earth and the moon, appearing as one system

Res Luna: Program Outputs

In partnership with Space Generation Advisory Council, and in connection with the Moon Dialogs, Open Lunar led an active research project throughout 2021 to gather and analyze the resource governance approaches for Earth systems and draw conclusions about applicability to lunar resource systems.

Program Phases:
Designing policy for a connected and sustainable Earth-Moon System

Phase 1: Identifying 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: Analyzing analogous terrestrial resource systems and their governance, using a standardized set of questions which allowed for comparison between types of governance systems.

Phase 3: Consolidating 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.

a woman sitting, writing in a notebook

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.

Read the final output

Resource Systems and Governance Approaches

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Diverse expert contributors 

Over 9 months, Open Lunar researchers and fellows, SGAC’s EAGLE team, and the Moon Dialogs policy community worked together on this effort. 

The results of the Res Luna working group 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.

Big thanks to those involved:

  • Alex Gilbert
  • Angeliki Kapoglou
  • Annaliese Meyer
  • Antonino Salmeri
  • Dr. Brian Weeden
  • Cenan Al-Ekabi
  • Chelsea Robinson
  • David Eagleson
  • Emily Standfield
  • Giuliana Rotola
  • Heloise Vertadier
  • Dr. Ian Lange
  • Jessy Kate Schingler
  • Joey Webster
  • Dr. Juno Woods
  • Karen Cook
  • Katerina Vakaki
  • Kevin Hubbard
  • Kyran Grattan
  • Lindsey Wiser
  • Lukas Kuhn
  • Maria Rhimbassen
  • Matthias Frenzl
  • Maya Nasr
  • Melodie Yashar
  • Miraslava Kazlouskaya
  • Nivedita Mahesh
  • Nivedita Raju
  • Ruvimbo Samanga
  • Dr. Sarah Polcz
  • Dr. Timiebi Aganaba
  •  Zac Wager

Check out our other research

Open Lunar Foundation brings together policy, technology and cooperation to set positive precedents for our shared future on the Moon.

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