Seventh International Conference on the Exploration and Utilization of the Moon
- Toronto Declaration -
Three hundred lunar explorers from more than 13 countries gathered from 18 till 23 September 2005 in Toronto, Canada, under the auspices of the International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG) for a conference on the Exploration and Utilization of the Moon. The following is the summary of their findings and recommendations.
The Moon is a challenge that can expand the envelopes of knowledge, technical development, utilization and opportunities for humanity in space and on Earth. We need to accelerate the exploration of the Moon to use its resources; to provide for our future needs in space and on Earth; to foster progress; to expand life beyond Earth and to establish a second reservoir of human culture. Our vision is one of expanding humanity into space on an endless journey of exploration and discovery.
We have entered de facto a new era of permanent robotic presence around the Moon, currently with the ESA SMART1 lunar orbiter and continuing with China's Chang'E-1, Japan's SELENE, India's Chandrayaan-1, the U.S. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, and other missions before 2010, all of which are expected to bring new discoveries and raise new questions. They offer an opportunity for international cooperation and synergies for science, exploration, and long-term public and private development. We strongly support coordinated spacecraft operations and the exchange and integration of data between space agencies to effectively prepare the next steps of exploration. We recommend the formation of an interagency task group to formulate standardisation of lunar data archives, to facilitate wider use of information and protocols for data sharing.
We support the goals of a comprehensive series of surface elements including landers and rovers at the poles and other key sites (such as the continuing U.S. Robotic Lunar Exploration Program (RLEP 2), SELENE-II, Chang'E -2 and 3, as well as Sample Return and other lunar demonstrators). We advocate robotic engineering precursors for geophysical characterization, life sciences, in-situ resource utilization and the deployment of infrastructures in preparation for human-tended operations. We recommend continuing improvement of remote sensing in 3 D surface and subsurface mapping and the deployment of micro systems as secondary payloads. Cooperation is needed on data exchange, knowledge sharing, requirements development, international standards, interoperability and codes for communications and construction.
Beyond the global lunar robotic village, we recommend a sequence of science enabled, technology, exploration and commercial missions on the road to permanent human lunar presence. The United States has announced a crew and cargo transportation architecture for Robotic and Human Lunar Exploration and has invited international cooperation. Other nations are actively discussing plans for future lunar exploration missions. These missions offer great potential for international partnerships— for instance through the development of a "global lunar village".
Considering individual goals and objectives of different stakeholders, we encourage the continued dialogue between nations to facilitate the definition of future lunar exploration elements. In order to learn to "live off the land" upon our return to the Moon, it will be necessary to conceive, develop, and refine technologies that can lead to establishing an efficient, self-sustaining Lunar Base as a key step toward extending human culture into the Solar System.
We encourage a model of effective international collaboration. We should continue and expand dialogue between commercial, technical and scientific stakeholders, with discussion on infrastructure for multiple usage and growth. Agencies and government should encourage entrepreneurial activities via prizes and challenges (Jim Benson received the 2005 ILEWG technology and commercial development award). A legal and regulatory regime needs to be developed and implemented that can foster commercial lunar activities.
At Toronto, the ILC2005 participants virtually travelled to the Moon in the special ILEWG premiere of the IMAX film "Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D", in the presence of Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin (recipient of the 2005 ILEWG "Earth-Moon Achievement" award). We recommend expanded public outreach and education to engage all people in lunar exploration. We recognize the achievement of students (the SSETI express team received 2005 ILEWG Young Lunar Explorers award) and encourage an action for student payloads on lunar missions.
To encourage and stimulate the peaceful and progressive development of the Moon, we urge to continue international cooperation between nations, space agencies and private companies, in the planning and development of a "global lunar village", with robotic assets and permanent human bases for the benefit of all humanity.
The participants to the International Lunar Conference
23 September 2005