MAPEX Research Highlights

Human habitats: prospects for infrastructure supporting astronomy from the Moon

C. Heinicke and B. Foing

Philosophical Transactions A  379 (2021) , 2188

doi: 10.1098/rsta.2019.0568

There is strong interest in lunar exploration from governmental space agencies, private companies and the public. NASA is about to send humans to the lunar surface again within the next few years, and ESA has proposed the concept of the Moon Village, with the goal of a sustainable human presence and activity on the lunar surface. Although construction of the infrastructure for this permanent human settlement is envisaged for the end of this decade by many, there is no definite mission plan yet. While this may be unsatisfactory for the impatient, this fact actually carries great potential: this is the optimal time to develop a forward-looking science input and influence mission planning. Based on data from recent missions (SMART-1, Kaguya, Chang’E, Chandrayaan-1 and LRO) as well as simulation campaigns (e.g. ILEWG EuroMoonMars), we provide initial input on how astronomy could be incorporated into a future Moon Village, and how the presence of humans (and robots) on the Moon could help deploy and maintain astronomical hardware.

 This article is part of a discussion meeting issue ‘Astronomy from the Moon: the next decades’.

© 2020 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

This publication is a result of the Humans on Mars Initiative.

Human habitat
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