Analogues for preparing robotic and human exploration on the moon – needs and concepts

September 2014 – October 2015
European Space Agency (ESA) general study

In view of lunar exploration, which is foreseen to be one of the next steps in human space exploration, lunar analogues are, and will continue to be, powerful tools to support the development, demonstration and validation of new technologies and operational concepts. Furthermore, lunar analogues will serve as training environments for astronauts and will engage the public with interesting and exciting mission simulations well before actual missions take place.

The purpose of the Artificial Lunar Analogues study is threefold:

1)  To identify gaps in lunar analogue capacity (Europe and worldwide) with respect to the demands for such analogues in reference to current exploration roadmaps.
2)  To identify means to close these gaps, considering both opportunities to exploit synergies with existing relevant lunar analogue facilities and the establishment of new lunar analogues.
3)  To draft technical, utilisation and implementation concepts for the selected lunar analogue(s).

Executive Summary (pdf)

Consortium partners  Space Applications Services – Belgium / COMEX – France / LIQUIFER Systems Group – Austria

LIQUIFER team   Susmita Mohanty, Barbara Imhof, Molly Hogle

Image credit: LUNA Consortium 2015, visualization: LIQUIFER Systems Group