In 2015, the director general of the European Space Agency (ESA), Jan Wörner, introduced the concept of the “Moon Village.” Inspired by the unparalleled level of cooperation achieved by the International Space Station, the Moon Village represents an extension of this paradigm of deep space activities. It is a vision to apply international cooperative principles to exploration beyond low Earth orbit.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in collaboration with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and the European Space Agency, are investigating concepts for the first permanent human settlement on the lunar surface. This collaboration aims to demonstrate the potential of an international private-public partnership to advance human space exploration through cross-disciplinary cooperation.
The Moon Village project presents a holistic approach to the planning of a lunar development, centering on the need for habitation systems, designed as adaptive space environments to enable versatile surface operations. The team has proposed a design located near the South Pole where there is a convergence of resources such as near perpetual light, as well as water ice in the nearby permanently shaded craters, in order to maximize in-situ resource utilization.