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Shaping the Future of Lunar Exploration: ISU’s Impact on International Moon Day

Today – 20th July – we celebrate the International Moon Day (IMD). Each year, this is a momentous occasion that commemorates humanity’s first landing on the Moon during the historic Apollo 11 mission in 1969. Among the prominent figures associated with lunar exploration, one name stands out: Dr. Buzz Aldrin, who set foot on the moon for two hours and a quarter. This article delves into the significant contributions of the International Space University (ISU) and its former Chancellor, Dr. Buzz Aldrin, in celebrating International Moon Day and advancing lunar exploration.

How did the 20th of July become the International Moon Day? The Moon Village Association (MVA) submitted an application during the UN-COPUOS 64th Session, for the proclamation of the International Moon Day on 20th July, the anniversary of the 1969 first human landing, from the United States of America, with the Apollo 11 mission. The proclamation has been approved on 9th December 2021, by the UN General Assembly

ISU has proudly hosted the Moon Village Association’s first International Moon Village workshop, organized by the MVA together with ISU. It took place in Strasbourg on 19-21 November 2017 and gathered more than 150 participants!

IMD has become one of the projects of the MVA and many activities are carried out in the world, this year, in more than 40 countries! The Chairman of the IMD is Dr. Nasr Al-Sahhaf from Saudi Arabia, himself also involved in the founding conference of ISU, in 1988 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Here is the list of events.  

With a diverse community of students, faculty, and alumni – 5500 from over 110 countries – and many studying and working on different aspects linked to the Moon, the involvements range from start-ups aiming to reach the Moon (ispace was recently close to achieving this goal), to extract resources from the Moon (OffWorld and its swarn of robots) and to policymakers and lawyers protecting the Moon via the Artemis accords.

The Moon has also been a topic of predilection for ISU Team Projects. Most recent ones include: “Solutions for construction of a lunar base”, “Journey to the Moon : technological and legal perspectives for sustainable human presence”, amongst others.

Alumni wrote various books like Allyson Reneau who authored “Moon first and Mars second: a practical approach to Human space exploration.

All can be found on the ISU’s library website

In Brazil, where ISU’s 35th Space Studies Program is currently taking place, ISU faculty, Moon Village Brazil (which includes at least one ISU alum!) and many Brazilian associations will organize activities like panel discussions in addition to cultural activities with the Moon as artistic inspiration (art exhibition, meditation, live music events) around this year’s theme “Beginning the New Lunar Journey for Humanity”. Follow ISU’s social media accounts to discover the latter. [link]

The highlight event will be the talk by NASA’s John Connolly in charge of the Human landing systems program!

The International Space University’s involvement in International Moon Day is a testament to its commitment to advancing lunar exploration and education. By conducting groundbreaking research, fostering collaborations, and engaging in outreach activities, ISU contributes significantly to our understanding of the moon and the development of sustainable approaches to lunar exploration.


A few memories of Dr. Buzz Aldrin visiting ISU central campus in 2019.