What is the Lunar economy?

There has been continuous human presence in Low Earth Orbit for more than 20 years now, but not one human beyond that line since 1972. So first, with all the emphasis we place today on commercial objectives, should not forget what we are: pioneers, who venture beyond the boundaries of the ultimate frontier: space.  

We shouldn’t forget that there is something, one may even call poetic about building an economy, which is to make something anew, it’s about creating a living ecosystem.

We, collectively, are the lunar economy: space agencies, private companies, universities and students, space enthusiasts. Working together and challenging each other.  

An economy is about exchanges, relationships, it’s about learning how to work together, across different nations, cultures and languages. It’s about making things that are useful for others, because nobody can make a business without making something that is needed. An economy is about solving problems and the lunar economy is not different in this respect. Its challenges are sure quite difficult, some barriers are higher, but by exercising our collective capability to solve these challenges we will make the lunar economy a reality. And more: this effort towards the lunar economy can be an international sandbox for human ingenuity.   

The challenges we face to explore the Moon and to make our presence on the Moon long-lasting this time, will be invaluable fuel for innovation and imagination. And God we need all our innovation and imagination, and courage, to reboot planet Earth and all our society as we know it, to solve the challenges of our times, of which climate change is just one of its names. So, to kickstart this lunar workshop, I would like to make a wish, that we keep this thought with us while we are building the lunar economy:  

Every time we do something new, we have the opportunity to make it better. 
Let’s make it count! 

What took place in the workshop:

Workshop organised by

The Lunar Economy Workshop held during the Space for Inspiration conference was an opportunity to take stock of the current status of development of the lunar economy.  

17 different entities took active part in the workshop, ranging from Space Agency (NASA), to commercial companies, small and large, start-ups, non-for-profit entities and academic organisations.  

The collectively represent the diverse community that is working on the development of the lunar economy.  

We celebrated the success story of the Lunar Pathfinder services, the first lunar communication relay services set to be launched in 2025 thanks to the commercial partnership between ESA and Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) and enabled by NASA, who will provide a rideshare for the Lunar Pathfinder spacecraft to reach the designated orbit.  

Lunar Pathfinder: A successful partnership for a successful launch

Presentations given during the workshop:

We heard from the best ideas awarded for the Lunar Communication and Navigation Services (LCNS) Call for ideas and use cases:  

We learned more from the potential lunar payload delivery services in Europe: 

We shared the news about the next steps for the winners of the ESA Lunar Robotic Challenge:

Finally, a panel discussion.

We hosted a final panel discussion on the future perspectives of the lunar economy with: 


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The 'Space for Inspiration' Event

The event took place on 12th – 13th July 2022, gathering over 300+ participants, both physically and online.

Participants from all areas of the space sector came together to shape the future of commercial space exploration.

There were 2 days of inspiring talks, engaging roundtable discussions and interactive workshops with the aim to:

  • Learn more about commercialisation initiatives
  • Discover new opportunities to grow their businesses
  • Shape the LEO and Lunar Economy
  • Develop new partnerships with European and international partners
  • Network with key players in the space industry
  • Meet ESA’s Commercial Partners and the BSGN Industry Accelerators
Learn more about the event