Cape Canaveral Lunar Declaration
31 October 2008
10th ILEWG Conference on Exploration and Utilization of the Moon (ICEUM10)
Approximately 200 International Lunar Explorers gathered at the 10th ILEWG Conference on Exploration and Utilization of the Moon (ICEUM10) co-sponsored by the International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG), NASA Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG), Space Resources Roundtable (SRR), and the Lunar and Planetary Institute, from 27 to 31 October, in Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA. The conference engaged scientists, engineers, industry, and organizations in the review of recent activities and the coordinated preparation of the next steps on the Moon.
The Japanese Kaguya and Chinese Chang’e-1 celebrated one year in lunar orbit, and have delivered a wealth of science data, discoveries and exploration findings. The SMART-1 team presented the latest data on polar peaks relevant for future landers and bases. The Indian ISRO Chandrayaan-1 mission (carrying six international instruments) has just been launched on 22 October toward the Moon. The NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) impactor are scheduled for joint launch in spring 2009. The participants appreciated the steady progress in technology development within the NASA Constellation program.
NASA, national space agencies representatives, and ESA gave the latest report on their current lunar science and exploration activities and plans. International Young Lunar Explorers met before the conference at Florida Institute of Technology to brainstorm, present their ideas, and conduct hands-on lunar projects. Afterwards, they joined veteran explorers at the Cape Canaveral lunar conference.
The four-day conference included various sessions:
- Plenary on space agencies’ activities and plans
- Defining the path for human return to the Moon
- Technology development facilitating exploration and international on-ramp activities
- Precursor missions
- Surface operations
- Back to the Moon
- Status of space law as it relates to the Moon
- Facilitating exploration and settlement using robotic missions, human-robotic partnerships, and In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU)
- Session chairs reports, wrap-up plenary, and the ILEWG declaration
The participants addressed these themes further during a very interactive poster session, debates, and collaborative discussions.
The participants were charged by LEAG, ILEWG, and SRR to address key questions:
- What technologies need to be developed now for human return to the Moon (and beyond)?
- What are the critical elements for robotic development, habitats, and hazard prevention?
- What is the current state of ISRU development?
- What are logical architectures and open implementation to allow effective integration of international elements?
- What opportunities are afforded within the current architecture for commercial on-ramps and how can these be facilitated?
- What are the needs/advantages of robotic missions for advancing lunar science and benefiting human exploration?
- What technology developments in robotic exploration are being conducted by various countries and agencies?
- How can human-robotic partnerships be used to develop and build a long-term presence on the Moon?
- What are the drilling challenges on planetary surfaces and how can they be addressed?
- How can future lunar surface activities be optimized?
- What precursor lunar surface experiments are of highest priority for space settlement/ commercial development?
- What policy and regulations issues should be addressed?
- How to engage the public and youth in lunar exploration?
The participants summarized their findings and recommend:
- To continue efforts by space agencies and the community on previous ILEWG and ICEUM recommendations. We applaud the progress and coordination among agencies on technical issues such as coordinated lunar architecture activities, International Lunar Network, definition of common infrastructure assets, compatible data archiving and exchange formats, and collaborations on missions.
- To plan and schedule opportunities for international cooperation and commercial participation at various levels.
- To address critical technologies needed to prepare for Human exploration, including life support systems, energy production and storage, advanced concepts for human and robotic operations and mobility, the development of lightweight automatic and astronaut assisted drilling, and lunar laboratory facilities. Comprehensive studies are needed on optimized design of a human lunar outpost, delivery of cargo logistics, and evolutionary concepts for making use of local resources to enable a sustainable presence.
- To study various aspects of lunar dust, by modeling, terrestrial simulations in the laboratory and in the field, and lunar precursor robotic missions. This includes erosion effects due to landing rockets, the chemical reactivity and biological hazards of lunar dust, analogues and protection measures, and dust mitigation using various techniques.
- To implement early robotic missions needed to understand the science of the Moon (specifically the lunar interior and environment), to provide platforms to make science and exploration measurements, to develop integrated suites of instruments on landers and rovers, and to engage early in effective international collaboration and commercial participation. Lunar challenges and prizes (such as the Google Lunar X Prize) should be further developed.
- To advance lunar science and benefit human exploration by helping assess lunar resources and other key aspects of the lunar environment, as well as helping identify the most effective systems to support human presence.
- To place special priority on helping enable human settlement and commerce through development and demonstration of lunar resource utilization methods, creation of infrastructure for transportation, communications, and navigation, and validation of viable models for economically self-sustaining commerce.
- To stress the importance of systems field testing and investigating how robotic systems could be used prior to and with humans on the Moon.
- To consider food plants, life science and astrobiology precursor experiments to inform the development of sustainable habitation on the Moon and beyond.
- To continue the activities of the ILEWG Lunar Surface Operations working group in the definition of science operations and compatibility issues for both initial robotic and later human missions, to complement the ongoing work of the various space agencies.
- To define and update a basic set of lunar textbooks, tutorial material, and website resources to train the next generation of explorers, and to educate everyone else.
- We endorse the recommendations of the Young Lunar Explorers (YLEs) to create a central database about lunar projects and student contests, to give partial funding to more YLEs to attend lunar exploration conferences, to organize “show and tell” engaging sessions, to establish a network between YLEs and mentoring experts for projects and internships, to create a list of contacts for lunar outreach over the world, to enhance hands-on projects, and to support student payload opportunities to the Moon .
We recommend that, as requested by space agencies and lunar exploration stakeholders, ILEWG expert task groups should further advance their work in the areas of:
- Science of, on, and from the Moon
- Living and working on the Moon
- Key technologies
- Utilization of lunar resources
- Infrastructures for lunar bases
- Surface operations
- Society, law, policy, and commerce
- Public outreach, education, multicultural aspects
- Young Lunar Explorers
These recommendations follow the legacy of previous ILEWG declarations, recommendations, publications, action plan, and roadmap.
We, the participants in the ILEWG/LEAG/SRR 2008 conference, reaffirm our commitment to international lunar exploration, from the analysis and integration of current lunar orbiter data to the development of lunar landers and rovers, the build up of a global robotic village, and the preparation for human settlements and international lunar bases.
Cape Canaveral, 31 October 2008