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Hawai‘i to Be Site of First Moon Settlement Prototype

October 9, 2017, 3:07 PM HST (Updated October 9, 2017, 3:16 PM)
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International MoonBase Summit photo. Oct. 2017.

The International MoonBase Summit,held from Oct. 1 to 5, 2017, on Hawai‘i island, was the meeting place for global industry leaders, representatives from academia, government leaders and representatives from the student community worked together collaboratively to lay the groundwork for the world’s first permanent human settlement on the moon.

The IMS is envisioned as a pivotal step toward humankind becoming a sustainable, vibrant, multi-planetary species.

Impassioned, in his never-ending quest for space development, Apollo 11 Astronaut Buzz Aldrin encouraged the development of the International MoonBase as a valuable gateway to Mars during his keynote address.

A permanently settled base on the lunar surface, financed through public/private partnerships, can be a catalyst to create a profitable Earth-Moon economic sphere that offers a wide range of socio-economic benefits to all humankind.

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Revolutionary new developments in the commercial space marketplace—from reductions in launch costs to technology advances in robotics and additive manufacturing—make it an opportune time to begin work on a lunar base.

NASA’s plans for a Deep Space Gateway in orbit around the moon will create an environment for international and public/private collaboration to establish the infrastructure needed for long-term lunar development.

“Because of its geography, geology and culture, Hawai‘i is the perfect place to build a MoonBase prototype,” said Henk Rogers, a successful entrepreneur based in Hawai‘i and the organizer of the IMS. “We will build a MoonBase on our moon within the next decade.”

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MoonBase Mahina Lani (Moon Heaven) is the key to long-term sustainable life on our fragile blue planet,” said Rogers.

Focused on the compelling fact that the “next generation must be involved,” Rogers brought more than a dozen talented students to the summit who contributed their academic rigor, creativity and e citing perspectives that ultimately will be responsible for sustaining the Earth-Moon economy jum started by the International MoonBase.

“Participating in the IMS has given me an opportunity to be part of the next step for humankind and contribute to a better future for us all,” said Madori Rumpungworn, a freshman at the University Hawai‘i pursuing a degree in engineering. “I’d love to show more people like me that they can help shape a positive future, too.”

Working groups at the Summit focused on addressing key issues in the areas of:

  • commercialization and business dynamics for economic success
  • organizational structure and public-private partnership models
  • design and architectural principles
  • cultural and philosophical guidelines for planetary settlement
  • geological/geographic considerations for location of the IMB and its terrestrial
    analog
  • surface systems to build and operate the IMB
  • public engagement and educational opportunities

The three key decisions resulting from the summit are:

  1. The International MoonBase will be located close to one of the moon’s poles to enable access to the abundant lunar resources that exist there.
  2. The terrestrial analog for the International MoonBase will be located on Hawai‘i Island to take advantage of the island’s many features that mimic the lunar surface.
  3. The Mahina Lani Simulator is envisioned to be funded by an innovative, self-sustaining model.

A master plan, scheduled to be drafted in the spring of 2018, will also include a large number of issues that will be the subject of trade studies in the months ahead.

A 3-D model of the International MoonBase that will provide the public with a high-fidelity look at the layout of the base is in development.

About the International MoonBase Summit (IMS)
“Where do we go next? To the Moon!” The International MoonBase Summit sought to enable the development of MoonBase prototypes on Earth, followed by a sustainable settlement on the Moon. IMS delegates focused on identifying essential resources, and technological and organizational capabilities, required to enable and sustain lunar-based operations. Through the promotion of both international collaborations and public-private partnerships, the IMS hopes to reduce the costs, enhance the benefits, and accelerate timetables for lunar settlements.

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