The NLSI Lunar Science Forum 2009 was held July 21–23, 2009, at the NASA Ames Research Center. The Forum had ~650 attendees from 31 States with international guests from 15 different countries, including delegates from current international lunar missions Kaguya from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Chandrayaan-1 of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), and Chang’e-1 from China’s National Space Administration (CNSA).
The conference reviewed the state of knowledge of, and opportunities for science:
Sessions were structured to report on recent results and anticipate future opportunities for lunar science. Presentations on elements of education and public outreach were included to better understand how lunar exploration can be used to stimulate public interest in space exploration and improve science literacy.
The conference consisted of invited and contributed oral and poster presentations, together with breakout sessions to plan for the future of lunar science.
Highlights included Don Wilhelms and David Morrison’s presentation of the inaugural Shoemaker Award posthumously awarded to Gene Shoemaker; Dennis Wingo’s report on “The Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project”; Robert Kelso’s talk on “Leveraging Early Commercial Services;” a presentation by Founder & CEO of Odyssey Moon Limited Bob Richards; William Pomerantz, Senior Director from the X PRIZE Foundation speaking about "The Google Lunar X PRIZE;" Steve Mackwell’s discussion of the Decadal Survey & the Moon; Clive Neal’s assessment of the Lunar Exploration Roadmap; NASA Headquarters speakers Jim Green and Jon Olson, NASA Ames director Pete Worden and a special panel discussion with Apollo program scientists. Over the three-day event there were many other interesting presentations given by premier scientists from around the world.
Overviews of the U.S.’ future lunar missions were given by Barb Cohen on the International Lunar Network (ILN), Greg Delory on the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE), and Maria Zuber on the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission. Five NLSI Focus Group meetings were organized in special breakout sessions to foster further discussion on key topics of current and future lunar science. These focus groups were Lunar Bombardment History, South Pole-Aitkin Basin, Lunar Commerce, Astrobiology and Space Biology, and Dust and Plasmas.
A Student Poster Competition in the main tent provided recognition to the most promising future lunar scientists. Student posters were judged on originality of the research, the quality of execution, the impact to the field of lunar science, and the clarity of the presentation—including accessibility to the non-expert. First, second and third place selections were awarded $1,500, $1000 and $500 respectively. Jorge Nunez from Arizona State University took First place with his poster “A Multispectral Micro-Imager for Lunar Field Geology”. In Second place was Adrienne Dove from the University of Colorado in Boulder with the poster titled “LUNAR Road Trip: Excursion in a pressurized rover to emplace a farside radio telescope array near the South Pole”. Third place went to David Stitt from the University of Manitoba with his poster “Investigation of Simulated Space Weathering of Forsterite Using Attenuated Total Reflectance FTIR and Raman microscopy”.
For further information contact
NASA Ames Research Center