What's Already Happened/Happening?

Key Facts Relevant to an International Lunar Research Park

  • The International Space Station was built in collaboration with 16 countries.  It is equivalent to a 20 story building in space massing 850,000 pounds and has been continually occupied since 2000.
  • LCROSS, LRO and Chandra provided strong evidence for significant quantities of water on the Moon (estimated more than 600M tons), a key constituent for human settlement.
  • Google Lunar X-Prize - 29 commercial teams are competing for the $30M purse to put teleoperated robotic capability on the Lunar Surface
  • NASA released Broad Agency Announcements in 2011 soliciting ideas and technology development proposals for concepts and demonstrations leading to, among other things, human explorations beyond Low Earth Orbit.

The above facts are conservative existence proofs that an ILRP is technically feasible and that there is sufficient interest outside of governments in the Moon. 

The ILRP can begin with the first teleoperated robot on the Lunar surface. 

Given this evidence, a permanent settlement on the Moon is likely to occur.  It is just a matter of when and by whom ...

NASA has conducted four separate analyses of strategies for how to extend human presence beyond Low Earth Orbit since 1989.  The 90 Day Study of Human Exploration of the Moon and Mars; the Decadal Study for Exploration; the Space Architect Team which led to the Vision for Space Exploration; the ESAS team; and others.  Most of these reports can be downloaded here and elements of these reports formed the basis of concepts for the International Lunar Research Park.