In July, the State Department’s Bureau of Oceans, and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs hosted representatives of scientific institutions and space scientists for an introductory discussion of the concept of an International Lunar Year as set forth in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) . The discussion, featuring experts from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and OSTP, centered on options for coordinating programs around a one-to-two-year celebration of the study and exploration of the Moon later in the decade.
Representatives from scientific institutions including the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; the American Astronomical Society; Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab; Associated Universities, Inc.; and several universities attended. The briefing emphasized connections to past international science years that leverage and celebrate scientists’ unique cross-border connections. Presentations highlighted how an International Lunar Year could advance lunar science, enhance transparency, and foster new scientific and technological cooperation on issues relevant to an enduring presence at the Moon, including infrastructure, scientific data-sharing, and best practices for safe and sustainable operations. The United States will continue discussions and public outreach over the next year to build national and international support for an International Lunar Year.
Official news published at https://www.state.gov/state-department-launches-discussions-on-international-lunar-year-concept/