Sustainable return to the moon discussed at MVA/CSEO 1st online global symposium from Nicosia

The First Online Global Moon Village Association`s (MVA) Workshop and Symposium which began on Monday in Nicosia and was organised by the Cyprus Space Exploration Organisation (CSEO), highlighted the importance of humankind`s sustainable return to the Moon.


The Workshop and Symposium, which will wrap up today, presents various matters for the growth of the Moon Village community and lunar activities, discussing on-going and planned Moon programs, and bringing together stakeholders and lunar community. The audience from all over the world represents space and non-space companies, space agencies, international organizations, researchers and the wider public.


The symposium was to take place in Nicosia but due to the pandemic it is held online from Cyprus’ capital.


In his welcoming address at the official opening session, George A Danos, Chair Local Organising Committee, Moon Village Association (MVA) and President of the Cyprus Space Exploration Organisation (CSEO), said that space exploration and lunar exploration are going through a brand new golden era. He said that we live exciting times as nations from around the world prepare new missions to the moon with humanity returning to the moon to stay.


He noted that in the next years we will see moon settlements and science fiction will become science reality.


Danos said that Cyprus through its crossroads location and its long history in being a catalyser of friendship between nations, is the ideal location to gather together to take the next steps in the exploration of the moon and beyond.


He pointed out that the return to the Moon and the creation of a permanent base on the Lunar surface are major goals for humanity, goals that can be achieved through international collaboration and a uniting effort. The Moon Village Association has been instrumental in facilitating global collaboration between all relevant stakeholders, he added.


Welcoming the participants, Giuseppe Reibaldi, President, Moon Village Association (MVA) thanked CSEO saying that the event would not be possible without the work of CSEO which is the local organising committee.


He talked about the MVA which is a non-governmental organization with the goal to create a platform and bring together in a peaceful manner stake holders of the industrial, academic sectors and the space agencies as well as the public.


“Our global role of fostering international lunar cooperation and peace – is aiming to establish a common level playing field for lunar activities through the Moon Village Principles as common practices for sustainable lunar activities for lunar stakeholders, worldwide, to adopt and use in their programs”, Reibaldi said.


In addition, he noted that taking into account the fact that a number of missions will soon be launched to the moon by many stakeholders and that there is a risk that some of the missions might interfere with each other or debris might be generated in a way that would make future missions more difficult, he said that considering the above, the MVA had the initiative to set up – after a series of long discussions – the best practices for sustainable lunar activities.


He noted that this initial document was released by the MVA last March. This document, he stressed, will evolve in the future.


Reibaldi also announced the creation of a global expert group on sustainable lunar activity called GEGSLA. The goal of this group, he said, will be to hold a discussions about the definition of best practices and prepare material in due time to submit to the UN Committee on the peaceful use of outer space for further discussion and deliberation. GEGSLA will be multilateral, involving experts from space agencies, representatives of industry and academia. The composition of GEGSLA will be derived by a call for participation to be released by MVA in December. The goal to set up the group and have first results in March.


”The creation of the Global Expert Group on Sustainable Lunar Activities (GEGSLA) aims to reduce the risk of involuntary accidents, and foster peaceful global cooperation by defining common level playing field for lunar activities. For the first time, all relevant stakeholders will be engaged in multilateral informal discussions, supporting United Nations in enabling the start of sustainable lunar exploration and utilization for the benefit of humankind”, he underlined.


On behalf of the Cyprus Ministry of Foreign Affairs, its Permanent Secretary Kornelios Korneliou said that global space exploration activities are important for many sectors. He noted that Cyprus attaches great importance and seeks to play a constructive role to the discussions of a peaceful use and exploration of space.


Simonetta Di Pippo, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) – Director, said that the event is well timed and noted that we live exciting times as regards space exploration and that soon we will have a new relationship between our planet and the moon.


She noted the need for international dialogue to be strengthened and talked about the UN Outer Space Treaty to have a sustainable lunar exploration.


Mike Gold, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) – Acting Associate Administrator, talked about NASA’s Artemis programme to return to the moon and land the first woman and the next man on the moon as well as create a sustainable and permanent presence on the moon.


He talked about partnering with the private sector and building the gateway outpost around the moon. We are going to the moon to stay, he said, adding that it is important to adopt principles so that this is a peaceful mission. Gold said that the MVA can contribute in this global dialogue and pointed out that space exploration can bring humanity together. More than ever, he said, the world needs hope and optimism that lunar exploration can deliver.


Taking the floor, Jan Woerner, European Space Agency (ESA) – Director General, talked about ESA’s space exploration programme and referring to the moon, he said that the MVA is providing the best practices. He said that ESA and NASA have signed an MOU for ESA to build part of the lunar gateway. The goal, he said, is to go to the moon together and work together in a peaceful way. He talked about the importance of private companies in this endeavor.


Woerner said that within the next decade Europeans will set foot on the surface of the moon, where they will stay for longer periods and make research.


The event was also addressed by high officials of other space agencies including Umamaheswaran R., Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) – Scientific Secretary, Marius-Ioan Piso, Romanian Space Agency (ROSA) – President and CEO, COPUOS – Chairman, Hiroshi Sasaki, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) – Vice President for international space exploration, Mathias Link, Luxemburg Space Agency – Director of International Affairs and Carlos Augusto Texeira de Moura, Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) – President.


Other speakers were Cosmonaut Dumitru Prunariu Association of Space Explorers International – Former President, Niklas Hedman United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) – Chief of Committee, Policy and Legal Affairs Section, Kirk Shireman Lockheed Martin – Vice President, Lunar Exploration, Alexander Degtyarev Yuzhnoye State Design Office – General Director, Dan Hendrickson Astrobotic – Vice President, Business Development.


The participants thanked the MVA and the work it does as well as the CSEO for organizing this first Online Global Moon Village Workshop and Symposium.


More information can be found at


CNA is the media sponsor of this important symposium.


Source: Cyprus News Agency

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