Major International Moon Event To Begin in Dumfries

Around 150 of the world’s most prominent lunar scientists and stakeholders in the space sector arrive in Dumfries and Galloway this week for the European Lunar Symposium 2024.

The symposium begins this Sunday evening, 16 June, with a Welcome reception for the conference delegates and invited guests at The Crichton Campus in Dumfries – among them high-profile representatives from the National Aeronautics and Space

Administration (NASA), the European Space Agency (ESA), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), as well as industry guests.

The events of the scientific conference will continue until Friday 21 June, and will be accompanied with a range of fringe events, including a pop-up museum at Crichton Memorial Church and an evening of public talks on Thursday 20 June: the Solstice Seminar is run in partnership with the Crawick Multiverse Trust and chaired by Dr Hina Khan, Executive Director of Space Scotland.

On Wednesday 19 June, (S2 and S3) school pupils from local schools St Josephs, Dumfries Academy, Dumfries High School and North-West Community Campus have been invited to take part in an exciting programme including in lunar science sessions delivered by NASA personnel, Open University academics and other experts. They will also gain an insight into careers in space, from prominent members of the industry. A key aim for the organisers of the symposium is to inspire young people about jobs in the space industry.

Professor Mahesh Anand, Professor of Planetary Science and Exploration at The Open University and chair of the ELS committee, said: “As well as bringing colleagues from across the world to this beautiful part of the country, I am also keen to influence younger generations and encourage them to believe that they too can make a big difference in lunar exploration – and that they don’t need to go to the Moon to do it!

“There needs to be a legacy from this event and by inspiring young people to get involved in the space economy, I feel confident that these young people will go on to pursue their interests and make a significant impact in the future that will be of benefit to the wider society.”

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