Bio for Peter Kokh

photo 2007, click for larger picture

Peter Kokh joined NSS, then NSI (National Space Institute) as "Life Member #2" shortly after it was founded by Werner von Braun in 1974. As a result of an L5 Society chapter colonizing effort by members of the Chicago and Minnesota chapters in September 1986, he helped confound the (Milwaukee) Lunar Reclamation Society (L5) that fall. He led the chapter into NSS two months before the L5/NSS merger in 1987.

With Larry Ahearn and Charles Moore of the Chicago Space Frontier Society, he was an active "colonizer" in the late 1980's, helping start half a dozen new chapters. He served as Region 6 director on the NSS Board of Directors in 1991-2. He was chair of ISDC '98, held in Milwaukee. And in 2001, in fulfilling a commitment he had made as Chapters Assembly president in 2000, he created and continues to maintain the Space Chapter Hub website to provide a common resource watering hole for chapters of the National Space Society, the Mars Society, and the Moon Society. He has served on the Moon Society Board and as Moon Society Chapters-Coordinator since the fall of 2002.

But Kokh is best known as the editor and principal contributor to Moon Miners' Manifesto. Known widely as "Moon Miners" but referred to by Peter as "the Manifesto," MMM began service as the Milwaukee chapter newsletter, but within months the Seattle L5 chapter came aboard. Published monthly continuously since December, 1986, MMM celebrates its 18th anniversary with the December 2004 issue #181. MMM began serving the members of the Artemis Society with the November 1995 issue, #90. Currently MMM serves several NSS chapters as well as the members of the Moon Society, its principal client.

In the mid-1980's, in a climate of despair that NASA had lost all interest in the Moon, there was much discussion of the idea of a privately funded Lunar Polar Orbiter that would search for water-ice in the permanently shaded craters in the Moon's north and south polar regions. A number of paper studies were being circulated. At the National Space Society's International Space Development Conference in Denver in May 1988, Kokh and Dr. Gay Canough began brainstorming strategies to take this discussion of a out of the realm of paper studies and on to the road to realization. Quickly joining forces with three other very interested persons led to the Lunar Polar Orbiter Conference held in Houston in March, 1989. It was at that event that Dr. Alan Binder came aboard to lead the design study. And the rest is History. Lunar Prospector orbited the Moon in 1998-9 and far outperformed our wildest expectations. The lesson that determined activists could actually accomplish something of real significance was a powerful one. - A more complete account.

With David A. Dunlop, Kokh was a cofounder the Lunar National Agricultural Experiment Corporation (LUNAX) in 1990, and with George French, the Wisconsin Space Business Roundtable in 1991.

He also launched the "First Contact Science/Science Fiction Science Convention" (Milwaukee) in 1994. Gregory Bennett, whom he had met in May of 1995 at the organizing convention in Huntsville for Artemis Society International, was his Science Guest of Honor the following year. Shortly after that, Artemis Society International adopted Moon Miners' Manifesto as its official newsletter. [A photo of Peter in his Sci-Fi Vulcan persona.]

Kokh has also tried his hand as an amateur space frontier artist by experimenting with "lunar paints" made entirely from materials producible from moondust.

A proud Milwaukeean all his life, Peter's hobbies include astronomy, hiking, his dogs, running a website for his "challenged" inner city Milwaukee neighborhood, and keeping up his home and Wisconsin north woods cottage. He is currently retired, but busier than ever writing and laying foundations for the future.

Kokh was elected President of the Moon Society on August 1, 2004, and reelected in 2006. He brings to this office two inseparable passions: a passion for human settlement of the Solar System, and a passion for Earth.

"We are a frontier species, beginning with the spread of humans throughout Africa and then to continents beyond. The Moon and other reachable worlds to which we could adapt are other continents across a different kind of ocean. If we stop adapting to new frontiers, we will have lost our collective soul."

"Earth life cannot expand to new worlds beyond except through us. We must bring Earth life with us in which to re-encradle ourselves, and, as stewards of Nature, help heal our home planet in the process, from the damage we have done as an adolescent species, using the abundant resources of Earth's hinterspace."

"I know that some space advocates do not care what happens (and is happening) to Earth so long as we get out there, but I am not one of them."

In February 2005 he served on Crew #34 at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah. He is slated to return in February 2006 as Commander of Crew #45, a dedicated Moon Society Mission to MDRS.

He can be reached at or at

Favorite Quotes:

"Praise the Darkness, and Creation Unfinished" from The Left Hand of Darkness - by Ursula K. LeGuin.

What this says to me is that it is a good thing that the world is not perfect in the sense that if it were, there would be nothing meaningful for us to do except to watch TV, play games, and otherwise indulge. Creation Unfinished means that we have a role as concreators. All the imperfection and problems in the world make it possible for each of us to give meaning to our lives, by trying in our own ways to make things better, to do something about it.

Another way of looking at it, is that both Optimism [from the Latin word for best ] and Pessimism [from the Latin word for worst ] are useless excuses for doing nothing. Meliorism [from the Latin word for better ], accepting the world as it is given, and trying to make humble improvements, is the only posture that makes sense, and which is not an excuse.

"Impatience always backfires - it's a cosmic law " - Peter Kokh

The way I see it, there is only one cardinal sin - impatience. The desire for wealth, pleasure, fame, sex etc. are not evil in themselves. Rather it is the impatient pursuit of them that leads to ill-chosen choices.

On the other hand, sitting back and waiting for things to happen is absurd.

One has to be patient in an industrious manner, carefully and persistently working to make things happen, and resisting the quick and easy shortcuts and substitutes.