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An international approach to lunar exploration in preparation for Mars

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3 Author(s)
Gallo, M. ; Strasbourg Central Campus, Int. Space Univ., Illkirch-Graffenstaden ; Avnet, M. ; Broniatowski, D.

The Aurora Program in Europe and The vision for space exploration in the United States is representative of a shift in space policies worldwide toward the goal of human and robotic exploration. Although some details differ, these plans share a common theme of expansion of a human presence across the solar system. In particular, the plans involve near-term exploration of the Moon in preparation for eventual human missions to Mars. Given the current relevance of the topic and the international nature of space exploration as expressed in these policies, the International Space University, with sponsorship from the European Space Agency (ESA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Canadian Technology Company Optech, Inc., has assigned a group of post-graduate students and professionals the task of evaluating the Moon as a test bed for Mars. This analysis includes not only the critical technologies and operational capabilities needed for Mars exploration but also the political, legal, and social context in which the effort will be undertaken. Upon identifying the enabling concepts that can be rehearsed in the context of near-term lunar exploration, the team proposes a design for a set of lunar missions and analyzes the associated policy framework. This paper is a summary of the more comprehensive 122-page report. The team consists of 47 future space leaders from 17 countries around the world. This situation presented a unique set of challenges. Organizing a group this large and diverse to produce a single consistent report required a carefully conceived structure and a great deal of flexibility from each team member. On the other hand, with these considerable challenges overcome, the report presents a truly international, intercultural, and interdisciplinary perspective on how to extend humanity's presence beyond the confines of Earth

Published in:

Aerospace Conference, 2005 IEEE

Date of Conference:

5-12 March 2005