograph
    Thanks, Tom Riley
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