Title

What Should We Do with Our Moon?: Ethics and Policy for Establishing International Multiuse Lunar Land Reserves

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-1-2022

Department

Philosophy and Religion

School

Humanities

Abstract

The planned expansion of the human presence on our moon demands that we reconsider our relationships with our planet’s partner. Threats to the moon such as those engendered by mining encourage the preservation of various precious areas of our moon’s surface through the emplacement of international multiuse land reserves. These reserves, arising from tested environmental science strategies as well as values drawn from the ethnographic field, allow concurrent pursuits of industry, science, environmental preservation, respect for human cultural landscapes, as well as future recreation. By protecting the near side patterns in the moon, the Hertzsprung and Von Kármán Craters on the far side, and polar regions at Malapert, Peary, and Florey, we leave room for industry while also avoiding pointless losses of the moon’s own majesty or damage to ourselves in our interactions with the moon. In creating these reserves in line with the Outer Space Treaty, we move closer to the desirable environmental justice outcome in which each human theoretically has a say in the fate of our moon, which is the cultural heritage of every one of us.

Publication Title

Space Policy

Volume

59

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