. . . the European Space Agency and its Director General Jan Woerner are taking a distinctly apolitical approach to their lunar aspirations. Woerner’s vision is to build a “moon village,” or semi-permanent, multinational settlement, that could serve as a base for research or further exploration. “The original vision of Jan Woerner was to take the lessons learned about the International Space Station and apply them to the moon, and that all entities interested in going to the moon should pool our resources and create a common infrastructure,” explains Georgi Petrov, an associate director at the architecture firm SOM. “So the various people interested in going to the moon–be it scientific exploration by governments or private tourist agencies–they could all come to the same site and share into the same pool of resources.”
The ESA’s approach has included collaborations with professionals outside of the aerospace industry–and outside of Europe–to create a body of research and working knowledge that is accessible to any nation. The latest of these is a group of architects at the large, international firm SOM. Their plan is purely a research project, but figuring out how to keep people alive on a remarkably hostile planet resonates with designers on earth all the same.