International Lunar Decade

Build infrastructure in cislunar space and on the Moon to open the space frontier…

ILD projects / Lunar Roadmap

Over the last several years a number of individuals and organizations have proposed that an International Lunar Decade Campaign, inspired by the International Geophysical Year of 1957-58, be initiated to celebrate the successes of that initiative in launching the first satellite, discovering the Van Allen belts, establishing a permanent human presence at the Geographic South Pole in Antarctica (among many other notable Antarctic initiatives), and subsequently establishing both an Antarctic Treaty and the Outer Space Treaty. The International Lunar Decade Working Group (ILDWG) has been formed to serve as a catalyst working with space agencies, COPUOS, international and scientific organizations as well as the private sector to launch a global cooperative initiative from 2020 to 2030 to further explore and economically develop the Moon and cislunar space, thereby laying the foundations for dramatically expanding the Earth’s econosphere.

The ILD concept is not revolutionary. There are numerous lunar missions seriously proposed and under development by major countries that are members of the International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG). Much of what an International lunar decade might accomplish also reflects the general framework already established by the 2013 Global Exploration Roadmap (GER) set forth by ISECG –  specifically those elements addressing operations in cislunar space and on the lunar surface – as well as the substantial efforts resulting from development of science and technology roadmaps (as reflected through the NASA LEAG Roadmap and Strategic Knowledge Gaps).

NASA has staked out a significant launcher and crew vehicle initiative with its SLS-Orion program, and has identified an extended duration mission capability in association with ESA.

ESA is also promoting an international Moon Village initiative for the lunar far-side surface closely associated with the potential for a far-side radio astronomy capability.

If these two major program initiatives expanding human exploration and economic development activities are considered to be two legs of a three legged stool, then we propose an International Lunar Decade (ILD) Campaign as the third leg to promote broader international engagement in these major initiatives.

At the LEAG Conference, the ILD working-Group presented a rationale for the ILD Campaign, along with an “Evolved ILD Global Exploration Roadmap” to include many elements not presented in the 2013 ISECG GER (copy attached).

We feel there are many opportunities for additional contributions by space agencies from countries not currently members of the ISECG who might be encouraged to add their planning and program development recommendations to those under discussion within the ISECG. We also feel the International Science Council, whose predecessors were so crucial to launching the original IGY, could also play a significant role in encouraging a broader campaign of scientific exploration of the Moon. Recent technological innovations, such as the successful landings of expendable first stages permitting their reuse, as well as the maturation of CubeSat-associated technologies, now enable substantially more affordable access to cislunar space and the lunar surface,. which in turn will allow a much broader suite of international participants, including both government agencies and private industry, as well as university teams comprising the next generation of space professionals, to engage in this enterprise. to engage in this enterprise.

We believe the arguments and the generalities presented above would generally be acceptable to the international space faring community, and that there are a range of specific ideas and opportunities that could be associated with an ILD Campaign as the “Third Leg” to both the E-M Gateway Station and Moon Village initiatives.

This list of affordable opportunities encompasses not only missions and instruments contributed by national space agencies to the ISECG GER framework, but also commercial and private investments and policy initiatives (at the pragmatic working agreement and confidence building level). One practical test for the proposed ILD-Campaign is not to suggest or presume large budget increases in NASA or ESA, but rather to embrace ideas which bring new resources from small countries and commercial sources within a voluntary program framework that enables flexible collaboration well aligned and coordinated through the ISECG mechanism. These ideas will also hopefully act as incentives to encourage expansion of ISECG membership.

In the complex contemporary political environment, organizations such as COSPAR and the International Science Council are influential voices for national policy decision-making in many countries, and represent a diverse set of organizations whose influence could well be crucial in a global ILD campaign.

Proposed Implementation

The 60th Anniversary of the IGY will begin in 2017 and last for 18 months. We recognize that the organizational efforts of the proposed ILD will be considerable, and that the development and implementation of international space missions are typically multi-year initiatives commonly running 5 years or more. For these reasons we propose that an ILD Campaign involve not only recognition of prior accomplishments in lunar exploration (beginning with 2017-2018) but also

celebration of the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary in 2019, with subsequent recognition of other lunar-related milestones over the proposed decade.

Our intent is not to create a top-down initiative (as might be proposed through a national government) but rather to launch a “bottom-up” movement that builds upn consensus and parallel efforts coordinated within a broad context of options and alternatives. We believe this approach would optimally reflect the spirit and organizational characteristics of both the ISECG and ISC.

We present these ideas with the hope that they may be of use in helping to advance existing ISECG and COSPAR initiatives, as well as to expand and diversify international participation.

A spreadsheet that cross references ILD projects with Lunar Exploration Milestones can be found here  ILD-Proj. X LEAG LER Themes 01-31-2016

Representing the International Lunar Declaration Working Group

Vid Beldavs                 University of Latvia, Fotonika-LV Research Centre

Jim Crisafulli               Hawaii Aerospace Office, Hawaii Department of Economic  and
Business  Development and Transportation

Dave Dunlop               Chair International Committee National Space Society

 I.             Appendix I:   Preliminary ILD ideas

We present a preliminary list of ILD Campaign ideas which might be considered within the context of expanded ISECG membership and the collaboration of COSPAR and the International  Science Council and for consideration at the February meeting of ISECG and COSPAR and also for the consideration of the UN COPUOS Subcommittee on Science and Technology later in February.

ILD #1             We note that the NASA sponsored lunar advisory body LEAG just initiated a Commercial Council. We think that an ILSECG Commercial Advisory Council  could be similarly adapted by ISECG as a formal mechanism to visibly recognize the informal planning of that sort that has taken place by members of the space Industrial group that has already worked with ISECG members and made presentations at the IAC( ). This would both increase the visibility and transparency of commercial interests and the increased importance of scientific exploration and commercial collaboration.

ILD#2              Early commercialization of Alpha CubeSat model (developed in response to the Cube Quest Competition as  a “Long Duration Low Cost Distant Retrograde Orbit  CubeSAT Communications Network”  as an Early PPP including NASA.

ILD#3              Solicit other new ideas for remote sensing of lunar volatiles resources and other ISRU ideas via a international competition open to university participants.

ILD#4              Propose LCROSS Redux impactors analysis  payloads to accompany all significant booster disposal  to be targeted on most likely  ice mining locations to. Every booster disposal is an assay opportunity and no booster should be wasted!

ILD#4              Early deployment of surface gravimeter to determine  “assay”  subsurface voids and lava tube mapping.

ILD #5             Every lander is an opportunity to create some elements of the proposed international lunar network:

̶            Laser retro-reflector 1 kg

̶            Honeybee lander leg mounted drill implanted seismometer

̶            Honeybee lander leg mounted drill implanting heat flow probe

̶            Surface radiation sensors

ILD #7             We would propose new missions and payload from an expanded set of international participants from the 8 G-20 country group  (Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, and Turkey) of countries that have not yet joined the ISEG but that would be encourage to do so.  Perhaps its should not pointed out that it might be considered embarrassing as a          fully fledged G-20 nation not to have one’s space agency participating in the ISECG. That way G-20 Space Agency Heads attending the Space Agency Heads meetings at the IAC  could stay in the picture with the other ISECG Space Agency Heads and not waste photographic time.

G-77 Group Countries with space agencies would also be encouraged to participate and those without any national space agency would be encouraged to participate through university and student engagement initiatives so all nations are welcomed to participate in a voluntary fashion within the resources available to them and in collaboration with other ISECG member countries.

ILD#8              We would also encourage voluntary participation of other countries through enrollment in the ISECG and voluntary contribution of a mission or payload that advances the Scientific and Exploration Roadmap developed by the NASA LEAG organization and ESA roadmaps. This is the role that COSPAR could serve to encourage expanded scientific participation in “the  ILD Campaign  vetting process” update the living document of LEAG and ESA science roadmaps for an open global scientific audience.

ILD #9             An ILD Campaign would build momentum and global public interest, in the majorobjectives of interest to NASA ( an extended Duration Facility at E-M 2) and ESA ( A lunar Robotic Village and then human occupied Moon Village) by creating an expanded cislunar market of countries that are engaged in both scientific and commercial development.

ILD #10           The historical success of the IGY of 1957-58 can be repeated with regard to a shared celebratory global campaign of voluntary national exploration initiatives which also engage commercial partners and investment. These lay the foundation for the use of lunar resources in an expanded and sustainable econosphere for the Earth providing key elements of clean space solar power energy to replace limited fossil fuels.

ILD#11            The mechanisms of Ballistic Missile Control Regime and ITAR should be expanded and updated to a recognition of Open Source-Open Use Global Space Technologies that is “launch license cleared” from any international launch site. An Open Source-Open Use Space Technologies list clearance will promote a broader cislunar market place for commercial activities and commercial applications in terrestrial markets.

ILD#12            ILD missions could be affordable creative additions to the mission agendas and commitments of the ISECG  that issued the  2013 GER.: We propose an updated Evolved ILD GER List following that proposed at the LEAG 2015 fall meeting in consideration of the 2017 GEP edition.

ILD#13            The addition of a PPP lunar utility system of modular nodes involving:

  1. Communications (CubeSat units)
  2. Positioning and navigation (Miniaturized atomic clocks NASA STMD)
  3. Power beaming demonstrations

A Microwave

B Laser

ILD#14            Initiate a Campaign to demonstrate space debris clean-up technologies and a space policy focus on Space Remediation Initiatives:

  1. Campaign to demonstrate space debris clean-up by “mining orbital mass for  safe salvage
  2. Recycling orbital mass for space manufacturing
  3. Some user fee mechanism of all active satellites as part of space debris clean-up and salvage initiative to create  and International Space Debris Clean-up financial mechanism funding mechanism that pays  fixed price only  for results

ILD#15            ILD Global Competitions for University and sponsored student  engagement participation Cubes Quest an early NASA model for this. ULA free launch could be used to expand this mechanism other national or commercial providers could also provide Competition “Free Rides”.

ILD#16    We can share and greatly reduce development costs through Public Private Partnerships. as demonstrated by IntelSat and the NASA Commercial Cargo and Crew programs.

ILD#17   We must collaborate in the challenges to characterize and develop operationally useful frozen volatiles on the lunar surface which can advance access to deep space by lowering costs.

ILD#18   We must provide collaborative  mechanisms sharing investment opportunities  and costs and equitable access and pricing in the development of resources in a common  cislunar market.

ILD#19   We must collaborate in the development of areas of extended illumination  where there are opportunities for investment in solar power production which can supply a common market on the lunar surface.

ILD#20   We must collaborate in the use, and protection of the Lunar Farside quiet zone for radio astronomy using the mechanism of the International Telecommunications Union.

ILD#21   We must share development of cryogenic permanently shadowed locations in the lunar polar regions where there are opportunities for Infra-red astronomy.

ILD#22  Subsurface lava tube locations offering protection from the radiation hazards and temperature extremes of the lunar surface offer additional opportunities for shared development and use.

ILD#23   Shared cryogenic environments where fuel processing and storage are economically enabled are another resource.

ILD#24   Cislunar  orbits  presents opportunities for shared use in applications for communications, navigation and positioning, and power beaming requirements in cislunar space and the lunar surface.

ILD#25  The ITU  regulated system of  GEO orbital assignments may need to be similarly extended to the orbital environment of the Moon.

ILD#26  Planetary Protection Observatories in cislunar space might enable us to identify objects which threaten terrestrial life, and avoid a fate similar to the dinosaurs.

ILD#27  Shared use of landing zones and associated infrastructure on the lunar surface can meet treaty obligations for astronaut rescue and support human life and operations.

ILD#28  Shared  investment and use of habitation and laboratory facilities could enable a common market on the lunar surface.

ILD#29 Investments in utility infrastructures for electrical power, communications, fuel production, and life support services could provide  access to all nations and enable a common market on the lunar surface.

ILD#30   Establishment of an International Lunar Survey Working Group might be established within the context of ISECG to coordinate:

  1. Scientific mission planning,
  2. A shared cartographic planning and an international  geodetic reference framework for mapping and data sets
  3. The identification of lunar resources and their economic use.
  4. Establishing a standard time zone system for the lunar surface
  5. Among early priorities for the International Lunar Survey Working Group would be collaborative standards and utilization of lunar sourced fuels and life support volatiles on the lunar surface and in cislunar space.
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