Very different futures are available to people who can thrive beyond Earth, versus those whose destinies are constrained to a single world.
For an extensive compilation of references that explore the benefits that have accrued from space exploration, click here.
For an excellent discussion with references on the return on investment of the Apollo program, click here.
Below are a few examples of the many benefits possible from investment in the ILRP.
Most of the construction of the International Lunar Research Park will be done tele-robotically or autonomously to create sustainable (green) technologies and capabilities.
This is an IT driven strategy with as much emphasis on human
factors and human development as on machines and rockets.
Extreme Green. The need to live on a world with few
resources to sustain life requires solutions that should yield valuable technologies
for use on Earth.
Water and waste management, recycling, energy production and efficiency, ecological life support, and air revitalization technologies, are among the near-term marketable spinoffs expected from the International Lunar Research Park development.
Accomplishing this objective will require the nation’s investment in universities nationwide to develop the advanced
IT solutions necessary for implementing the greatest IT collaborative
construction project in history – including building the first university whose campus is on another
Students whose undergraduate and graduate classes telerobotically build the Lunar University, under NASA and industry supervision and mentorship, may be the ones who someday travel to teach there.
There is a near term payoff regardless of how long the
generation would gain an extraordinary competitive edge via demanding hands-on
experiences in the technologies of the future – teleoperation, robotics, and autonomous
These skills are as applicable
to building tomorrow’s roads, mass-producing green solutions, and expanding the
U.S. manufacturing base as they are to building the International Lunar Research Park.
Community Center for the Global Village
But perhaps the greatest benefits that will accrue will be those for humanity as we come together as neighbors in the global village to build a center on the Moon that we can all share and use to create a better future for all.
"Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us.
everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of,
every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.
of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions,
ideologies, and economic doctrines,
every hunter and forager, every
hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization,
king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father,
inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every
every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,”
saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there –
on a mote
of dust suspended in a sunbeam."
Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot.
But is that humanity's only option for the future?
Very different opportunities are available to people who can thrive beyond Earth,
versus those whose destinies are constrained to a single world.