Launching the Lunar Policy Handbook: Guiding Responsible and Sustainable Development of the Moon

The Lunar Policy Handbook is a reference guidebook for government personnel and private actors in the space industry. It is designed to be a high-level guide that is useful for a broad audience of space actors, outlining policy issues and operational considerations related to lunar activities. 

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Launching the Lunar Policy Handbook: Guiding Responsible and Sustainable Development of the Moon
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In recent years there has been a surge of interest in lunar activity. This renewed enthusiasm for the Moon is fueled by advancements in technology, reduced launch costs, greater funding for missions, and the growing awareness of the Moon's potential as a valuable resource for humanity's future. 

As humanity continues to explore the Moon, it is important that we do so in a responsible and sustainable manner, ensuring that we preserve this unique and valuable resource for future generations.That is why the Moon Dialogs is excited to launch the Lunar Policy Handbook (LPH). 

The Moon Dialogs' mission is to produce credible, actionable mechanisms facilitating lunar coordination, policies, norms and laws; leveraging voluntary frameworks and cross-sector, international support. The LPH embodies this mission, providing a comprehensive guidebook for space actors. It is the product of continued cooperation between multiple organizations that share a common vision for lunar policy development. 

The Moon Dialogs is a partnership between Open Lunar Foundation, Secure World Foundation, Arizona State University, For All Moonkind, the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Space Generation Advisory Council. 

It is focused on governance and coordination mechanisms for the lunar surface convened by organizations and participating researchers exploring voluntary, multilateral mechanisms, norms, and economic arrangements that aim to grow ecosystems of lunar activity. 

The  Lunar Policy Handbook is a reference guidebook for government personnel and private actors in the space industry. It is designed to be a high-level guide that is useful for a broad audience of space actors, outlining policy issues and operational considerations related to lunar activities. 

Part I of the handbook outlines the current policy issues, including registration, liability, and transparency. Part II targets policy questions related to operational considerations. It follows an approach that explores the potential policy implications of specific lunar activities, such as orbital, landed, and infrastructure activities.

The LPH achieves three objectives. First, it demonstrates why lunar policy matters now. As we prepare to further explore the Moon and expand our activities in space, it is essential to establish a clear roadmap of policies and guidelines that will ensure the sustainable and responsible use of these resources.

Second, the  Lunar Policy Handbook aims to illustrate how the steady development of lunar activity can foster parallel innovation in governance, coordination, and policy activity to support the continued growth of the lunar ecosystem.

Finally, the Lunar Policy Handbook creates a platform to highlight important issues and catalyze and help shape the conversation on lunar development. 

By providing a reliable, consistent reference point for space actors, the Lunar Policy Handbook builds capacity in the international community around lunar policy. The Lunar Policy Handbook is an essential tool for practitioners and policymakers seeking to understand how to implement the responsible and sustainable development of the lunar ecosystem. 

As the project lead, I have overseen the development of the Lunar Policy Handbook. My colleague Harshita Khera and I served as the primary editors. Christopher Johnson and Jessy Kate Schingler were contributing editors. The Lunar Policy Handbook will be launched on March 27th, 2023 at the Legal Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS) in Vienna.

The launch of the Lunar Policy Handbook is an exciting milestone for the space industry. It represents a crucial step towards the responsible and sustainable development of the lunar ecosystem, providing a framework for the governance and coordination of lunar activities. 

The Lunar Policy Handbook is an essential tool for the space industry aimed at promoting responsible and sustainable development of the lunar ecosystem. Its launch represents an important step towards effective stewardship of this distinctive and valuable planetary body for generations to come.