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The Geopolitical Situation with respect to Luna

Military Considerations

Industry on Luna can be used to develop more industry until there is sufficient industry to build a mass driver. Such a level of industry could be converted to various military uses that it does not take a genius figure out. It could not be converted to an advantage of one nation over another because of the extreme vulnerability of lunar industry to attack if the United States, Russia, China, or the European Union decided they did not like the industry. There are international agreements that prohibit using Luna for military purposes. If a nation did so anyway it would give other nations justification to interfere; by diplomatic means preferably. The only thing necessary to completely nullify the military potential of Luna for quite a great number of years is that more than one nation be aware of the nature of developments on Luna. Since the situation is well known, those nations that can keep track of lunar developments will, and no nation will try to use Luna for military purposes. It is in the best interest of humanity for nations to formalize specific agreements on sharing information about activities in outer space to the extent that nations will be assured that outer space is not being used for offensive military purposes.


Both Russia and China lacked absolute certainty that the United States had not been secretly building an industrial base on Luna for the last twenty years. It is a far fetched idea, but how can they be satisfied that some interplanetary missions that were lost were not actually cover for the bulk of the mission to be diverted secretly to Luna? The Japanese Selene mission would have noticed any dangerous development by now. So those responsible for monitoring developments on Luna for the United States, Russia, and China can comfortably devote their attention to other matters for the next five years and then have another look.

Economic Considerations

The potential for economic development on Luna is astronomical, but the time required for first return on investment is such that no person investing today will see it. Worse yet, the exact time of first return is not well known. The natural agent to invest in Luna is a sovereign nation, at least in the beginning. Those who handle the decisions of how to develop Luna are not strongly motivated to be efficient, because someone who succeeds them in office years from now will get the credit if things go well. Those in charge now do not expect to be blamed for failure in their lifetimes, if they at least put on a good show. So there is a predominance of show over substance. The Lunarpedia community is limited in what it can do to further colonization of Luna. We can put forth a view of what constitutes reasonable development of Luna, perhaps influence officials and the general public to support reasonable policy, and carry out privately such Lunar development of which we are capable.

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