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Professor Ian Crawford talks to Parliamentary Space Committee about UK’s role in lunar science

Professor Crawford briefs Parliamentary Space Committee on UK research in lunar science and exploration.

Professor Ian Crawford talks to Parliamentary Space Committee about UK’s role in lunar science and exploration

Professor Ian Crawford gave an invited talk on ‘The role of UK science in lunar exploration’ at a meeting on Missions to the Moon: Parliamentary update on lunar science and exploration that was held at Portcullis House, Westminster, on 14 May 2014. The meeting was chaired by Adam Afriyie MP, Chair of the Parliamentary Space Committee, and was organised to update MPs and Peers with an interest in space exploration about UK activities in lunar science and exploration. Other speakers included representatives from the UK space industry, the UK Space Agency, and the National Space Centre in Leicester.

Professor Crawford said ‘The UK has a significant involvement in the scientific exploration of the Moon, with at least 17 active research groups, including our own at Birkbeck College. As the space agencies prepare for the next phase in lunar exploration being planned in the context of the recently agreed Global Exploration Roadmap the UK is well-placed to play a leading role, and this meeting provided an excellent forum to bring these opportunities to the attention of members of parliament.

Lunar and space exploration at Birkbeck

Professor Crawford’s research spans lunar exploration, astrobiology and space exploration. Currently he and his students are engaged in a project studying the geology of one of the Apollo landing sites. Ian is an advocate for an ambitious programme of space exploration, which he believes will have significant social and cultural advantages, and which is increasingly reflected in today’s discussions about the future of humankind. He is an advisor to the European Space Agency through membership of its Human Exploration Science Advisory Committee.

Other planetary research projects in progress in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Birkbeck include: Identification and Analysis of Mars Landing Sites: ExoMars (Dr Peter Grindrod); Forming the Earth and other rocky planets (Professor Hilary Downes) and InSIGHT: Mission to place a seismometer on Mars (Professor Gerald Roberts).

In 2012 Professor Crawford wrote a detailed blog commenting on the 40 year anniversary of the Apollo Moon landings.

Birkbeck runs several courses/modules in planetary sciences, including a three year full-time evening study in BSc in Planetary Science and Astronomy.

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