The moon is again the object of competition between major space powers. These powers aim — perhaps even in this decade — to establish a permanent human presence on the moon’s surface and in its orbit, and exploit lunar resources for economic benefit.
This renewed competition for the moon is the basis for the rise of Lunapolitics: where political and economic interests intersect with the topography and physical properties of the moon, from its subsurface through to cislunar space. The competitors are primarily the United States and China, but also Europe, Japan, India, and Russia, as well as companies hoping to mine the moon’s resources. Lunapolitics is the equivalent of geopolitics, and it is a growing and important reality that will keep diplomats, executives, and strategists busy for decades to come.
With this increasing importance of Lunapolitics, I offer the following 10 points for consideration by those tasked with creating the political and economic framework for our future on the moon:
1. Political and Economic competition for the moon is generally a positive phenomenon: Competition is healthy, yet competition for the moon needs rules of the road and agreed-upon principles undergirded by widely accepted space law, especially the 1967 Outer ...