Credit: NASA

A new Global Exploration Roadmap (GER) to be issued early next year will detail international strategies for returning to the Moon.

One aspect of the roadmap is how best governments can work with commercial companies to provide communications relay services, as well as early delivery of cargo/scientific instruments to the lunar surface. A major thrust is utilization of the Moon’s resources.

These and other return to the Moon plans were detailed during a NASA community workshop on the GER, held November 29-30 at the space agency’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California.

Phased approach

The GER is a publication authored by NASA and the other 14 space agencies that comprise the International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG). The roadmap outlines a phased approach to achieving the common goal of sending humans to the surface of Mars.

The next road map will outline a “common pathway,” for multiple nations to return to the Moon, for exploration, science, and begin applying resource utilization strategies, explains Kathy Laurini, NASA senior advisor for exploration and space operations, and current chair of the ISECG.

Credit: NASA

Start small

NASA itself is pushing forward on working with commercial companies to help anchor its “new found interest in the moon” – a strategy that will start small and is expected to grow over time.

Like NASA, the European Space Agency is appraising partnership links to private firms that have the Moon in their sights.

The third version of the GER is planned for publication in early 2018. The most recent version was published in 2013, and is accessible at:

https://go.nasa.gov/1oRhy1z

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