We develop plans, policies, and technology that reflect the best of our humanity and enable peaceful, cooperative lunar settlement, for the benefit of all life.Read our strategy briefing →
"I am looking forward to supporting the Space and Lunar Community as Executive Director of Open Lunar Foundation. I know I have a lot to learn about this community, and I look forward to doing so as we seek to create lunar stewardship together."
Learn about our work with resources, articles and updates from engineering, policy and more.
As one of the founders of the ESG movement, I have witnessed the transformational power of small teams in the right place at the right time. I believe that the Open Lunar Foundation is one of those teams. Open Lunar has the potential to drive the creation of an approach to Lunar settlement that puts stewardship first.
A voluntary Lunar Registry would not replace or render governmental or intergovernmental registries obsolete. Rather, it would complement them by providing a simple, flexible and neutral opportunity for missions to share and coordinate information.
Norms, particularly transparency, are needed to stabilise competition and promote cooperation on the Moon. However, these are not created in a vacuum but require their own tools and frameworks to develop, champion, and facilitate the adoption of the norm among the intended community of actors.
A cooperative, decentralized network of timekeeping devices could offer a more agile and affordable approach to supporting an ecosystem of diverse actors in cislunar space.
The author's research is focused on considering possible architectures for an open and independent time standard for cislunar space. This post is the first in a series about timekeeping and clock synchronization for lunar activities.
Normative behaviours are integral to fostering a coherent community of actors and promoting peace and stability for existing treaties and aspirational goals. The author aims to explain why normative behaviours are needed for Lunar activity.
The author is exploring the incentive structures that would enable commercial participation in a Lunar Registry through a series of related posts.
This blog posts series will analyse the political backdrop for an independent multi-stakeholder Lunar activity registry, highlighting why it’s needed and how it might help. These are the precursors to a more comprehensive White Paper which we’ll be working on over the coming months.
The objective of the scorecard is to provide a starting point for evaluating the relative scarcity of specific lunar and outer space resources with current information. Through this evaluation, resource systems that are inherently vulnerable or at risk of becoming scarce are easier to prioritize for management.
Cross-sectional collaboration to adopt a resource management framework addressing scarcity in a way that fairly balances the interests of all stakeholders - small and large, rich and poor, present and future - would be a fantastic policy base on which to build a space economy.
The envisaged goal here is to channel competitive market forces from a race to the bottom (toxic competition) towards a race to the top (noble competition) through a series of incentivizing measures by activating the higher ethical principles of space law.
There is an opportunity for actors interested in entering the lunar communications space to learn from the best practices of network infrastructure providers (ISPs/IXPs), as well as the open source community.
This study reviews the history and principles behind safety zones in outer space and other domains. It reviews the requirements such zones place on operators and the obligations they can create for other states and actors.
This research considers an economic model that addresses the possible lunar needs for an emerging and integrated African continent, and a determined and curious globe.
Every few months, we work to collate all our recent insights and share it publicly in a rare and powerful summary of the work that we do. In this event you'll hear from five researchers, four of which are part of our esteemed Fellowship program, as well as Dr Woods, Senior Researcher and lunar engineer.
The success of a lunar settlement will be significantly and quantifiably tied to the presence or absence of pragmatic zoning policy. Zoning and land use policies can improve the efficiency of infrastructure and cost effectiveness of development.
When Open Lunar began, policy and governance for lunar activities was considered obscure. Just a few short years ago, the idea of discussing space resources at COPUOS was almost unthinkable. Since then, it has become clear that there are numerous legal and policy questions and the Moon is likely to be our first test.
Members of the 60th meeting of the LSC of the United Nations COPUOS may wish to consider alternatives for regulating space resources. One such alternative would be polycentric governance: a governance approach featuring multiple, independent management regimes, coordinated under a minimal overarching set of agreements
Eliminating mistrust and building confidence between states is crucial now more than ever, with lunar ambitions emerging from different nations simultaneously. TCBMs will be critical to preserve security on the Moon and ensure that activities continue to be conducted “exclusively for peaceful purposes”.
As countries and companies look to expand economic and scientific activities to the Moon and beyond, the performance advantages of nuclear energy underlie renewed interest in the technology, and iterative development of national and international law is needed to establish sustainable governance.
The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the hidden power of antitrust into shaping a sustainable space ecosystem in the future and to ensure that space commerce, and hence the emerging “lex mercatoria spatialis” adheres to the higher principles of international space law.
Get inspired by our latest research on lunar governance, security and resource management.
The Moon is a common in the economic sense and therefore primed for polycentric governance. In addition, the diversity of resource systems within the larger lunar system will require diverse and distinct governance systems to tackle the individual challenges of each of the subsystems.
In 2020, Open Lunar kicked off a small working group looking at the application of public choice theory and political economy scholarship to resource management in the lunar context. This post captures some initial reflections and insights, but the work will be ongoing and we welcome suggestions and recommendations.
The aim of the study was to identify the prioritization and intensity of the foundational interests of respective stakeholder groups, and to assess how the different governance scenarios fulfilled each respective interest.
This paper serves as a background summary of recent lunar exploration activity in the context of relevant stakeholder interests.
Polycentricity is not a new concept, however it is also not yet mainstream. We believe this concept is central to designing the future of institutions, public goods, utilities management and more within the lunar economy.
Today we announce Breaking Ground, a lunar resources trust which will exist to steward and demonstrate formal and effective institutional management of lunar resources between different stakeholders.
Open Lunar Foundation leads a Fellowship program inviting experts across multiple sectors to contributor their talents towards the mission of a peaceful cooperative long term future on the Moon which benefits all life.
Numerous questions arise in the design and implementation of lunar TCBMs, particularly around the institutional activations required to support these measures. The starting point however, begins with a critical mass of agreement regarding baseline TCBMs.
This is an architectural and conceptual exploration through geometry, mechanism, and concept of operation (CONOPS) for a new look at lunar spaceports. The report showcases four fully developed concepts across four extreme sets of assumptions.
Sustained presence in outer space requires a categorical shift in thinking, going beyond “exploration” to think instead about tenure: policies rooted in experience, lessons learned from historic engagements with frontiers, and long term thinking, in order to construct strong foundations and longevity of presence.
This new province of humankind is closer than ever. The Outer Space Treaty (OST) continues to provide the foundations for our activities in outer space. General guidance must now become specific, and we must figure out those specifics with diverse voices, together.
The outline of a plan to put an orbiter around the Moon within approximately 2 years. In this post we’re releasing some documentation. As for our future plans with this mission series, we are currently more focused on public goods and surface infrastructure: TLI transport options are available via others.
The math in this memo enabled us to include radiometric range and range-rate measurements in our linear covariance analysis, which gave us an estimate of the certainty we'd have about our position and velocity at lunar orbit insertion.
The need for collective action and joint problem-solving is more important and urgent than ever if we are to create peaceful and sustainable lunar development. Coalescing the objectives of the diverse (public and private) stakeholders in the space industry is an undertaking that has yet to be achieved.
Open Lunar Foundation combines institutional research with intentionality and values to develop applied policy proposals and commercial partnerships for the Moon. As a non profit we can identify leverage points and take risks in service of peaceful and cooperative lunar futures.
Policy analogs enable the application of insights from familiar domains to new contexts—referencing physical, legal, procedural, or economic properties that are shared between the source and target domains. Here, we introduce an array of potential analogs for lunar governance and summarises their uses and limitations.
This paper focuses on the global-scale dispersal of dust expected to result from the increasing cadence and size of lunar missions and explores landing pads and/or “spaceports” as a means of mitigating these effects.
A series of frameworks and conceptual tools for analysing norms on the Moon.
This Backgrounder on lunar norms is intended to succinctly summarize the norms (rules, laws, principles, and guidelines) applicable to lunar activities (whether governmental or nongovernmental). Although legal in nature, it should be understandable to those without a legal education.
Access to space is becoming more democratized, as technology development and growing competition in the launch market continue to drive down costs. The number and diversity of actors, and the scope of their activities, is growing.
What is the meaning, purpose and life cycle of lunar legal norms? In December 2019, we co-hosted a workshop with the Secure World Foundation to explore these questions. Explore the results.