Report from Moscow Lunar conference
16 October 1998The Third International conference on the Exploration and Utilization of the Moon(3ICEUM) took place at the President hall of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 10-14 October 1998.
A meeting of ILEWG took place on Saturday 10 October at the Vernadsky institute, chaired by ILEWG president Acad. Eric Galimov. The different space delegations reported on ongoing lunar missions.
The NASA representative S. Saunders reported on results from the Lunar Prospector. The ESA representative B.H. Foing reported on SMART-1 technology mission and briefly over other lunar related activities (ESTEC technical studies, Lunarsat study). He was assisted with Drs J.P. Swings (B) and D. Hall (UK). The Japanese representative reported the status of the Lunar-A penetrator mission to be launched in 1999, and of the SELENE mission to be launched in 2003 , with extensive orbiter instruments and a technology lander.
Russian representatives from Vernadsky, IKI, NPO Lavochkin, and Krunichev Centre reported on historical lunar exploration achievements, and on projects for Lunar and Mars-Phobos exploration.
A writing committee for the ILEWG3 declaration was appointed representing the space agencies.
The conference proper, the third International conference on the Exploration and Utilization of the Moon, (3ICEUM) took place at the President hall of the Russian Academy of Sciences. It started on Sunday 11 October with addresses from the RSA Director General and from the vice-President of the Russian Academy of Sciences. There was a large audience (236 participants) including some famous figures from the birth of space exploration.
The scientific and technical sessions included:
- lunar geology
- water on the Moon
- utilization of the Moon
- lunar projects and instruments for exploration of the Moon
- techniques of study of the Moon
- micro-symposium on comparative planetology.
A very informative visit to NPO Lavochkin (spacecraft) and Krunichev center (rockets) was organised by the local committee on 13 October.
A second ILEWG meeting took place on 14 October. The places for the next lunar international conferences in 2000 and 2002 were discussed. It was recommended to hold the 2000 symposium in Europe (possibly at ESTEC) on 11-13 July 2000, the week before the COSPAR assembly in Warsaw), with the focus on new results and missions, and on using the moon for testing technologies for solar system exploration.
The 2002 symposium will take place in the United States (possibly linked with the COSPAR/IAF World Space congress in Houston), taking into account the planning constraints (US elections, status of space station in 2000, new assessment of the Moon in scenarios of solar system exploration and as test-bed for technologies).
B.H. Foing (ESA) was elected as Chairman of ILEWG (1998-2000), and M. Duke (NASA/JSC) as Vice-Chairman.
The draft of the 3rd ILEWG declaration was discussed. It was then amended and presented to the 3ICEUM Conference participants who endorsed it (see links for full text).