The Moon and Beyond

Ian Stevens, Director of the Deep Space Research Institute, has a hidden agenda. While the rest of the world (including the U.S. government) thinks the DSRI is primarily engaged in pure research — astronomy, astrophysics, and computer science — Ian has a few other projects going on, mostly related to manned space travel. This comes at a time when NASA is all but defunct, few scientific probes are being launched, and almost everything that goes up into Earth orbit involves government-owned hardware designed for Earth surveillance. No one even talks about human spaceflight any more, and any such projects would be frowned upon by the government, especially when conducted without government supervision.

A billionaire in his own right (and with the backing of several multinational corporations), Stevens has assembled a crew of the best scientists and engineers he can find, including a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who has unlocked the secrets of gravity itself. With engineering genius Mick O'Hara, ex-USAF test pilot Lorna Greenwood, and former Navy Seal Charlie Bender to maintain operational security, the DSRI is secretly building and testing several gravity-powered spacecraft.

Now, if they can just manage to get it done without being noticed by the cyber-spies of the NSA, the watchdogs of Homeland Security, the IRS, OSHA, and a half-dozen other government agencies that might be upset over their activities, they might actually succeed. And they do have the world's smartest computer system on their side, one that can fend off threats to their own cyber-security and get them any information they might need from anyone else's electronic systems anywhere on the planet.

Ultimately, Stevens and his crew want to establish a permanent, self-sufficient settlement on the Moon, and use it as a base for further exploration of the solar system. What's more, to prevent interference from the U.S. (and other Earth nations) they plan to declare their lunar settlement an independent nation… and they are NOT going to apply for membership in the U.N.

Welcome to the Lunar Free State…