Rutgers meeting spotlights future moon missions, permanent lunar settlements

May 29, 2007

WHAT: A symposium that brings together scientists, engineers, medical experts, business leaders and astronauts who advocate that humans return to the moon and establish permanent settlements.

WHO: The kickoff speaker is astronaut Harrison Schmitt, lunar module pilot on Apollo 17, the final manned moon mission flown in December 1972. Also a geologist and former U.S. senator, Schmitt now serves a consultant, corporate director, writer and speaker on matters related to space, science, technology and public policy. Among the 11 other distinguished speakers are space historian Roger Launius, New Jersey space shuttle astronaut Terry Hart, and Boeing's international and commercial strategist Paul Eckert.

WHEN: June 4-8, 2007

WHERE: Auditorium, Fiber Optic Materials Research Building, Busch Campus, 101 Bevier Road, Piscataway

BACKGROUND: Visionaries who advocate a return to the moon by human explorers and settlers cite opportunities for scientific breakthroughs and commercial benefits, along with a vision that rekindles mankind's spirit of exploration and achievement. This Rutgers-hosted symposium will feature talks by academic, government and industrial experts on the engineering, medical, economic, political and social challenges to establishing lunar bases. These bases could provide energy, materials and manufacturing resources for Earth's citizens while serving as launching points for manned missions to Mars and elsewhere in the solar system.

Hosting the program is Haym Benaroya, Rutgers professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering. He also heads the Center for Structures in Extreme Environments, which explores how buildings can withstand the harsh environment of space - no atmosphere, wide temperature swings, and bombardment by radiation and meteorites.

Rutgers University

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