|Tuesday / 2 May 2006|
Sustainable Lunar Development Key Factors: Internationalism and Commercialism. NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale says lunar commerce is an essential part of the VSE. Last Friday, Dale and other NASA officials commented on a four-day strategy workshop billed as the first meeting to determine what humans will do back on the Moon. "The teams recognize the critical importance of space commerce -- having real companies going to the Moon and making money. The government needs to be a trailblazer and enabler [with] a desire to see commerce take off. Other essentials for a global space strategy include public involvement and participation by international partners," Dale said. The event, which took place in Washington DC, was attended by 200 people from 13 countries, including representatives from international government agencies, aerospace industry contractors, educational institutions, and entrepreneurial space commerce firms. Numerous ideas for making money on the Moon were discussed. Also, the experts raised questions about the establishment of a government, laws, lunar property rights, and interoperability standards for enabling hardware from various countries to work together. Other topics covered the testing of technologies for electrical-power production and the types of science that could be carried out on the lunar surface. The dialog will continue at space venues throughout the year, perhaps at 'Industry Space Days 2006' on 29 May in Noordwijk, The Netherlands.