What is the greatest obstacle to having an International Space Agency tasked with building a lunar colony?

I say International Space Agency so that cost/debt is no longer an issue. Since that’s seems the most prevalent excuse as to why we are yet to have a permanent moon base.

Yes, you are absolutely right about money for space being a non issue now–
Let’s forget about saving economies in trouble (USA, Greece, Spain, Ireland, many in Africa). Lots of loose change will be blowing around after runs on banks and a few monetary collapses.
Let’s forget about freedoms in totalitarian states (China, Syria, the reborn dictatorship in Russia, North Korea, many African countries, some Latin American ones). An International effort to put huts on the moon will be so easy to organize. And your illustration of previous collaborations:
League of Nations did absolutely nothing and died in a decade. Set the stage for Hitler.
The United Nations suck their thumbs while people are murdered in a dozen countries. They are still on one side of a war that has not concluded yet after a cease fire armistice in 1953.
NATO runs on fear of attack by outside forces. Russia is outraged that Georgia wants to join it.
The European Union can’t agree how much a loaf of bread will cost in various member states tomorrow. The International Space Station was 95% developed in the USA, 95% paid for by US taxpayers, and a few other countries (like Russia, who never paid all they promised) were kept in it just to keep their space programs alive and current. You can read about factual accounts on that on the Internet.
Let’s forget about AIDS, cancer, diabetes, mental illness, paralysis, inherited diseases. Sick people everywhere will have tears in their eyes (if they have any–blindness, you know) as they watch the rockets blast upward.
Let’s forget about drought, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, heat waves, global warming, pollution, rising ocean levels (The Maldives, Bangladesh are terminal victims), materials shortages, oil spills, oil shortages, acid rain, smog, CO2, food shortages in a lot of countries. Better we shoot some hardware into space.
Let’s forget that with money in 1% of the populations’ hands, the 99% with not much will be glad to contribute. Just yesterday I heard of cupcake sales promoting the funding of planetary missions being done all over the USA.
Let’s forget that 99.9999% of the population will never see the inside of a spacecraft, and would be oh so glad to take food out of their children’s mouths just to send a few magnificent specimens off to possible death and most certainly permanent exile.
Your plan is soooo good!!

Funding will always be an issue.
You will always have people objecting paying taxes for something that they fail to perceive any personal, direct and tangible benefits being returned to them.
How many people care about the ISS right now?
Just ask around: a lot of people would say it is a waste of money, and that money should be given to the poor (sure, like the NASA scientists would not be poor if they did not have their job?). Now imagine something that will be order of magnitude more expensive, and would have to be even more international to boot, and you will see some many countries trying to pull the blanket over their side.

The real obstacle is commitment. Government come and go, politician changes, but a lunar colony would take decades to set up. How would it work if president X supports it, but 4 years later, president Y is elected saying it is a waste of tax payer money?
The first step in achieving such a large project is getting lasting support. That is a real difficult thing to do.
In such things, the problem is not the technical challenge, it is the political will.

Funding is still going to be the single largest blockage for that sort of endeavor. For quite some time to come. How will this organization be funded? By a per capita of GDP tax? Will all the countries of the world be forced to pay into this endeavor? What happens if they refuse?

Followed closely by international cooperation. Who will manage this organization? Who does oversight and control? How do you sell this concept to the world’s governments?

Then public support. The sheer amount of money needed for building all the infrastructure alone can be used to work on projects like public health, education, housing, transportation and communication infrastructure. Are those projects less worthwhile then building a moon base for a microscopic fraction of the world’s population?

Don’t get me wrong, space exploration is a natural extension of our inherently curious nature. And should be a ongoing process. At the same time, this planet has some very real problems that we humans have caused and need to address.

A balance does need to be struck between the needs of the people of this planet and the needs for further exploration. I haven’t a clue how that can be done, let alone how to remove money from economics.

A moon base might have seemed like a good idea half a century ago, back in the halcyon days of rocketry, when “the bomb” was all about glamour, and technology seemed to be heading towards a bad case of gigantism.

However, fast forward five decades and things are very different. Rocketry has reached the endpoint of it’s development and is totally stagnant. People are suspicious of political motives behind scientific research that delivers ever more expensive and aggressive milestones. Things that go boom, or which rise into the sky on columns of choking fumes are not considered glamorous any more. The aims of technology today are miniaturisation and energy efficiency.

People want to fill their homes with technology that THEY can use. They don’t want to waste their dollars either private or tax on esoteric projects for an elite few.

It is not at all clear that building homes for space cadets on the moon will be any kind of step forward for mankind. That batton has passed to the technologies of robotics and bio-engineering.


“So that money is no longer an issue”???? Of course money would still be an issue. Money will always be an issue. Just putting a stamp which says ‘International’ on something doesn’t suddenly create resources. Those resources have to be diverted from somewhere – and in the case of your moon colony, one of the competing uses for funding would be real space science.

Why do you want a colony on the moon? What could it achieve, other than fulfilling the science fiction fantasies of small boys of all ages? Sure, it could do some selenological research – but how much more could be done by unmanned probes – to the moon and elsewhere? I’ve just been pointing out in response to another question that the balance of advantage between mena nd machines is moving steadily, day by day, in the direction of machines. Since Apollo, men have not become more capable – but machines have, thanks to Moore’s Law, in particular. Even in the 1960s, sending men to the moon was really much more a political stunt than a scientific programme. Today it would be just another branch of reality TV. If the networks want to pay for it, let them – but otherwise, let’s get on with some real science.

Cost will always be an issue, no matter how many countries you have acting together.

With the current financial situation, you are not going to get any country willing to spend that much money on a moon base when there is no return. If there was oil or gold on the moon then that would be different. They is NOTING on the moon worth spending all the money for.

forget the cost even though it is a massive problem , the whole thing is technically beyond us the provision of living quarters and supplies especially oxygen and water is way beyond our capabilities just look at how inefficient the help and supply system was for katrina or haiti, plus have you forgotten that NASA destroyed two shuttles and their crews through pure arrogance and stupidity by not listening to their own experts about defects, it isn’t that long ago that a mars probe crashed into the surface simply because one section of nasa was using yards and another was using meters and they failed to communicate


Common sense.

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