RSAA Colloquia / Seminars / Feast-of-Facts: Thursday, 16 August 2018, 11:00-12:00; Duffield Lecture Theatre

Ian Crawford

"Why we should build a Moon Village: The scientific case for returning to the Moon"

For several years the Director General of the European Space Agency, Johann-Dietrich Wörner, has been advocating the creation of a human-robotic ‘Moon Village’ as the next major step in international space exploration. In this talk I will examine the scientific case for such a facility on the lunar surface. An analogy may be the way in which human outposts in Antarctica facilitate research activities across multiple scientific disciplines on that continent. Scientific fields expected to benefit from a Moon Village will include: planetary science, astronomy, astrobiology, life sciences, and fundamental physics. From an astronomical point of view, a particularly important aspect may be accessing lunar geological records of the early evolution of the Sun and of the Solar System’s changing location in the Galaxy. In addition, the farside of the Moon may be the best location anywhere in the Solar System from which to conduct low-frequency radio astronomy. Last, but perhaps not least, establishing a Moon Village may help develop the use of lunar resources which may make future space science activities more affordable.