Sixth International Conference on the Exploration and Utilization of the Moon
- Udaipur Declaration -
The Sixth International Lunar Conference was held 22-26 November 2004 in Udaipur, India hosted by PRL and ISRO, and cosponsored by the International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG) and ESA. The President of India, Dr. Abdul Kalam, addressed the group with insightful vision and highly relevant recommendations for international activities in exploration of the Moon, "for the benefit of human kind".
Discussions and presentations by 200 scientists from 17 countries focused on new and planned missions to the Moon as well as roadmap concepts for long term exploration of the Moon and utilization of lunar resources. The program included key elements of science overview and opportunities for young scientists. The participants express gratitude to the Organizing Committee for the rich opportunity for extensive interactions as well as the culturally enhancing environment and program.
A new lunar decade has begun. SMART-1 technology opens the fleet of new missions being flown to the Moon. Plans for Chandrayaan-1 are timely, scientifically relevant, building infrastructure for future exploration. Additional complementary missions of exceptional value include SELENE, Lunar-A, Chang’E, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and Moonrise.
We acknowledge that fundamental science questions about the Moon remain to be addressed, not only to understand the early history of the Earth/Moon system and its current environment, but also to acquire knowledge for the next steps of exploration and human utilization. Of prime importance is formation and evolution of the terrestrial planets, including the origin of the Moon. Central is the impact history at 1 AU, including the absolute timing of early events such as the giant basins. A major unknown is also the internal structure of the Moon, both its geophysical and compositional properties. The Moon is a natural laboratory for studying the interaction with the space environment, together with the products produced such as the polar deposits.
Recognizing that the lunar exploration program must later include advanced orbital instruments as well as in-situ analyses from several surface stations and targeted sample return, we urge broad and open discussion and coordination for selections of landing sites to optimize the science return and benefit for exploration.
We believe that exploration and utilization of the Moon will bring global benefits to human kind as well as serve national needs, and we recommend an international plan for implementation. The participants endorse the ILEWG stepwise approach, starting with joint science analysis from ongoing precursor missions (Smart-1, Lunar-A, Selene, Chang'E, Chandrayaan-1, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Moonrise), continuing with lunar landers cooperating into an international lunar robotic village before 2014, evolving technologies for man-tended missions and preparing the ground for an effective, affordable human lunar exploration and permanent presence by 2024. We encourage space agencies to coordinate and integrate their plans in a robust international Moon-Mars roadmap in coordination with the ILEWG roadmap, where the partners can identify their contribution for an effective implementation using their skills.
As we move forward with mission implementation, we urge the space agencies to study and coordinate international lunar infrastructures and assets, such as telecommunication, navigation, logistics, lunar internet, that are necessary for an effective lunar exploration. We specifically recommend coordination of international efforts for the establishment of "standards" to facilitate lunar exploitation and settlement – for example, use of the metric system, well-characterized lunar soil simulants, common data formats and instrument interfaces; frequency, and power. We urge establishment of a standard lunar geodetic network. We also recommend that the "Moon Treaty" be revisited, refined, and revised as necessary in light of the present-day impetus for expeditions, both robotic and human, to the Moon by several nations.
The next ILEWG International Conference on Exploration and Utilization of the Moon will be a focused conference held in Canada September 2005. A full International Conference on Exploration and Utilization of the Moon will be held in China during July 2006 before the COSPAR Beijing assembly.
We believe missions to the Moon have an enormous potential to inspire both the young as well as their parents because the Moon is visible to all and is within our reach to visit. Herewith we encourage young scientists of different fields and nations to join this activity and work together in realizing lunar exploration goals.
26 November, 2004