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    Crawford, I.A. Anand, M. Cockell, C.S. Falcke, H. Green, D.A. Jaumann, R. and Wieczorek, M.A. 2012. Back to the Moon: The scientific rationale for resuming lunar surface exploration. Planetary and Space Science, Vol. 74, Issue. 1, p. 3.

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    Burchell, M. J. Parnell, J. Bowden, S. A. and Crawford, I. A. 2010. Hypervelocity Impact Experiments in the Laboratory Relating to Lunar Astrobiology. Earth, Moon, and Planets, Vol. 107, Issue. 1, p. 55.

    Cockell, Charles S. 2010. Astrobiology—What Can We Do on the Moon?. Earth, Moon, and Planets, Vol. 107, Issue. 1, p. 3.

    Crawford, Ian A. 2010. Astrobiological Benefits of Human Space Exploration. Astrobiology, Vol. 10, Issue. 6, p. 577.

    Crawford, Ian A. Fagents, Sarah A. Joy, Katherine H. and Rumpf, M. Elise 2010. Lunar Palaeoregolith Deposits as Recorders of the Galactic Environment of the Solar System and Implications for Astrobiology. Earth, Moon, and Planets, Vol. 107, Issue. 1, p. 75.

    Fagents, Sarah A. Elise Rumpf, M. Crawford, Ian A. and Joy, Katherine H. 2010. Preservation potential of implanted solar wind volatiles in lunar paleoregolith deposits buried by lava flows. Icarus, Vol. 207, Issue. 2, p. 595.

    PARNELL, John BOWDEN, Stephen LINDGREN, Paula BURCHELL, Mark MILNER, Daniel PRICE, Mark BALDWIN, Emily C. and CRAWFORD, Ian A. 2010. The preservation of fossil biomarkers during meteorite impact events: Experimental evidence from biomarker-rich projectiles and target rocks. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, Vol. 45, Issue. 8, p. 1340.

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    Crawford, Ian A. Baldwin, Emily C. Taylor, Emma A. Bailey, Jeremy A. and Tsembelis, Kostas 2008. On the Survivability and Detectability of Terrestrial Meteorites on the Moon. Astrobiology, Vol. 8, Issue. 2, p. 242.

    Crawford, I A Joy, K H and Fagents, S A 2007. Full Moon exploration. Astronomy & Geophysics, Vol. 48, Issue. 3, p. 3.18.

    Gronstal, Aaron Cockell, Charles S. Perino, Maria Antonietta Bittner, Tobias Clacey, Erik Clark, Olathe Ingold, Olivier Alves de Oliveira, Catarina and Wathiong, Steven 2007. Lunar Astrobiology: A Review and Suggested Laboratory Equipment. Astrobiology, Vol. 7, Issue. 5, p. 767.

  • International Journal of Astrobiology, Volume 5, Issue 3
  • July 2006, pp. 191-197

The astrobiological case for renewed robotic and human exploration of the Moon

  • I.A. Crawford (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 30 August 2006

An ambitious programme of lunar exploration will reveal much of astrobiological interest. Examples include: (i) better characterization of the impact cratering rate in the Earth–Moon system, with implications for understanding the possible ‘impact frustration’ of the origin of life; (ii) preservation of ancient meteorites blasted off Earth, Mars and Venus, which may preserve evidence of the early surface environments of these planets, as well as constraining models of lithopanspermia; (iii) preservation of samples of the Earth's early atmosphere not otherwise available; (iv) preservation of cometary volatiles and organics in permanently shadowed polar craters, which would help elucidate the importance of these sources in ‘seeding’ the terrestrial planets with pre-biotic materials; and (v) possible preservation of extraterrestrial artefacts on the lunar surface, which may permit limits to be placed on the prevalence of technological civilizations in the Galaxy. Much of this valuable information is likely to be buried below the present surface (e.g. in palaeoregolith deposits) and will require a considerable amount of geological fieldwork to retrieve. This would be greatly facilitated by a renewed human presence on the Moon, and may be wholly impractical otherwise. In the longer term, such lunar operations would pave the way for the human exploration of Mars, which may also be expected to yield astrobiological discoveries not otherwise obtainable.

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International Journal of Astrobiology
  • ISSN: 1473-5504
  • EISSN: 1475-3006
  • URL: /core/journals/international-journal-of-astrobiology
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