• Daniyar Kylyzhov

Results of Moon Dialogs online conferences on attracting organizations for flights to the Moon

Moon Dialogs, a community dedicated to engaging organizations interested in lunar exploration, took stock of its Zoom sessions throughout 2020. Over the past year, Moon Dialogs members have held nine conferences and discussed the issues of dividing the Moon into zones, finding new community members, and recycling space debris.

Among the participant's Moon the Dialogs - Foundation "A Safer World" (non-governmental organization promoting the idea of safe and peaceful uses of outer space), Arizona State University, "Open Moon Fund", Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the magazine Spacewatch Global and non-profit organization For All Moonkind.

As the participants point out, as interest in the return of people to the moon grows, attention to space issues also grows. Human activities on the moon, as noted by members of the Moon Dialogs, will most likely be related to scientific research, commerce, and the preservation of historical heritage such as the Apollo landing sites. This means that the different teams of researchers who will work on the moon may have to divide it up into zones dedicated to different activities.

Moon Dialogs emphasizes that areas, where scientific research will take place, will need to be protected from biological contamination. In addition, one problem is that as a result of activity on the lunar surface, moondust plumes can appear.

Moondust can be dangerous to humans, as its sharp edges are not smoothed out due to the lack of wind. It is irritating to the eyes and mucous membranes and can damage spacesuits and equipment. As Chris Johnson of the Safe World Foundation pointed out, lunar dust plumes can be mitigated or prevented by using landing pads such as NASA is proposing to create from aluminum spray.

Also, the Moon Dialogs participants proposed to send space debris to the Moon, which is currently in low-Earth orbit. On the moon, it can be processed into the necessary equipment. This will remove the need to send large amounts of equipment from Earth.

Yoav Landsman, CEO of Moonscape, stressed that it is important for future conferences to include stakeholders from around the world, in particular China. Chinese experts are not currently participating in Moon Dialogs.

Finally, in June 2021, a special issue of Space Law Magazine will focus on what the exploration of the moon will look like in the near future. Moon Dialogs sessions, both formal and informal, will run throughout 2021.

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