What are the next steps in exploring the Moon?

European Space Agency – Solar System manned exploration plans – part 2


Group members at the Moon Symposium standing in front of a mock up of the International Space Station’s ESA Columbus module

As outlined in our previous blog post (here) international space agencies are working together to map out the possible architectures for the next phase of exploration activities including to asteroids, the moons of Mars and, eventually Mars itself and beyond.

With these plans in mind, several Isotope group members went to the International Symposium on Moon 2020-2030 workshop at the European Space Agency in December 2015, to discuss exploration plans and science motivation for future missions to the Moon, as preparation for exploration of the wider Solar System.


Our group gave a poster presentation at the conference (led by graduate student Natalie Curran) about ‘Maximising the science return of past and future lunar exploration’. The presentation outlines how state of the art lab approaches can be used to investigate small samples returned by robotic and human missions, maximising the science return of future exploration efforts.

Download the full poster from NATALIE_CURRAN_ESA 2015 Moon 2020-2030

The overall outcomes of this workshop have now been written up as a report  ‘Moon 2020-2030: Outcome of the Symposium on a New Era of Human and Robotic Exploration’ which you can download from Moon 2020-2030 outcome brochure. The report outlines the strong scientific case for renewed exploration of and on the lunar surface and discussed the importance of better integration between robotic and human missions and exploration architectures. It also provides a series of recommendations for how to best enable the next phase of lunar exploration that can feed forward to future missions to Mars and other planetary destinations.



For more information about the upcoming International Symposium on Moon 2020-2030 http://spaceflight.esa.int/humanrobotics/

See http://www.globalspaceexploration.org/wordpress/ for more information about  international exploration plans.

ISECG Global Exploration Roadmap mission scenario plans http://hobbyspace.com/Blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/ISECG_MissionScenario.jpg


About Katherine Joy

Hello! I am Katherine Joy. I am part of the University of Manchester Isotope Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry group. More details about my research interests can be found at http://www.seaes.manchester.ac.uk/people/staff/profile/?ea=katherine.joy
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  1. Pingback: What have we learnt from lunar exploration? | Earth & Solar System

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