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Dr. Leslie Gertsch, associate professor of geosciences and geological and petroleum engineering, will participate in a discussion titled “New Access to Space” on Dec. 11 during the American Geophysical Union’s fall meeting in San Francisco. More than 25,000 attendees are expected during the five-day meeting.
Gertsch is one of six invited panelists for the Dec. 11 discussion. The Planetary Sciences section of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) is hosting the panel in recognition of both the 2019 centennial of the AGU, and the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11[MOU1] lunar landing.
The discussion will focus on returning to the moon. In recent years, commercial enterprises have developed spacecraft programs to deliver scientific payloads to the lunar surface. The lowering cost of building, delivering and operating small satellites is opening up new competition in academic and commercial circles. Countries with burgeoning space programs are, for the first time, sending spacecraft into lunar orbit and to unexplored regions of the lunar surface.