The lunar geological record has much to tell us about the earliest history of the Solar System, the origin and evolution of the Earth-Moon system, the geological evolution of rocky planets, and the near-Earth cosmic environment throughout Solar System history. In addition, the lunar surface offers outstanding opportunities for research in astronomy, astrobiology, fundamental physics, life sciences and human physiology and medicine.

Several of NLSI’s international partners published a paper titled “Back to the Moon: The Scientific Rationale for Resuming Lunar Surface Exploration” which provides an interdisciplinary review of outstanding lunar science objectives in all of these different areas. It is concluded that addressing them satisfactorily will require an end to the 40-year hiatus of lunar surface exploration, and the placing of new scientific instruments on, and the return of additional samples from, the surface of the Moon. Some of these objectives can be achieved robotically (e.g. through targeted sample return, the deployment of geophysical networks, and the placing of antennas on the lunar surface to form radio telescopes).

However, in the longer term, most of these scientific objectives would benefit significantly from renewed human operations on the lunar surface. For these reasons it is highly desirable that current plans for renewed robotic surface exploration of the Moon are developed in the context of a future human lunar exploration program, such as that proposed by the recently formulated Global Exploration Roadmap.

The paper was accepted for publication in a forthcoming Special Issue of Planetary and Space Science on “Scientific Preparations for Lunar Exploration.”

Posted by: Soderman/NLSI Staff

Share →

Carbon Workshop

NESF 2018

ELS 2018

Lunar Landing Workshop

Upcoming Events

March 2018

- Deep Space Gateway Workshop
Feb 27-March 1 (Denver, Colorado)

Journey Through the Universe
March 2-9 (Hilo, HI)

Microsymposium / LPSC
March 17-23 (The Woodlands, TX)

Planetary Science Deep Space SmallSat Studies
March 18 (The Woodlands, TX)

View More Upcoming
View Past Events

SSERVI Team Science

Did you know?

The moon is not round, but slightly egg shaped with the large end pointed towards earth.

Read More