Popular potential uses of the far side of the moon include radio telescopes & mining for Helium-3 (good potential for use as a fuel in fusion reactors). These two activities are not necessarily mutually complementary.

There are terrestrial examples of areas that are selected purely for their complementary attributes of reasonable accessibility and otherwise are relatively undesirable locations, such as in the Mojave Desert with "Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex" (seeks relative quiet for study) and "Fort Irwin National Training Center" (seeks seclusion for military training). Experience with these indicates that competition for non-complementary use of such space needs to be proactively managed for mutual use to be practical.

Is there any existing organization that would work to manage these types of projects appropriately?

It would seem that with proper management, these two examples could be mutually helpful, but without it could be unpleasant at best.

  • $\begingroup$ I would imagine government, mostly. $\endgroup$
    – user12
    Commented Jul 21, 2013 at 13:57
  • $\begingroup$ After the Chinese land an automated AAA gun they will own the whole thing. Seriously. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 23:34

1 Answer 1


The website report An International Lunar Farside Observatory and Science Station based on a design project by the International Space University looked at one aspect of a lunar-farside operation, that being an array of observatories. The website draws on existing examples.

In terms of management, the findings of this project emphasised that

Previous international collaborations have taught that projects should be well-defined with self-contained phases, should have explicit technical and political objectives, and should be true partnerships with equitable sharing of decision-making.

They state that while initial management responsibilities in the construction and logistics would be in the hands of the various space agencies; however, the final phases

must be maintained by some supranational entity to maintain the sense of international cooperation. An appropriate structure might be similar to the Interagency Consultative Group (IACG), which coordinated studies of Halley's Comet and now oversees the Solar Terrestrial Science Project. The IACG coordination is largely informal, taking advantage of the collaborative culture of the international scientific community.

(Perhaps, even a Space.SE type collaboration).

The installation, use and management of the array would also need to be under the auspices of an international group

Scientific utilization of the preliminary phase instruments probably will be done through the Principal Investigator (PI) model. However, the primary phase instruments will be regarded as international facilities similar to observatories. A managing organization will be set up to evaluate scientific proposals for observing time, to schedule the instruments, and to operate the facility. The model for this organization is the Space Telescope Science Institute.


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