Image credit: Moon Dialogs

A Lunar Policy Handbook outlines the current policy issues, including registration, liability, and transparency. A second part targets policy questions related to operational considerations. It follows an approach that explores the potential policy implications of specific lunar activities, such as orbital, landed, and infrastructure activities.

The Lunar Policy Handbook is a reference guidebook for government personnel and private actors in the space industry. It is designed to be a high-level guide that is useful for a broad audience of space actors, outlining policy issues and operational considerations related to lunar activities.

Surge of interest

Heloise Vertadier, a space law specialist and PhD candidate at Otago University in New Zealand, explains that in recent years there has been a surge of interest in lunar activity.

“This renewed enthusiasm for the Moon is fueled by advancements in technology, reduced launch costs, greater funding for missions, and the growing awareness of the Moon’s potential as a valuable resource for humanity’s future,” Vertadier adds.

Image credit: Moon Dialogs

As humanity continues to explore the Moon, Vertadier notes, “it is important that we do so in a responsible and sustainable manner, ensuring that we preserve this unique and valuable resource for future generations.”

Taxation systems

As noted in the handbook, disagreements over lunar policy could incentivize states to utilize their taxation systems to support their interpretation and space-faring ambitions. Additional complications may also arise if an enterprise or individual claims to be resident outside of any terrestrial jurisdiction for profits taxation or asset jurisdiction, such as over intellectual property.

Artist’s view of two Artemis astronauts at work on the lunar surface.
Image credit: NASA

“Lessons were learned regarding the resources of the high seas, and Antarctica before it was too late. The same approach should be adopted regarding taxation in the lunar context,” the handbook points out.


In the short term, the handbook adds, “it may be easy to avoid discord so long as those engaged in activities on the lunar surface are transparent with respect to their locations, allowing others to avoid them.”

However, this can set a “dangerous precedent” in and of itself and can be corrupted into quasi-territorial claims, the handbook asserts.

For access to the Lunar Policy Handbook, go to:

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