Preliminary unofficial estimates place the short term economic effects of the August 2017 eclipse at approximately $19,207,392.99, including indirect effects.1 To say that business owners in the path of the eclipse are elated is, of course, obvious. Tourists from all over the world parted with their hard earned cash2 in exchange for accommodations, food, boat rentals, gasoline, and stupid T-shirts.
While happy eclipse watchers sit in traffic or relive the experience in their memory (or on their iphones), entrepreneurs have been trying to figure out a way to repeat the economic gains thus reaped. As P. B. Tarquinus said in Principles of Business Strategy, “If something works once, it is imperative to keep at it until you go broke.”
And so, a broad coalition of financiers has begun raising money for a lunar mission.
While other space missions have been aimed at the increase of scientific knowledge or national esteem, this one will focus on a “strategic business edge for the United States.” By adjusting the location of total solar eclipses, the private lunar mission aims to make the economic gains seen in 2017 a “recurrent and regular phenomenon: the kind of thing you can show investors.”
According to NASA’s unofficial and anonymous spokesbeing, Z’Qmff, “the technical challenges to this mission are truly monumental. In addition, we regret that the funds collected are being used privately, instead of in partnership with public agencies which have demonstrated their ability to successfully complete enterprises of this kind.”
“Agence Rol, L’éclipse, gare Saint-Lazare, 1921.” Public Domain.
- Indirect effects are defined here as “increased spending the cause of which cannot be determined, which is therefore attributed to the total solar eclipse as an indirect effect. ↩
- Of course, many of them used credit cards, and a few tried to use checks (but had a hard time finding anyone to accept them). And some had stolen the money they used (not that the business owners object to that). ↩