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Lunar Exploration Themes and Objectives Development Process

To develop the lunar exploration themes and lunar exploration objectives, NASA initiated and coordinated an international effort to gain input from many different stakeholder groups. This process began in April 2006 with the Global Exploration Strategy workshop held at the Ronald Reagan Center in Washington, D.C., and the simultaneous release of an associated Request for Information (RFI). The workshop proceedings and RFI response were used to generate a first draft of the themes and objectives.

After it completed the first set of themes and objectives, NASA pursued input from 13 of the world's space agencies on these draft products. The agencies involved were those that expressed early interest in participating in lunar exploration. In addition to NASA, representatives from the British National Space Centre, Canadian Space Agency, Chinese National Space Agency, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Organization, European Space Agency, French National Space Agency, German Aerospace Agency, Indian Space Research Organization, Italian Space Agency, Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, Korean Aerospace Research Institute, National Space Agency of Ukraine, and Roscosmos contributed in varying degrees to this process.

Each agency was encouraged to coordinate individual national reviews of the themes and objectives. NASA Headquarters coordinated a review by interested U.S. stakeholders, including all ten NASA Centers, the NASA Advisory Council, the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group, the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group, the Space Commerce Roundtable, the NewSpace2006 Conference participants, the Next Generation Exploration Conference participants, and other experts.

NASA has consolidated all of the international and U.S. inputs into the lunar exploration themes and objectives, without identifying the source of each input and without editing to reflect NASA’s policies or plans. NASA will continue to seek input from members of the global space community as it moves forward with the Global Exploration Strategy.

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The themes and objectives are meant to capture the entire set of activities that anyone involved in lunar exploration (a space agency, private firm, university, or other) may want to pursue, as developed by the process described previously. The themes and objectives do not set forth U.S. government or NASA policy. They do not establish a set of activities that NASA or any member of the global space community intends to pursue. The themes and objectives do not reflect whether domestic legislation, international agreements, or both would be necessary to carry them out.

NASA merely facilitated development of these themes and objectives, which are simply one data set to consider as the United States and its potential international partners begin to define lunar exploration architectures.