New project aims to explore responsible use of the Moon with grant from New Frontiers in Research Fund

Professor Michael Byers will explore how to promote responsible exploration of the Moon as more countries develop Moon programs, thanks to a new $250,000 grant from the 2023 Exploration Competition.

The project will be conducted in partnership with Professor Aaron Boley of UBC Physics & Astronomy, who along with Professor Byers is a co-director at the Outer Space Institute.

The grant comes from the Exploration stream of the Government of Canada’s New Frontiers in Research Fund, which aims to inspire high-risk, high-reward, and interdisciplinary research that pushes boundaries into new areas. Exploration grants support projects that bring together disciplines beyond common interdisciplinary approaches and propose to explore a new area with significant impacts.

Professors Byers and Boley’s project will explore practical and diplomatic solutions for avoiding conflict and promoting responsible exploration and use of the Moon.

Numerous countries now have Moon programs, including China, India, Russia, the United States, and Canada. Some of them are motivated by science; others by the economic potential of lunar resources. While the Moon is large, the areas of greatest interest are relatively small, which means that coordination will be required. This project will examine the implications.