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Moon-Earth: Prospects for a lunar-centric scenario for space development after 2030

Aeronautics and Aerospace Open Access Journal
Vidvuds Beldavs,1 Bernard Foing2


Gerard K. O’Neill idea of large habitats built from outer space resources in his 1974 Physics Today article “The Colonization of Space”1 resulted in a flurry of speculation and research and development work aimed at use of lunar resources to build large-scale solar-power satellite (SPS) to generate revenue to pay for space colonization. As the enormity of the technical and financial challenges to achieve space colonization research interest began to wane particularly with realization that the U.S. having reached the Moon before the USSR, was no longer driven to achieve more as the Nation faced the Oil Embargo and growing domestic concerns. Currently, the state of technology development and knowledge of lunar resources has created conditions where a lunar centric model of space development appears increasingly feasible offering the possibility of not only more rapid development in outer space, but also to impact long term sustainable development on Earth by reducing the need for terrestrial resources for industrial development in Earth orbits, cislunar space and the Moon. In effect, lunar industrial development can contribute increasingly to achieve sustainable development on Earth. This, however will raise challenges to address governance of space traffic and resource access and use on the Moon as unlike 1974 many countries are developing the capacity to reach and operate in cislunar space and on the Moon.


moon, earth, lunar centric, space development