The Lunar and Asteroid Task Force Initiative
Author: Ezinne Uzo-Okoro
The next administration should launch a task force within the Office of Space Commerce to promote and achieve U.S. private space exploration on the Moon and on asteroids. This task force would encourage space civilianization on the Moon’s surface and foster international collaboration around orbital debris removal.
A dedicated task force to assist private companies moving into the nascent lunar exploration and mining sector—similar to NASA’s current Space Act Agreements and launch contracts—would help establish U.S. presence on the lunar surface and stimulate a U.S. space economy. State actors have been working on lunar technology, and it is imperative that we respond to their imminent presence on the Moon. The Federal Government, led by the White House and executed by the Office of Space Commerce, should undertake a comprehensive agenda and allocate federal funding for a new Lunar and Asteroid Task Force.
About the Author
Ezinne Uzo-Okuro is a 16-year career civil servant at NASA, with expertise in spacecraft systems and cross-functional leadership. She has contributed to Cassini, ELC, Orion/EFT-1, GPM, NICER and TESS spacecraft missions and several CubeSat projects, and managed multimillion dollar space communications programs. She holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and two M.S. in Space Systems and Space Robotics from Johns Hopkins University and MIT respectively. She was a 2018 Presidential Leadership Scholar, and is a Harvard Kennedy School Dubin Fellow, an MIT Legatum Fellow and a Council on Foreign Relations Term Member. The views/opinions expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of NASA or the U.S. Government.