Introducing an Academic Research in The University of Southern California (USC) Near-Term Lunar Colony Research Group (N-TLCRG) and on the Moon


USC SERC is supporting standup of a separate Group with the goal to provide the background research and data needed to create near-term, low-cost, revenue generating, commercial colonies on the surface of the Moon that, in turn, provide lunar tourism, entertainment and education, scientific research (i.e. first research into gravitational biology).

The focus will be on using this new research paradigm as a new direction for human expansion into the solar system.  The N-TLCRG is meant to be a group where individuals, companies, universities, and government organizations can work together to make things happen rapidly and efficiently.  Specifically with a common goal of making lunar colonization happen for real in the near term and at low cost.

Academic Research Focus

The overall research goal of the N-TLCRG is to provide the background investigations and data development needed to support the building of a real, near-term, growing lunar settlement that is able to be self sustaining through self revenue generation. To do this requires creating a detailed model of how such settlements can be built and how they will work.  (This does not imply that settlements will necessarily be built this way.  Better alternatives may well be found as the process proceeds.) This involves knowledge and research in a great many areas such as astronautics, economics, law, agriculture, space science, energy generation, and social marketing.  This, in turn, requires work and background knowledge of multiple individuals and groups, within a single university across departments, as well as with collaboration across multiple research universities.

Some of the initial important areas for target rich graduate research can be:

  1. Very diverse range of topics – i.e., it can’t realistically be done with expertise from only a single department
  2. Some research will be done on Earth and some on the Moon – this implies graduate students on the Moon in the near future!
  3. Some entirely new fields that haven’t realistically been explored at all – gravitational biology
  4. Creating and maintaining a clean, closed environment that may be critical to Earth in the future
  5. Creating a source of nuclear energy for Earth using He3 that doesn’t leave dangerous radioactive material behind

An example of the rich variety of research topics that could support potential graduate students from around the world  in this arena is listed below:

Area Candidate Representative Research Topic Earth or Moon?
Economics Economic model of cost and income over time and stage of development Earth
Law Explore the legality of land and product ownership — mat be the single biggest impediment to living on the Moon Both
Marketing How do we sell lunar tourism, sports, and co-branding of Moon products Earth
Business Create a business case for multiple lunar businesses Both
Real Estate How do we build and sell or lease lunar colonies Both
Biology Gravitational biology is an entirely new field that is critical for the expansion of mankind into the solar system and beyond Moon
Government How do we create and build a lunar government that works effectively Both
Astrodynamics Design and develop supporting infrastructure in low Earth orbit and cislunar space Both
Architecture How do we create an architecture that reflects the unique properties of the Moon and looks out over the Moon and our outward expansion Both
Education How do we teach students worldwide about both the Moon and our expansion into the solar system and beyond. This is our new home Moon
Geology New land to explore that is far older than any on Earth, undisturbed by environmental activity, and the size of North and South America combined Moon
Sports and Entertainment How do we market these as a part of the new world order Both