Microsymposium 60

Forward to the Moon to Stay:

Undertaking Transformative Lunar Science with Commercial Partners

March 16th (1pm-6pm) and 17th (8:30am-12:00pm) 2019 (just prior to LPSC 50).

The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center
1601 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands, Texas, USA


The upcoming 50th anniversaries of the Apollo Lunar Exploration missions (Apollo 11-17) remind us of the critical role that the exploration of the Moon plays in our understanding of the origin and evolution of the Solar System. On the basis of the accomplishments and understanding derived from the first half-century of lunar and planetary exploration and research, we can now identify a series of transformative lunar science (TLS) questions to address during the coming decades. Furthermore, recent events (National Space Policy Directive #1) have defined a clear robotic and human exploration pathway to the Moon and on to Mars.

A critical step along that pathway was taken on November 29th, 2018, with NASA’s selection of new partners for commercial payload delivery services to the Moon. Nine US companies are now eligible to bid on NASA delivery services to the lunar surface through Commercial Lunar Payloads Services (CLPS) contracts (https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/news/774/nasa-announces-new-partnerships-for-commercial-lunar-payload-delivery-services/).

Microsymposium 60, Forward to the Moon to Stay: Undertaking Transformative Lunar Science with Commercial Partners, has three themes:

1) In Microsymposium 60, Forward to the Moon to Stay: Undertaking Transformative Lunar Science with Commercial Partners, key scientists are being invited to define and discuss the major outstanding transformative lunar science (TLS) questions (https://sservi.nasa.gov/articles/transformative-lunar-science/), and to focus on identifying the most important immediate steps that can be taken to address them. What key elements of these questions can be addressed through experiments and missions conducted in collaboration with our commercial opportunities in the coming years?

2) In order to familiarize the community with the CLPS opportunities, representatives of the designated Commercial Lunar Payloads Services (CLPS) providers are being invited to give brief summaries of the nature of their plans and capabilities of their delivery platforms. Among the numerous CLPS providers participating are:

-Astrobotic Technology, Inc. (https://www.astrobotic.com/)
-Deep Space Systems (http://www.deepspacesystems.com/)
-Lockheed Martin Space (https://www.lockheedmartin.com/en-us/capabilities/space.html)
-Masten Space Systems (https://www.masten.aero/)
-Moon Express (http://www.moonexpress.com/)
-OrbitBeyond (https://www.orbitbeyond.com/)
-SpaceX (https://www.spacex.com/), a non-CLPS lunar service provider, will be giving a presentation on their plans.
-SpaceIL (http://www.spaceil.com/mission/), the Israeli team launching a lunar lander mission in a few weeks will provide a mission/payload summary.

3) An additional part of Microsymposium 60 will be the opportunity for individual scientists to present “lighting talks” (about 5 minutes each) with ideas and concepts for experiments, payloads and missions to team with our CLPS partners to address the most immediate and pressing transformative lunar science questions. If you are interested, please send a candidate title and author list to james_head@brown.edu.

The goal of Microsymposium 60 is to provide a framework of mutual communication and understanding that will form a basis for Transformative Lunar Science to be undertaken in the immediate future and beyond, with the help of our CLPS partners.
Further information and registration details can be found at http://www.planetary.brown.edu/html_pages/micro60.htm

The final program for Microsymposium 60 will be available about February 15th at http://www.planetary.brown.edu/html_pages/micro60.htm

Further information will be distributed in the coming weeks and can also be obtained by contacting james_head@brown.edu.

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