The Moon, our neighbor

Why the Moon

Or should we be asking… “Why not the Moon?”

Earth’s only natural satellite – the Moon – has been patiently holding mysteries awaiting human discovery. Water – the essential resource – is available in much larger quantities than previously thought. Availability of this resource alone indicates that the recent U.S. focus on Mars has seriously underrated the strategic advantage of utilizing the Moon to substantially reduce the required launch mass of Mars missions.

It is now time to embark on preliminary research project planning for evaluation of lunar environmental conditions and quantification of resources. Several early preliminary missions will be needed to lay the foundation for future robotic and manned exploration. We are in a pivotal period where action now will greatly benefit future space exploration.

You can use the moon as a proving ground simply because there are many things … that you’ll do on any planetary or lunar mission that you can rehearse, practice and perfect by going to the moon.

Dr. Paul D. Spudis

Senior Staff Scientist, Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston


Learning to efficiently utilize the Moon's resources will be a pivotal step in enabling humanity to explore the solar system and deeper space


Oxygen and hydrogen, obtained from lunar water stores, can be transformed into rocket fuel.
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Ice may make up as much as 22% of the surface material in the Moon’s Shackleton crater located at it’s south pole.
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Mining helium-3 from the Moon might someday solve Earth’s energy problems.
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Researchers show 3D printing technology could be used to transform lunar dirt (regolith) into lunar base components.
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Humanity’s most efficient path to Mars could include a pit stop near the Moon that would dispense propellant derived from lunar water-ice.
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Lunar research and hardware stress testing – to minimize risk – should precede manned Mars missions.
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A Purdue research study indicates the possibility of stable lunar lava tubes large enough to house entire cities.
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