Luna Gaia: Minimal capabilities required for a self-sustainable lunar settlement

Alfredo Agenjo, Masataro Amano, Simon Auclair, Francesc Betorz, James Chartres, Deng Yibing, Stephen Eisele, Martin Gagnon, Natalie Galley, Nil Garcia, Jean Francois Gauthier, Tracy Gill, Kieran Griffith, Guo Zhonglai, Daryn T. Harkins, David T. Haslam, Ting Ho Kwan, Adam King, Violetta Kuvaeva, Scott MacPheeHugues Wilfrid Mbezal, Michelle Murray, Padraig O'Gallachoir, Jonathan J. O'Regan, Noriyuki Onoue, Shabnam Ozlati, Sarah Jane Pell, Sara Poirier, Hidemi Takahashi, Yumiko Tateshita, Erin Tranfield, Jeroen Vandersteen, William Marshall, Robbie Schingler, Mark Lupisella

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review


To achieve self-sustainability on the lunar surface, a human outpost will require the capability to replace all critical life-support materials and technologies after the initial transport of supplies and infrastructure from Earth. This paper analyzes architectures to optimize time and resources (such as mass to Lunar surface) to achieve self-sustainability. A timeline identifies the critical path and maps necessary technologies that are both currently available and need to be developed to enable the local replacement of all critical life-support technologies. These requirements should be a key consideration in the priorities and planning for Lunar exploration efforts, and in this context the paper discusses how these requirements can be incorporated into the exploration architecture. Luna Gaia posits a pathway towards new technologies, philosophies, systems applications and infrastructure aimed at achieving a closed loop habitat model for human settlement on the Moon. This report makes recommendations pertaining to the systems architecture, engineering processes, and the research, development and orchestration of separate phased precursor missions which will be required to achieve this vision by the year 2030. The framework that we propose is designed to support an ideal profile of an optimum 11 (maximum 12) member human crew on the lunar surface for a period of 18 - 36 months. The Luna Gaia design solutions focus on the coupling power for all regenerative processes of a network of closed loop life support. Using proven and innovative solutions that produce relatively independent and highly reliable cycles of oxygen, water, energy, food growth and waste processing, the modular, hybrid bioregenerative network of systems particular to the Luna Gaia design architecture is ambitious but feasible. This report also details ethical and philosophical considerations of lunar settlement and the wider implications for international law, policy and future interplanetary social governance. The authors intend to evolve the current status of thought and practice on these issues to consider new and responsible configurations of resource assets - on Earth and the Moon - and to inspire the will and confidence necessary to propel humanity, and its technology, towards the next frontier of lunar settlement. The management principles are sound, the Earth-based applications are considered and the legal frameworks have been clearly defined. Certain risks are apparent but there are significant opportunities and benefits which will occur. More importantly, the project vision is consistent with the preservation of life and responsible evolution into the solar system. We appeal to interested agencies and research organizations to support the Luna Gaia Vision and to encourage author participation in advancing these mission studies. Luna Gaia affirms our commitment to global participation in the extension of human presence on the Moon, and beyond.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIAA 57th International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2006
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Astronautical Congress (IAC) 2006 - Valencia, Spain
Duration: 2 Oct 20066 Oct 2006
Conference number: 57th

Publication series

NameAIAA 57th International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2006


ConferenceInternational Astronautical Congress (IAC) 2006
Abbreviated titleIAC 2006

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