Res Luna: Program Outputs

In partnership with SGAC and the Moon Dialogs, Open Lunar led a research initiative throughout 2021 to gather and analyze resource governance approaches from Earth systems and draw insights about their applicability to lunar resource systems. This was completed in early 2022 and the results have been presented at numerous venues including the IASC Space Commons conference,the Ostrom Workshop space working group, and informed recommendations presented to the United Nations.

Stylized footprint on the moon
Program Phases

Designing policy for a connected and sustainable Earth-Moon System

Phase 1: Res Luna identified more than twenty different lunar resource systems with different features and different considerations for good governance. Seven systems were chosen as a focus.

Phase 2: Analysis was conducted on analogous terrestrial resource systems and their governance, using a standardized set of questions which allowed for comparison between types of governance systems.

Phase 3: the Res Lunae group consolidated policy and governance recommendations to apply lessons learned from Earth to the Moon’s diverse resource systems, into a unified list of possible governance approaches for distinct lunar resources.

Analysis and Results Governance knowledge from terrestrial analogs was translated to our selected lunar resource systems. Proposals were derived from sustainability science practices and frameworks including work on social-ecological systems, polycentricity, and conceptions of sustainable, equitable, and effective governance.

Good governance will ultimately be a function of the activities and stakeholders that emerge in actual lunar activities. As a result, the final project output of this program highlights potential governance approaches that may emerge in response to needs for lunar resource management, based on historical terrestrial analogs. The goal of this table is to provoke thought about what is needed for concrete approaches to good stewardship and resource management. It also calls out specific stakeholder groups for each, and certain risks of conflict associated with each resource system— each of which has its own demands and tradeoffs.