2017 Annual Meeting of the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group:
Science Enabled by Getting to the Surface
October 9–11, 2017
The 2017 meeting of the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG) was held at USRA Headquarters in Columbia, Maryland, on October 9–11. This was the most well-attended annual meeting since 2005, with 216 registrants and 182 actual attendees.
The meeting started with community updates from NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and the China National Space Administration (CNSA), as well as a presentation from the Space Resources Roundtable regarding in situ resource utilization activities. There was also a presentation that clarified how the Moon is classified in terms of planetary protection. This was important given the commercial interest in getting to the lunar surface. There then followed sessions regarding ongoing and proposed lunar missions, science-exploration-commercial synergies, resources and the lunar economy, and sample return and surface activities. Talks were a mixture of science and engineering and were given by people from academia, government agencies, and commercial entities.
The final part of the meeting was spent developing community findings (see https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/leag2017/Meeting-Findings.pdf) that focused on enabling the cislunar economy, resource prospecting, future missions, involvement in commercial lunar missions, and preparing for the next planetary decadal survey. The overall mood of the meeting was positive and optimistic for the future of lunar science and exploration. We look forward to the 2018 LEAG meeting, which will be held in November.
For more information, including links to the program and abstracts, visit the meeting website at https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/leag2017/.