ESA/ESTEC Capital of the Moon 10-15 July
30 June 2000From 10 to 15 July, Noordwijk (NL) will be the "Capital of the Moon" when ESA's establishment ESTEC hosts the 4th International Conference on Exploration and Utilisation of the Moon (ICEUM4). The Moon conference is organised by the International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG). "The purpose of the ICEUM4 conference", says Bernard H. Foing, current ILEWG chairman, " is to gather Lunar Explorers (young and old), scientists, engineers, industrial firms and organisations to review recent activities and prepare for the next steps on the Moon".
At the Young Lunar Explorers session on 10 July, young professionals from all over the world will present their ideas, dreams and work concerning lunar and solar system exploration. Many of them have been invited from ESA and ILEWG to participate. They will reflect on proposals and initiatives for using the Moon for public, cultural and educational benefits.
During the Lunar Science and Technology sessions on 11 and 12 July, the most recent science discoveries on the Moon - notably the possible presence of water - will be discussed. The participants will review the key outstanding questions on the origin and evolution of the Earth-Moon system. ESA will present SMART-1, the first European satellite to be launched towards the Moon in 2002. This ESA mission will be testing solar electric propulsion and other innovative approaches for future deep space probes. International projects and core technologies for lunar and solar system exploration will also be discussed, such as: propulsion systems, landers, rovers, robotic outposts, and habitats.
On 13 July several ILEWG task groups will have dedicated sessions on all aspects of lunar exploration, including: " Science of and from the Moon", " Living on the Moon", "Key technologies", "Utilisation of lunar resources", "Infrastructures for lunar bases", "Lunar role in human expansion in the solar system", "Social, cultural, artistic and economical aspects".
On 14 July, the ILEWG task groups will report their work and recommendations to the attendees and the press. The participants will formulate the "ILEWG 2000 Lunar Declaration", and will propose a plan of action for International Lunar Explorers and space agencies.
Note to editors:
Media are invited to attend the whole conference at no cost. Daily sessions on 15h30-18h30 and on 14 July all day are particulary suitable for media participation. Individual interviews, remote interviews opportunities, and a daily live web forum will be organised. All participants should register, and media representatives are asked to contact ESA/ESTEC Public Relations.