Link: http://digg.com/d3176tD

Buzz Aldrin published a proposal for a public/private/international plan to open the Moon for exploration and development in the Huffington Post

http://digg.com/d3176tD

Below are key excerpts:

* “I propose instead America call the world to the Moon. In a new
global effort to use the Moon to establish a global space consortium
with a lunar surface facility as its epicenter, “
* “... competition, in an Apollo-style race back to the Moon, would
be a fruitless exercise in national hubris whose rewards, if we “won”
again, would prove fleeting”
* “I am proposing a different way back to the Moon: international
collaboration. “
* “... the goal of creating a new public-private partnership to
develop the Moon. I call it the Lunar Infrastructure Development
Corporation (LIDC). The purpose of the LIDC would be to enable the
nations of the Earth to join together and return to the Moon as an
international cooperative venture. The LIDC will pool the financial,
technical and human resources of its member nations to build the lunar
communication, navigation and transportation systems needed for human exploration of the Moon. It would be a public/private global
partnership to make the Moon accessible to all humanity. The LIDC will
build the communication and navigation satellites needed by future
lunar travelers, develop fuel depots using lunar LOX – perhaps derived
from the recently discovered lunar water-and construct habitats that
will shelter space travelers while on the surface. It will enable a
sustainable human presence on the Moon that will be accessible to all
the nations on Earth. “
* “Unlike the International Space Station (ISS), which is governed
by complex treaties, the LIDC will have the same flexibility as an NGO
in working with different nations and private entities to finance
build and operate the facilities and equipment needed for lunar
exploration. “
* “To do so [i.e., honoring the astronauts of the Apollo Era
Missions] doesn’t require rerunning a long-ago Cold War race in which
America plays the role of a space-going Colonial power.

Moon Society Officers and Directors, who collectively make up the Management Committee gave the Moon Society's official endorsement.

The email vote was unanimous. As Ben Nault, Director from Tucson, put
it:

“Probably the main reason the ISS is still "alive" and supported by
Congress is that it is part of a number of international agreements.
Backing out of these agreement would have financial, political and
diplomatic repercussions on the US. Therefore, having an international
component helps large complex programs survive the transition to
different administrations and different congressional moods. The
international angle gives long-term "sustainability" to the Lunar
Infrastructure Development Corporation. “
In asking for Committee member support, we pointed out significant
similarities with our own proposal, also strongly endorsed by
Committee members, for an International Lunar Research Park. Both
proposals are for public/private/international collaboration.
There are, of course, those who would prefer a NASA-stand alone
effort, and those who would prefer a purely private enterprise
approach. But a reality check shows that the public/private/
international approach will be much more robust, and stand a much
greater chance of becoming a permanent beachhead on the Moon. It is
also much more likely to lead to the first civilian industrial
settlement.

And that is precisely the Vision of the Moon Society.

The Moon Society urges other pro-space organizations, the public, and
the media to support Buzz Aldrin's proposal.

For more on the Moon Society International Lunar Research Park
proposal, see:

http://www.moonsociety.org/reports/beyond_nasa.html

Thank you for your support