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The Lunar Race

The United States is exploring the idea of a railroad on the moon, similar to the transcontinental railroad that transformed the nation in the 19th century. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is collaborating with companies to develop potential lunar technologies, including a railroad.

Why a Moon Railroad?

The goal of the railroad is to create a self-sustaining lunar economy. It would allow for the transportation of humans, supplies, and resources across the moon’s surface. This would support commercial ventures and contribute to a space economy.

Key Areas of Exploration

DARPA is exploring six areas related to future moon growth:

  • Power generation
  • Communications and navigation
  • Construction and robotics
  • Mining resources
  • Transportation
  • Market research

Transportation Challenges

Transportation is crucial for any future lunar ambitions. Currently, there is no efficient way to move supplies and equipment across the moon’s surface. A railroad would solve this problem and reduce costs.

Lunar Railroad Concept

Northrup Grumman has been chosen to create the concept for the railroad. The railroad would be designed to minimize the human footprint on the lunar surface and allow for standardized equipment to be used.

Future Potential

The moon could potentially serve as a fuel depot for deeper space missions and a source of valuable resources. A lunar railroad would facilitate the exploration and exploitation of these resources.


Just as the transcontinental railroad opened up new markets and economic opportunities in the past, a lunar railroad could pave the way for a thriving lunar economy and the advancement of human exploration in space.