NASA will establish
a sustainable human presence on and around the Moon with by the end of the decade
with a variety of partners as part of the Artemis
program. Building on the agency’s surface
sustainability concept released earlier this year, leaders at NASA’s Johnson
Space Center in Houston partnered with Texas A&M University and Rice
University’s Baker’s Institute to bring together government, industry, and
academia to host the first Lunar Exploration Forum.
forum served as an opportunity for local stakeholders to discuss opportunities
of exploration, commercial enterprise, and scientific research on the Moon.
“NASA leads the
globe in research, strategy, mission planning, systems development, integration
and investment for the future of human space exploration. We look forward to
establishing a long-term presence in deep space with partners old and new,”
said Mark Geyer, director of NASA Johnson. “By collaborating with academia and
industry, we will accomplish our exploration goals and also enable a growing
lunar economy that will be able to sustain itself as we set our sights on farther
destinations – including Mars.”
a dialogue about potential lunar landing sites, scientific research goals, and
the capabilities necessary to build a sustainable human lunar presence, NASA continues
to refine its scientific and human exploration Artemis plans, which have an
added benefit of stimulating economic benefits at the Moon.
forum, NASA received interest from commercial and academic entities seeking
opportunities to work with the agency to develop a lunar outpost at the Moon’s
South Pole. The findings from the forum are being distilled into a white paper
that will provide insights into the enablers and roadblocks to a sustainable
lunar exploration plan.
Institute for Public Policy at Rice University was very pleased to join NASA
and Texas A&M University in sponsoring the Lunar Forum," said George
Abbey, senior fellow in space policy at the Baker Institute. "As we return
once more to the moon, there are many opportunities for both government and
industry and for international cooperation. The Lunar Forum will hopefully lead
to the definition and realization of those opportunities."
of this partnership approach has been highlighted this year, as the International
Space Station is approaching 20 years of continuous habitation, underscoring
the importance of global partnerships, and the successful launch of SpaceX DM-2
to station, further demonstrating the success that NASA has had working with
commercial partners and creating a low-Earth orbit economy.
partners see this as another opportunity to come together and develop a world
changing partnership, similar to the success of the space station.
“Everyone at the Texas A&M System appreciates
being part of the 2020 NASA Lunar Exploration Forum. We look forward to seeing
all the talented participants on campus at Texas A&M University next year,”
said Chancellor John Sharp of The Texas A&M University System. “We are
proud to be part of this historic effort, and we are here to do whatever we can
to put Americans back to the moon.”
The success of
the forum has resulted in heightened anticipation for a potential follow-on meeting
targeted for late spring 2021.
about NASA’s Artemis program: https://www.nasa.gov/artemis