The Moon Village Association (MVA) has been recently created as non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Vienna. Its goal is the creation of a permanent global informal forum for stakeholders like governments, industry, academia and the public interested in the development of the Moon Village. The MVA fosters cooperation for existing or planned global moon exploration programs, be they public or private initiatives. It comprises approximately 150 members from more than 34 countries around the globe, representing a diverse array of technical, scientific, cultural and interdisciplinary fields.
MVA partners with non-space organizations to promote international discussions and formulation of plans to foster the implementation of the Moon Village and is creating international, national and regional networks to engage civil society around the world.
Moon Village’ is a concept that seeks to transform the paradigm shift referred to unprecedented international cooperation in space exploration and the new approaches of Moon exploration and exploitation into a set of concrete actions and create an environment where both international cooperation and the commercialization of space can thrive in a sustainable manner.Moon Village brings together efforts from the private sector, governments, academics and others to explore and use the Moon in a sustainable manner. Realizing the Moon Village will be a major step forward for the peaceful development of humankind.
The Moon Village is not a literal village on the Moon, it is not an International Space Station on the Moon, and it is not a single science facility. Rather, it is a diverse community of projects carried out by stakeholders from different fields (for example, technical, scientific, cultural, economic) working together under the auspices of lean coordination mechanisms and/or common standards (i.e., technical, and ethical), and globally harmonizing existing resources to reach further-term aims. It acts as a catalyst for new alliances between public and private entities, including non-space industries and operators. Additionally, the Moon Village will provide a strong inspirational and educational foundation for future generations.
A basic feature of the Moon Village is the principal of broad international cooperation. Through this, it can catalyze government, scientific research, education, and industry activities globally, stimulating a virtuous cycle of economic development by all and for all, which represents a key factor for the peaceful future of humankind. The Moon Village concept comprises a wide range of activities, with elements ranging across automatic/robotic activities, human-tended operations and eventual human settlement to achieve sustainable lunar orbital and surface operations, serving multiple purposes on an open-architecture basis. Government and private funding will provide the resources to build necessary equipment and facilities by industry allowing scientific research and creation of new products and services. The infrastructure to be built will also foster the creation of a governance
and contractual framework to support the economy of new markets. Specifically, a significant value of the Moon Village will be its role as a proving ground for missions further out in the solar system.
The Moon Village Association was founded as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), registered in Vienna in 2017 with the aim of fostering the realization of the Moon Village.
The Moon Village being global by definition needs to be brought on the political agenda of as many national governments and private sector organizations as possible. This task requires communication of the Moon Village with all major parts of the society with the goal of engaging them in its implementation. The Moon Village Association provides a platform and takes actions supporting communications and cooperation among all elements of the human society vis-à-vis the Moon Village, including both space-faring and not space-faring countries and offers them the opportunity to play a role in its realization.
There is no other organization on the international scene having such a mission.
The political implications and importance of the Moon Village demands of necessity that it involve a broad spectrum of stakeholders beyond the usual space community: including the industrial and financial sectors, the scientific community, media, the entertainment sector, the artistic and literary communities, educators, and others.
However, first and foremost the MVA establishes relations with those who are, or plan to be active participants in the exploration, development and eventual settlement of the Moon. They include leading space agencies working in cooperation (e.g., ISECG, ISEF, ILEWG) on various specific programs for lunar exploration, as well as private companies investing in lunar technology. These programs and plans provide the most concrete arguments to be employed in convincing society and diverse decision-makers of the expected benefits that may result from implementation of the Moon Village concept. At the same time, the MVA represents a network helping to build relationships among space and non-space actors to make their mutual communication more efficient and results more successful.
In particular, the MVA seeks to:
- Consolidate a compelling shared vision of the Moon Village that fosters a sense of belonging and inspires a group of people to create it together.
- Support the creation of a new open dynamic that includes ideas from space agencies, commercial space, donors, philanthropists, and citizens from all countries.
- Stimulate global awareness of the prospective benefits of the Moon Village, with arguments about how individuals, countries, regions, and the environment will benefit from establishing a permanent presence on and near the Moon.
- Facilitate discussions with financial industry experts and entities with the goal of establishing the necessary financial means to support the development of the Moon Village and associated economic activities.
- Create a paradigm shift in how international space missions are being designed – toward faster, lower cost, more creative and collaborative approaches.
- Foster the Moon Village vision to society at large to engage citizen worldwide.
- Act as a representative of the civil society and international space community in the decision-making process which is assessing or related to the Moon Village concept.
Hereafter are the main features of the Moon Village Association:
- Neutral: Politically neutral, which means that no organization or country will have a predominant role in opportunity to participate in formulation of the Moon Village concept.
- Global: Global endeavor that aims to promote the participation from as many countries as possible, including those countries who do not have the budget to contribute with hardware to the MVA but that can contribute with ideas, capacity building, and awareness efforts.
- Inclusive: It is inclusive of all disciplines from scientific to humanistic. It endorses a holistic approach to the next giant step of Humankind.
- Cooperative: It seeks to avoid duplication of efforts with other stakeholders like Space Agencies and industries, but encourages creation of synergies on all Moon-related topics by providing a forum among all stakeholders.
- Not formal: Participation is largely informal, meaning that governments and Space Agencies can join with an in-kind contribution only, and no requirement for a formal ratification of activities or need to elaborate official policy positions.
- Consensus building: Will help to create a consensus on different topics. For example, by reaching an agreement on a standard for Moon mission’s communication or rule of cooperation without any formal bilateral agreements by the stakeholders.
- Participative: Open to all stakeholders including the public. The public has always been excluded in the creation and implementation of space programs. The MVA aims to involve the public in the definition of the MVA by creating awareness and opening the possibility for individuals to join in.
- Autonomous: Funded via individual and institutional membership and also through the sponsorship of events.
- Unique Platform: Similar platforms exist, but are mainly thematic organizations like the LEAG (Lunar Exploration Advisory Council), which are mainly scientific as well as others involving space agencies (i.e. ISECG, ISEF, ILEWG) but none of those have a ‘all in one’ approach.