The realm of planetary exploration is entering a new chapter: the majority of the world’s space agencies have committed to returning humans to the Moon by 2020, and from there on to Mars. As clearly stated in the “The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon: Final Report”, the Moon is a high-priority scientific target for exploration. In particular, the Moon, unlike the Earth, records approximately 4.5 billion years of solar system history in near-Earth space. As a result, the Moon offers unique insights into the early history of the Earth and the other terrestrial planets. Thus, the Moon may potentially provide a record of the time when life first emerged on planet Earth.
It is clear that there is growing interest in lunar science and exploration in Canada, both from academia and industry. The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) itself has expressed a strategic interest in contributing to the global lunar exploration program. This has led the Canadian planetary community to establish the Canadian Lunar Research Network (CLRN). This network comprises people from a range of professions (scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs), from a variety of organizations (academia, industry and government), and from all across Canada – meet the team here. The primary node and host of this network is the Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration (CPSX) at The University of Western Ontario. In July 2008, CLRN became the first international affiliate partner of NASA’s new Lunar Science Institute (NLSI).
The emphasis of the CLRN is to foster collaboration amongst Canadian researchers and promote integration with other NLSI partner institutions, both in the U.S. and around the world. The overarching goal of this network is to train highly qualified personnel and develop expertise in lunar science and exploration. Additionally, the CLRN hopes to extend our enthusiasm of lunar exploration to the general public, though outreach.
The CLRN welcomes the participation of all lunar researchers from any Canadian-based institution, body, or company. To join our network, please Contact Us