Moon temple concept (European Space Agency)

Moon temple concept (European Space Agency)

It’s safe to say that there are no houses of worship on the moon, but who knew that a design for a temple that could serve a future lunar colony already is under way?

The European Space Agency has an artist on its future-oriented Advanced Concepts Team who is designing “a place of contemplation to serve a future lunar settlement.”

Jorge Mañes Rubio says his “Moon Temple” is intended as a symbol of unity for humankind, according to the space agency.

“Lunar settlement represents a perfect chance for a fresh start, a place where there are no social conventions, no nations and no religion, somewhere where these concepts will need to be rethought from scratch,” he said.

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The temple would be built on the sunlit rim of Shackleton Crater where it would overlook two-and-a-half-mile deep interior bathed in perpetual shadow.

Shackleton Crater (European Space Agency)

“Moon temple” on Shackleton Crater (European Space Agency)

“Humans have brought flags to the moon, but they’ve been bleached white by sunlight since then – almost as if the moon is protecting itself from such terrestrial concepts,” Rubio said of his project.

“So this temple is intended as a mythic and universal structure that can hopefully bring people together in this new environment in novel ways.”

As he imagines the 50-meter high domed structure, Rubio is consulting with European Space Agency specialists studying 3D printing of lunar soil.

Shackleton Crater (European Space Agency)

Shackleton Crater (European Space Agency)

Most designs for buildings for future moon colonies have been strictly functional.

“I’ve been having all sorts of discussions with my ACT colleagues, including speculating on the likely needs of future lunar settlers,” said Rubio. “What kind of social interactions will they share, what cultural activities and rituals will they have, and what sort of art and artefacts will they be producing?

Rubio said humans have been “creating art for at least 30,000 years, so I have no doubt this will continue in space and on the moon.”

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