Organizers Announce Technical Program. The
International Lunar Conference 2005 (ILC2005) organizers
have compiled an impressive technical program.
As a result, the event, set for 18-23 September
in Toronto, Canada and presented by the International
Lunar Exploration Working Group, will be truly
global and include valued presentations from both
government and private industry. Presentations
hail from China, Japan, India, Canada, Europe and
Ukraine. ILC2005 is appropriately themed "The
Exploration and Utilization of the Moon." Although
absent from the Udaipur Moon Declaration, astronomy
from the Moon -- a key enabling human settlement
factor and perhaps the most productive science
to be practiced on the lunar surface -- will be
well-represented at ILC2005. Six papers authored
by experts from the NAOJ, EADS, the University
of Arizona, ESA, Boeing, SpaceDev and other organizations,
including an International
Lunar Observatory mission update, will be presented
Thursday during the 'New Mission Concepts & Unanswered
Questions' session chaired by NASA Chief Scientist
Jim Garvin. International lunar mission
teams present updates during Monday's opening session.
The following session, 'International Programs & Cooperation,'
will see several presentations on international
human Moon mission plans. Considering all factors,
especially the very strong China presence, this
ILC is shaping up to be the most informative and
successful ever. Info www.ilewg.org.
Women to Fly into Space by 2010. At
a reception for three USA astronauts (Duke, Bolden,
and Jemison) visiting Beijing last week, Hu
Shixiang (deputy chief commander of China's human
space program) said his country would start choosing
pilots, scientists, and engineers for its first wave
of four female astronauts next year. This year China's
air force has selected about 30 women pilots, some
of whom reportedly are intending to be future astronauts. "It
is true women aviators have some advantages in terms
of flight experience and physique, but we need payload
experts with strong science and engineering background
to do experiments in outer space," Hu said.
The women would function as flight commanders or
on-board engineers. Mae
Jemison (first American black woman astronaut
in 1987) said, "China should have women astronauts
as soon as possible, even earlier than next year,
because you lose out on 50 percent of the talent
that are available if you don't have women included." Hu
replied by saying time was needed in order to conduct
proper training, and in the near future, the norm will
be for Chinese astronauts of both genders to work
together as partners in outer space. The astronauts'
tour of space facilities in China will conclude on
Conference to Examine Astronomy From Moon, Private
Sector Involvement in Permanent Lunar Settlement. The
Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG) is holding
its second meeting in conjunction with NASA and
the Lunar & Planetary Institute (LPI) at 'Space
Resources Roundtable 7 (SRR7): LEAG Conference
on Lunar Exploration'
in League City TX on 25-28 October. The goal of
the conference is to
bring together experts to help mold the USA lunar
exploration program into a coherent venture focused
on industrial development and a permanent settlement
on the Moon. The conference will be convened by
LEAG Chair G.
Jeffrey Taylor, among others. SRR7 will
have a heavy emphasis on lunar resource utilization,
including participation by Mike Duke of the Colorado
School of Mines. Private sector involvement will
also be a major focus, with Rick Tumlinson of the
Space Frontier Foundation and Paul Eckert of Boeing
representing the commercial sector. Lunar science,
including astronomy from the Moon, will be another
strong topic, with participation by Paul Spudis
of JHU's Applied Physics Laboratory
and Roger Angel of the University of Arizona.
LEAG is a community-based interdisciplinary forum
that analyzes issues associated with lunar exploration
and reports its
findings to NASA Chief Scientist Jim Garvin.
Abstracts are due 1 September and pre-registration
deadline is 30 September. Info www.lpi.usra.edu.