In 2015, The European Space Agency unveiled plans for a permanent moon village.

Discovery of lunar water at the lunar poles by Chandrayaan-1 has renewed interest in the Moon. Polar colonies could also avoid the problem of long lunar nights – about 354 hours, a little more than two weeks – and take advantage of the Sun continuously, at least during the local summer (there is no data for the winter yet).

Permanent human habitation on a planetary body other than the Earth is one of science fiction’s most prevalent themes. As technology has advanced, and concerns about the future of humanity on Earth have increased, the argument that space colonization as an achievable and worthwhile goal has gained momentum. Because of its proximity to Earth, the Moon has been seen as the most obvious natural expansion after Earth. There are also various projects in near future by space tourism startup companies for tourism on the Moon.

The concept of an international lunar base espoused by the European Space Agency’s new director-general, Johann-Dietrich Wörner, on several occasions, both before and after becoming head of the space agency in July 2015.

“We were looking at what are the requirements, what are the wishes, what are the demands for future lunar exploration,” Wörner said during a panel session with other heads of space agencies at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Jerusalem last month when asked about the idea.

“To go to the Moon, it should not be a closed shop, but it should be an international joint effort where the different countries of the globe should bring in their special ideas, their special competence,” he continued. “Let’s give it a name: ‘Moon village.’”