International Lunar Decade

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

The International Lunar Decade Declaration

The International Lunar Decade Declaration was discussed at the conference held November 9-13, 2014 in Hawaii “The Next Giant Leap: Leveraging Lunar Assets for Sustainable Pathways to Space” – and accepted by a core group that forms the International Lunar Decade Working Group (ILDWG) that is seeking to make the proposed global event and decade long process a reality.  The Declaration will be updated from time to time by members of the ILDWG reflecting new knowledge and fresh perspectives that bear on building a global consortium with a mission to progress from lunar exploration to the transformation of the Moon into a wealth generating platform for the expansion of humankind into the solar system.  When key organizations have endorsed the idea and joined the effort the text of the Declaration will be considered final.   An earlier International Lunar Decade proposal was issued at the 8th ICEUM Conference in 2006 in Beijing that referenced 13 specific initiatives for lunar exploration. These initiatives have been largely implemented with coordination among the different space agencies involved provided by the International Lunar Exploration Working Group. The Second International Lunar Decade reflects current trends towards increasing involvement of commercial firms in space, particularly seeking opportunities beyond low Earth orbit.  The central vision of the International Lunar Decade is to build the foundations for a sustainable space economy through international collaboration concurrently addressing

  • Lunar exploration and building a shared knowledge base;
  • Policy development that enables collaborative research and development leading to lunar mining and industrial and commercial development;
  • Infrastructure on the Moon and in cislunar space (communications, transport, energy systems, way-stations, other) that reduces costs, lowers risks and speeds up the time to profitable operations;
  • Enabling technologies needed for lunar operations (robotic and human), lunar mining, materials processing, manufacturing, transportation, life support and other.

THE NEXT GIANT LEAP: Leveraging Lunar Assets for Sustainable Pathways to Space

Declaration of the Conference

November 9-13, 2014, South Kohala – Island Of Hawaii

“If God wanted man to become a spacefaring species, he would have given man a moon.”

Krafft Ehrike Lunar Bases and Space Activities of the 21st Century (1985)

We came together to discuss technical, economic and policy choices available to move the world forward on a sustainable path to the development of an infrastructure in cislunar space and on the Moon. Our purpose is to enable further exploration of the Moon and its scientific, industrial, commercial development as a next destination for permanent human settlement beyond the Earth and as a gateway for further exploration, human settlement and economic development of the Solar System.

These are our shared understandings:

  • Space is an opportunity whose full realization requires a long-range view and implementation plans that can flexibly accommodate varying economic and political conditions among those nations working collaboratively toward the general purpose of the International Lunar Decade. This can be achieved by developing a series of discrete time limited and cost feasible objectives which advance this campaign.
  • Space cannot be developed by any nation in isolation but rather requires collaboration among nations at multiple levels to be successful. It is particularly important that no nation be excluded from the peaceful development of space. Access to space as recognized by the widely acknowledged Outer Space Treaty should be characteristic of the collaborative frameworks which enable the permanent human return to the surface of the Moon, the extension of human presence in cislunar space and beyond, and the development of an Earth -Moon economy that welcomes and includes participation from all countries.
  • Rapidly advancing space technologies now offer higher performance at lower cost thereby opening opportunities for many more nations, research organizations and commercial businesses interested in working in the environments of cislunar space and the lunar surface.
  • Pragmatic working agreements need to be developed that meets the requirements of those seeking to develop permanent research facilities, industrial or commercial projects, and human settlements on the Moon and that provide access to lunar resources to all terrestrial nations in an open cislunar market for both goods and services.
  • We therefore recommend that those leading space faring nations participating in the International Space Exploration Coordination Group provide a leadership role in launching the International Lunar Decade on the 60th anniversary of the International Geophysical Year in 2017 to accomplish the following:
  • Expand the Global Exploration Roadmap to Include the International Lunar Decade with a more detailed set of project objectives –
  • Further Explore the Moon building on the extensive scientific and engineering foundations of the LEAG, Roadmap, Strategic Knowledge Gaps, and ILEWG precursor Robotic Village proposals to identify the locations of resources and sites where permanent human presence, scientific, industrial, and commercial facilities and settlements can be sited.
  • Mapping data from individual national missions be developed in a common geodetic registration framework so that an increasingly accurate and complete geodetic map of the Moon’s surface that can be used to further scientific exploration, research, commercial utilization of lunar resources, and the further economic development of the Moon’s role in a rapidly expanding Earth-Moon Economic system.
  • Develop An International Lunar Survey Working Group responsible for these activities and the sharing of scientific information from national participants should be established within the context of the International Space Exploration Coordination Group and that this working group build on the existing foundation of the NASA Planetary Data System, National Space Science Data Center (NSSDC), HORIZONS System, and the International system of planetary image libraries which maintain photographic and digital data, digital data as well as mission documentation and cartographic data. Expansion of these resources network could include the UN University so that all countries and especially those with limited national resources can access these archives.
  • Develop in the context of the International Space Exploration Coordination Group a long range framework for the development of infrastructure on the Moon and in cislunar space identifying specific locations for telecommunications hubs, energy systems and transmission infrastructure to support space exploration both within and beyond the Earth-Moon system as well as scientific, industrial, and commercial operations on the Moon with both national and commercial investment and participation in achieving infrastructure development.
  • Develop common international standards for identification, communications, docking and landing, astronaut rescue, and working agreements on related matters of infrastructure and support services required for long term development of the Moon’s economy.
  • Develop a framework for collaborative development of the infrastructure in cislunar space and on the Moon’s surface which includes working agreements, trial protocols, confidence building measures and other pragmatic arrangements which provide for transparent and open participation of all nations participating in the economic development of the Moon and which recognize both individual and private property rights, rights to access and rights to use as well as national and commercial interests and investments and financing and dispute resolution, within an international regime for lunar development that will be developed by the states participating in ILD along with relevant scientific organizations, commercial businesses and non-governmental organizations.
  • Specific ILD Infrastructure projects and milestones of development include:
  1. Fuel Depots in LEO and E-M Lagrange locations which extend the capabilities of existing and anticipated rockets and spacecraft to travel beyond LEO.
  2. The development of navigation and communications infrastructures which extend precision navigation and communications capabilities in cislunar space including the surface of the Moon.
  3. The development of tracking and space observatories which can detect both space debris and asteroids which approach the Earth-Moon system both in space and on the Earth.
  4. The development with commercial participation of an extended duration E-M Lagrange 2 station as a research and gateway facility which is a precursor to more cost efficient lunar surface exploration and operational capabilities through telepresence.
  5. The development of a permanent human base(s) on the lunar surface with commercial participation which provides a beachhead for further scientific research, industrial development, commercial activities, space tourism, and human settlement.
  6. The development of many affordable cube sat scale spacecraft and space labs projects which expand educational, scientific, and commercial opportunities, from a broad array of ILD international participants including ISECG and a proposed Commercial and Scientific and Educational Council.
  7. R&D, including pilot operations involving processing and use of in situ resources of the Moon with a particular emphasis on the use of lunar materials to produce fuel, energy systems, and habitats.
  8. The ILD will build on the scientific and engineering foundations of the LEAG Roadmap, Strategic Knowledge Gaps, and ILEWG robotic village, and Technology Roadmaps in the encouragement of expanding international participation, new missions, new instruments, and new commercial investments, and a new cislunar marketplace for goods and services.
  9. We resolve to campaign for the International Lunar Decade (ILD) to be realized no later than the 60th anniversary of the International Geophysical Year in 2017.

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