The Brief History of the Lunar Explorers Society (and the ILEWG)

The Lunar Explorers Society (Lunex) was formed during the 4th International Conference on the Exploration and Utilisation of the Moon (ICEUM4) organized by the International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG) held at the European Space Agency's Technology Research Centre (ESTEC), in Noordwijk, The Netherlands on 14th July 2000. This is a bi-annual conference which brings together Lunar scientists from all around the world to discuss the future of Lunar exploration. Here the founding declaration was made.

The International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG) was established in April 1995 at a meeting in Hamburg, Germany. As established in their charter, this working group includes representatives from many major space agencies around the world and is charged with developing an international strategy for the exploration of the Moon. One of the first tasks of ILEWG was to establish a communication mechanism, and their webpage was the first step in that direction. The full charter of the ILEWG and the Beatenberg Declaration, which was issued at an international meeting in Beatenberg, Switzerland in 1994.

Every year the ILEWG organises a conference called International Conference on Exploration and Utilisation of the Moon (ICEUM). During ICEUM4, the Lunar Explorers Society (LUNEX) was formed. Shortly after this conference, LUNEX started the difficult process of establishing an organising structure and tried to keep the enthusiasm alive that was generated during the ICEUM4 in Noordwijk. A webpage was setup and ideas began to form on how to proceed. To keep in touch, inform the press of our existence, meet in person  and to generate projects to work on in the near future, a conference was organised by LUNEX in Paris. This first LUNEX conference was held in Palais de la Découverte in Paris. Considering it was our first conference, it was quite a success. Next to this conference many other events were attended, like the EGS conference in Nice and the LPSC conference in Houston where we presented ourself and our views at Lunar and Planetary exploration. Other than these large conferences we also did many other things like giving lectures at secondary schools, go to other local events organised by others, like the annual space day and a symposium organised by the Mars Society.

156 Founding Members at ICEUM4

In the near future we are going to hold another LUNEX conference, organise a lunar base workshop and give a series of lectures open to everyone. We are also setting up a system where schools or symposium/conference organisers can "book" a speaker on a certain subject. We also try to support and help as many people as possible who are interested in doing or already doing projects or thesis in a lunar or space exploration related field. For more information about what we do, go to the relevant webpage or to future events and activities check out our news section.