The first Lunar Declaration was unveiled in 1999 at an earlier Lunar Development Conference. It also appeared in the essay anthology “Return to the Moon” edited by Rick Tumlinson. With the re-booting of our first series (some 14 years later) it seemed useful to revisit it. This new version is updated and simplified.
First explored by human beings several decades ago and given its proximity to our home world, its location on the edge of the Near and Far Frontiers of human exploration, its bountiful resources, its ability to serve as a platform for further exploration and as a nearby location for our first human habitats on another planet, we believe the Moon represents the next and most vital step for humanity as we expand beyond Earth orbit.
Be it as a training location for future human explorers of Mars and other worlds, a supplier of resources for the development and benefit of humanity on and beyond the Earth, a home to observatories that will probe the cosmos, a location for commercial enterprises, or simply as land to be settled by individuals who are willing to stake their lives and fortunes to open its bounties and spread the seeds of Earth life; the Moon is the obvious choice for our first new home beyond the Earth.
Returning to the Moon also represents a new opportunity for an unprecedented partnership between the public and private sectors of all the free nations, which will result in giant leaps in science and creating opportunities for new generations to both define and be part of the opening of a new frontier, this time led by a united humanity, taken from no one and given to all.
We believe there is an appropriate role for all in this endeavour, with private industry both providing services and supporting operations while developing a new industrial economy, and governments providing a legal and regulatory environment and acting as a good customer as they fulfill their quest for knowledge and their legitimate needs to develop the technologies and systems necessary to explore the far frontier of Mars and worlds beyond.
Respecting the rights of all who go there, the sacredness she holds for all who look up to see her in the sky, the historic importance of those locations on her where humans first explored, and the need to assure that our sister world be the first place beyond Earth where we begin a new age of humanity based on the knowledge and learning of our history until this moment, and our commitment to learn from and apply ourselves to new ways of being, with each other and the bounteous offerings of the universe around us; this new Moon will be a beacon of hope for all, as they will be able to simply look upwards into the night sky and see among the stars life and humanity’s first new world beyond the Earth.
Recognizing it is the dawn of a new millennium, and having come out of and yet facing new challenges to our society, the human spirit cries out for new beginnings;
Recognizing the need for new challenges to the human spirit, new domains for the exploration of human freedoms and the need to alleviate the rapidly growing pressures on our biosphere and natural systems;
Recognizing humanity has developed the ability to routinely access and utilize the space near Earth and maintain human habitation in the space environment;
We the citizens of Earth, do hereby declare that it is the duty and responsibility of our species to expand our civilization and the biosphere of our home world outwards into space.
In support of this goal, and to assure it is both supportable and unstoppable, we declare it is imperative that humanity establish permanent communities on the Moon.
While each and all may have their own reasons, we consider prime among them the following:
Its location in the night sky of Earth, serving as it has for all time as a beacon and constant reminder our relationship to the cosmos,
Its proximity to our home world, enabling constant communications and commerce,
Its bountiful resources, to be harvested in support of the needs of Earth and our further drive outwards,
Its ability to serve as a laboratory for science and exploration, both of the future and history of our Solar System and as a platform to observe the universe,
Its environment, giving humanity a place to learn how to survive and thrive on other worlds in space.
Its offering as a place where for the first time humanity can open a new frontier that expands the domain of life, taken from no one and given to all.
Therefore, we call on the people of Earth and its governments, industries and institutions, each acting in their interests and playing their own roles, to join together in a renewed and united effort to seek synergies, mold a new unified approach to opening the frontier, and create the financial, legal and policy incentives that will catalyze this effort and assure its success.
We the undersigned, citizens of Earth, do hereby declare it is time to Return to the Moon.
This Time to Stay.
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