Global Lunar Conference

Recently I had the opportunity to attend the Global Lunar Conference in Beijing as well as attend a couple of technical tours in Shanghai. The Global Lunar Conference was co-organized by the International Lunar Exploration working group (ILEWG),the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) and the Chinese Society of Astronautics (CSA), with support of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). The discussion of the conference was based around the recent activities and future plans regarding lunar exploration.

The conference was very well attended; it included delegates from more than 26 different countries. More than 400 abstracts were accepted and the sessions where organized in 4 different categories: Science and Exploration; Technology and Resource Utilization, Infrastructure and Human aspects and the Moon, Space and Society. I was very excited to co-chair the Moon, Space and Society session in which I had the opportunity to listen to the latest update from our newest Google lunar X PRIZE teams; Barcelona Moon Team. Four plenary Sessions were conducted and I had the pleasure of participating in the one for Moon, Space and Society. The plenary was the last plenary of the conference and I had the honor to share the stage with Mr. Zhai Zhigang (Chinese astronaut), Dr. James Bruke, Dr. Roger Walker, Mr. Tron Krovel and Mr. Mark Sirangelo.

While in Beijing I had the opportunity the Chinese Academy (CALT) of Launch vehicle technology and the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), both very impressive places. After the activities in Beijing a group of us headed to Shanghai and got a tour of the World Expo, got to visit the Shanghai Academy of spaceflight technology (SAST) and the Shanghai Astronautics Technique research Institute. All the tours were amazing and very impressive.

During this whole experience, it was very interesting to see that there is quite a big group of scientists, engineers, artist and entrepreneurs around the world that fully support the fact that the Moon is the best next logical step in human exploration, and that in order for this plan to be successful, global cooperation should be enforced at all levels. There is no doubt in my mind that the Google lunar X PRIZE is a great example of this type of collaboration. I was very excited to see how much interest there was in the Google Lunar X PRIZE not only among the Asia Pacific representatives but across all the participating nations. Our hope is to keep participating in the next conferences and events regarding the exploration and utilization of the Moon.

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