The key to our continued survival is for some of us to leave the Earth in a big way and to spread self supporting colonies throughout the Solar System and eventually to other star systems. To do this as quickly as possible the Leeward Space Foundation believes that we should develop rotating tethers to pickup people and cargo in low Earth orbit and throw them toward the Moon, where they will be caught by another rotating tether and delivered to the surface or caught by a Lunar Space Elevator down which they can travel to the surface. Either of these approaches is possible "NOW" with present day technology. With the money we have already spent on developing new rockets that may or may not get a handful of people to the Moon in 20 - 30 years, we could have hundreds of people on the surface of the Moon full time in 10 yrs. We don't need any new rockets, nor do we need the shuttle; any rocket that can presently be used to put people and materials into orbit will do fine.
Why the Moon first and not Mars? Because, until we can get beyond the Exploration of Space and create economic ventures in space, we will never populate space, moons or planets in a big way. Therefore, the Moon first, because Lunar surface materials are nearly perfect for building Solar Power Satellites. The material can be brought into space cheaply with a tether or Space Elevator, where the solar collectors can be manufactured and deployed. The energy is then beamed back to the Earth, to any location where it is needed. It's not that this type of energy is any cheaper than that produce on the surface of the Earth, but that it is completely clean, even cleaner than "Wind" and "Ground based solar" energy. We could easily move away from a fossil fuel based economy forever.
To achieve these goals the Leeward Space Foundation will work with like minded groups such as the Moon Society and the Space Renaissance Initiative to make NASA and Congress aware of what we could be doing to achieve our goals in space much more cheaply and quickly. I call on all those who believe in the rightness of these goals to do everything in their power by word or deed to help make these plans come to pass.
If I may be so bold as to suggest a couple of things that could help raise some money for these efforts without cost. First, is the Space Elevator credit card offered by Capital One. If you order and use the card, Capital One will make a one time donation of $25 to the Leeward Space Foundation and 1% of all your expenditures thereafter will be cash back to the Foundation. Just visit the following link to apply: https://www.cardlabconnect.com/HELP SAVE THE EARTH NOW
Secondly, most of us shop online and book our travel through some online service like: Expedia, Travelosity, Orbits or Priceline. If you could visit Goodshop at: http://www.GoodShop.com/?charityid=879255 when you shop, you will have a choice of over 1000 onlines stores from Amazon to Sears to Zappos which will donate a percent of what you spend to the Foundation. Likewise, under the Travel listing you will find all the major travel booking sites, who will also donate to the Foundation. These are things that nearly all of us do that would help bring about what we all want: The development of space resources for the benefit of Mankind.For other ideas on how you can help, visit: http://www.leewardspacefoundation.org/id21.html