Vienna, Austria – (September 12, 2019) – The Moon Village Association (MVA) aims to encourage peaceful, co-operative global exploration and settlement of the Moon. The general public is an important stakeholder of the MVA, so proposing activities that interest and inspire global citizens is a major step in getting them involved.
The MVA is now pursuing this aim through the development and launch of payloads to the lunar surface, fostering global cooperation and inspiring the public.
The first payload the MVA has chosen to develop will consist of one or more cameras delivered to the surface of the Moon. In addition to other scientific and commercial instruments, the camera(s) will have a significant cultural objective: they will look back at our planet with the goal to allow people from anywhere on Earth to experience the famous “Overview Effect.” The images will be distributed via the MVA website.
A psychological effect experienced by astronauts seeing the Earth from Space, the Overview Effect was first widely experienced by people’s first glimpse of pictures taken during the Apollo missions. These drove home the unavoidable unity and connectedness of everything on the planet, and this effect has been at the root of many environmental and other movements. The Overview Effect embodies in the best possible way the spirit of cooperation that the Moon Village will require. Recreating it for a new generation of people will be a powerful way to raise awareness of Moon exploration and development, and its relevance to Earth’s sustainable development. The realization of a Moon Village would restart the journey from where we left it fifty years ago and move it forward.
Future MVA payloads, more oriented to test new technologies and specific ways of cooperating in the Moon Village, will be defined at a later stage. This first payload is considered a pilot project. As such, it will be used to evaluate and maximize the cultural, scientific and commercial returns of these future missions. Especially interesting is how the public might take advantage of these capabilities, and the MVA is reaching out for ideas and collaborations, both ahead of the mission launch, and relating to the use of mission data afterwards.
The imaging payload will be small and as simple as possible and will be carried on a lunar lander – to be announced later – during a mission that would occur within the next two to three years. The lifetime of the camera may be limited to one lunar day, or fourteen Earth days, depending on the lander capabilities.
Talking about the project, the President of the Moon Village Association, Giuseppe Reibaldi, stressed that “The first MVA payload is the start of a new modus operandi of the Association aiming to foster cooperation with concrete projects not undertaken by other organizations.”
The Project Team has been set up and is composed of members from twelve countries. These volunteers, all individual members of the MVA with a keen interest in space exploration and in setting up the lunar economy, will develop the payload without being located in the same place.
Several Institutional MVA members have also expressed interest in supporting the project with in-kind contributions: Sen Corporation Ltd (Sen, GB), Office of Other Spaces (Australia), International Space University (F), Lockheed-Martin (USA), Cyprus Space Exploration Organisation (CSEO, Cyprus), SpaceBit (UK), The Space Treaty Project (USA).
The Project Manager who leads the team, Liza Koumi, said: “There is a lot of talent in the world, most of it not in the Space Sector. Projects enabling this talent to work alongside space industry experts will open up avenues for innovation by combining knowledge across professional fields. I want to see this distributed team of volunteers successfully put together the first MVA payload mission, and we are looking forward to the scientific and commercial ideas that will come out of the experience.”
The Moon Village Association has started all necessary actions to ensure the successful implementation of this project. Details will be provided at the upcoming 3rd International Moon Village Workshop & Symposium planned in Japan from 5 to 8 December. Regular updates will be available on MVA website.
About the Moon Village Association
The Moon Village Association (MVA) began in 2017 as non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Vienna. Its goal is the creation of a permanent global informal forum for stakeholders like governments, industry, academia, and the general public interested in the development of an enduring human presence and activity on the Moon. The MVA fosters cooperation for existing or planned moon exploration programs, be they public or private initiatives. It comprises approximately 250 individual and 27 institutional members from more than 40 countries, representing a diverse array of technical, scientific, cultural and interdisciplinary fields. MVA partners with non-space organizations to promote international discussions and formulation of plans to foster the development of a responsible and sustainable human presence on the Moon and is creating international, national and regional networks to engage civil society around the world.
For more information on MVA and how to become involved in the Association, please visit: www.moonvillageassociation.org