To kick off Purdue University’s 50th anniversary celebration of the Apollo 11 moon landing, officials announced the school will launch a new effort to drive economic growth in space between the Earth and the moon.
Cislunar space is defined as the area encompassing Earth and the moon.
The Cislunar Initiative aims to help manage space traffic and communication, create space policy and provide education programs for grade school students.
Daniel Dumbacher will chair the advisory board for the initiative. He says this is the next step in space development.
“It is tremendous at this point in time, with everything going on in the space industry, and the future of humanity, moving the human neighborhood further and further out, this is the place to start,” says Dunbacher.
The intiative's co-chair David Spencer says one of the major focuses will be creating an inner solar system infrastructure.
“We have companies now that are competing to put up mega constellations of thousands of satellites, we’re gonna have to manage that space traffic," Spencer says. "What we’re trying to do with Purdue Cislunar is grow that orbiting economy out to encompass the moon and beyond.”
The goal is to create economic growth in space similar to the U.S. interstate highway. NASA expects the space industry to reach $3 trillion in annual revenue during the next 30 years.