“We shall return in peace, with all humankind.”




The Moon, proximal to the Earth, presents multiple opportunities for scientific research, new possibilities for galactic observation, and diverse resources to support the future of humankind. It is the focus of what is now being proposed as an International Lunar Renaissance (ILR).

Lunar exploration and development can both enable interplanetary travel and improve qualities of life on our home planet - a logical steppingstone to the future. In the longer term, an expanded space economy could enrich terrestrial civilizations. Lunar-based research could enhance space safety systems and provide more detailed information on how best to enable both viable and sustainable off-world settlements. Scientific knowledge derived through lunar exploration and development could also help preserve life on Earth, while enabling sustained exploration (both robotic and human) throughout our Solar System.

Many nations worldwide have expressed growing interest toward enabling a sustainable human return to Earth’s moon. The ILR is designed to help achieve this goal by engaging and promoting collaboration among scientific, commercial, and other resources worldwide. Global technologies and economic capacities have advanced to the point where self-sustaining space economies can now be inaugurated. The ILR will promote and enable such economies through the development and long-term coordination of space-related activities across national, institutional, and commercial boundaries – ultimately for the benefit of all humankind.

Rationale and Evolution

The ILR initiative is designed to address key challenges and enable creative opportunities to advance future lunar exploration and development by promoting innovative research programs leading to pioneering technologies and applications, diverse educational programs to inspire the next generation of space scientists and entrepreneurs, and both public-private partnerships and international alliances that can help reduce the costs, enhance the benefits, and accelerate timetables for future lunar missions. This will include:

Scientific research and development of technologies enabling sustainable and cost- effective lunar operations, with the goal of achieving major cost reductions and enhancing safe operations.

Negotiation of internationally recognized policies to govern commercial activities beyond Earth orbit, including viable and sustainable utilization of lunar resources.

Creation of safe and proven infrastructure that contributes to reducing the risk and cost of space communications, energy, logistics and transport facilities.

Development of new and cooperative financing for space exploration and long-term industrial/commercial development, including partnerships that leverage public and private investments to enable projects with long planning horizons and provide time to reach viability and sustainability.

Expansion of research and development opportunities related to scientific, safety and risk-related studies, and new space systems development appropriate for both existing spacefaring powers as well as smaller, less developed countries.

Development of innovative space manufacturing opportunities and new material processing capabilities.

Pursuit of new support services and commercial activities enabled through public–private partnerships, international consortia, governmental infrastructure investments, and commercial investment schemes that address value chain development and other innovative capabilities in space exploration, space research, and space applications.

Progress in implementing the ILR will be measured by the quality and long-term sustainability of international partnerships formed and new cooperative ventures launched, as well as the number of countries, research institutions, and educational organizations engaged. There also will be emphasis on enabling transnational arrangements that include countries at all levels of economic development.

In addition, there will be efforts to identify opportunities for and promote ILR activities related to research and educational developments, innovative business opportunities, and new space initiatives that can decrease the costs of space-based activities. Industrial activities on the Moon and in cislunar space will also generate new wealth that will enable both a permanent human presence beyond low-Earth orbit as well as rapid expansion into the Solar System, and an ILR could help accelerate this process.

Specific ILR infrastructure projects and developmental milestones could include:

Fuel depots in LEO, at Earth-Moon Lagrange locations, and on the lunar surface to extend humanity’s reach into space.

Navigation, communications and power infrastructures in cislunar space and on the lunar surface to enable safe travel and operations.

Space observatories identifying and tracking space debris and near-Earth asteroids.

An Earth-Moon Lagrange-point station to serve as both a research and gateway facility for tele-operations on and transportation to the lunar surface.

A permanent human outpost (including observatories) on the lunar surface.

Many affordable CubeSat-scale spacecraft and space lab projects to help expand international educational, scientific, and commercial opportunities and engagement.

Diverse research and development initiatives, public and private, including the use of lunar in situ resources to enable a high degree of self-sufficiency for human habitation.

Next Steps

Institutions currently being contacted to promote and help realize an ILR include:

Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) International Science Council (ISU) International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG) International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG) Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG) International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS) European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) Space and Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) International MoonBase Alliance (IMA) International Space University (ISU) Space Agencies and Corporations Worldwide

The primary goal is to enhance these organizations’ alliances and engagement with UN COPUOS to promote opportunities for global collaboration in the future exploration and development of the Moon – enabling representatives from both public and private sectors in nations worldwide to play a viable and productive role in this enterprise.

Questions concerning this initiative may be addressed to the ILR Working Group, which has been established to explore options for launching and coordinating this initiative. The Executive Secretary for this team (Jim Crisafulli, who also serves as Director for the GALIX - Global Alliance for International Collaboration in Space) may be reached as follows:

Email: crisafulli.jim@gmail.com Cell Phone: (808) 383-9811