Workshop on Golden Spike Human Lunar Expeditions


Golden Spike Company
Northrop Grumman
Southwest Research Institute
Space Frontier Foundation


Universities Space Research Association


Daniel Durda
Southwest Research Institute

Stephen Mackwell
Lunar and Planetary Institute

William McKinnon
Washington University in St. Louis

Clive R. Neal
University of Notre Dame

S. Alan Stern
Golden Spike Company


Mahesh Anand
Open University

James Carpenter
European Space Agency

Daniel Durda
Southwest Research Institute

Stephen Mackwell
Lunar and Planetary Institute

William McKinnon
Washington University in St. Louis

Clive R. Neal
University of Notre Dame

S. Alan Stern
Golden Spike Company

Final Announcement — August 2013

Meeting Location and Date

Golden Spike Human Lunar Expeditions:  Opportunities for Intensive Lunar Scientific Exploration will be held October 3–4, 2013, at the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), located in the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) building, 3600 Bay Area Boulevard, Houston TX 77058.

Purpose and Scope

Commercial spaceflight is rapidly beginning to advance capabilities for planetary research in new ways.

In late 2012, the Golden Spike Company, consisting of space professionals and numerous veteran NASA engineers and executives, announced plans to mount a series of commercial human lunar expeditions in the 2020s, primarily for the purpose of scientific lunar exploration by space and science agencies in countries around the world. More information about Golden Spike can be found at

Each Golden Spike expedition will place an exploration crew of two individuals for a period of 1.5–2 days at a lunar nearside site chosen by the expedition customer(s). Like early Apollo “H” missions, each expedition will also be able to conduct two surface EVAs, deliver scientific exploration equipment and experiments to the lunar surface, and to return tens of kilograms of samples to Earth.

The primary goals of this workshop are (1) to provide a detailed overview of Golden Spike expedition capabilities to the worldwide lunar science community, and (2) to seek feedback and input on science and exploration priorities and associated landing sites, surface experiment package desires, and sample return requirements. The workshop will also explore the synergistic possibilities of the 20 human lunar exploration expeditions envisioned by Golden Spike.

The meeting will also explore desired future capabilities for more advanced Golden Spike missions, and the synergistic roles of Golden Spike human expeditions and robotic exploration missions.

Meeting Format

The workshop will consist of plenary sessions and a poster session over a period of 1.7 days (all day October 3 and most of October 4). There will be morning and afternoon oral sessions organized around topical themes, several invited presentations, and several discussion panels. Ample time will be reserved for questions and discussion. A number of contributed talk slots are available, and an evening poster session will be held on October 3.

For more details, view the program and abstracts. To see where a particular abstract is scheduled, refer to the author index.



Through September 10, 2013

September 11–26, 2013










Working Press




Credit card registrations:   Participants registering by credit card MUST use the secure electronic registration form.

Other methods of payment:  Those registering using any other method of payment (check, money order, traveler’s check, or wire transfer) must contact the USRA Meeting Registrar for detailed instructions.

Third-Party Payments:  Participants required to register using a third party (e.g., SATERN for NASA civil servants) should still register in advance using the electronic registration form. The confirmation e-mail you receive after registering will include payment instructions to submit to the third party. Please be aware, however, that your registration will not be considered complete until the funds have been received.

Cancellations:  Requests for cancellation with a fee refund (less a $25.00 processing fee) will only be accepted through September 26, 2013. Those who fail to attend and do not notify USRA prior to the September 26 deadline will forfeit their full fee.

Check-in:  Workshop registration and check-in will open at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 3.

Information For Presenters

Oral Presentations — A PC laptop, LCD projector, and speaker remote will be available for presentation of oral talks during the scientific sessions. Please note the guidelines below for your presentation.

  • In order to facilitate a smooth transition between speakers, and provide each speaker their allotted time, we will preload and test all presentations in advance. Please provide us your PowerPoint presentation on a flash drive upon your arrival at the workshop.

  • To expedite the loading and testing of your file:
    • Create a folder called “Golden Spike Workshop” and place your presentation in this folder.
    • Please include your last name in the file name.

  • The use of personal laptops is strongly discouraged.
  • No Mac laptops will be provided.

Hardware and Software Specifications —

The plenary room will be equipped with the following minimum hardware and software. If you anticipate the need for any other software for your presentation, please notify Kira Honnoll immediately.

PC Hardware:

PC Software:

Lenovo ThinkPad T420
Core i5 2520M/2.5 GHz

Operating System:  Windows 7 Professional 32-bit

Memory:  4 GB RAM

Microsoft Office 2010 (including PowerPoint 2010)

Video:  1600 × 900

Internet Explorer 8, Windows Media Player 12, QuickTime 7, Adobe Acrobat Reader X, FireFox 5.5

Note:  Whether this is your first talk or your 500th, the recent article written by Emily Lakdawalla provides a wealth of useful tips and guidelines for speakers from the perspective of an audience member.

Poster Presentations —

Poster location assignments will be provided to presenters at the workshop. All posters will be available for viewing during the entire workshop.

Poster Setup:

Thursday, October 3, 2013, no later than noon

Poster Removal:

Friday, October 4, 2013, by 1:00 p.m.

Poster Size:

44” × 44” (maximum)

Materials Provided:


Poster presenters can begin setting up their posters at 8:00 a.m. Thursday, October 3, 2013.

Any posters left will be discarded. No posters will be mailed back to presenters.

For examples of tips on how to best prepare a poster presentation, visit

Poster Presentations:  Designing Effective Posters


Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements and hotel reservations. A limited block of guest rooms has been reserved at the hotels listed below.

Hilton Houston NASA Clear Lake (3000 NASA Road One, Houston TX 77058-4322)

Rate: Prevailing government rate of $118 plus sales tax; will include complimentary high-speed Internet access.
Map:  See the area map.
Cut-off Date: Reservations must be made on or before September 11, 2013. Reservations made after this date will be subject to availability and prevailing rates.
Reservations —
     By phone: Call the hotel at 281-333-9300
     Online: Use the group reservation page
     Check-in/check-out: Check-in time is 3:00 p.m.; checkout is 12:00 p.m.

Courtyard by Marriott–Houston NASA/Nassau Bay (18100 Saturn Lane, Houston TX 77058).

Rate:   $69 per night plus tax including breakfast; complimentary Wi-Fi is available to all guests via wired AND wireless connections in all guest rooms.
Map:  See the area map.
Cut-off Date:   Reservations must be made on or before September 9, 2013. Reservations made after this date will be subject to availability and prevailing rates.
Reservations —
     By phone:   Call the hotel at 281-333-0220 and refer to group code USRUSRA
     Online:   Use the group reservation page
     Check-in/check-out:   Check-in time is 3:00 p.m.; checkout is 12:00 p.m.

For a list of other hotels in the area, refer to the Bay Area Houston Hotel Information. The location of the hotels in relation to the USRA building is shown on the area map.


Attendees can park at USRA at 3600 Bay Area Blvd., Houston 77058.

Car Rental Discounts — USRA has negotiated discounted rates for travelers with the rental companies below.

Hertz:  Discount information is available here. Reservations can also be made by clicking here.
Be sure to select: Enter a Discount or Promo Code then enter the Code 022Q6534 in the Convention Number line.

Avis:  Discount is applied during reservation. Be sure to enter the group discount code D019171.


For further information regarding the scientific content of the meeting:

Dr. Alan Stern
Golden Spike Company
E-mail:  [email protected]

Dr. Steve Mackwell
Lunar and Planetary Institute
E-mail:  [email protected]

Dr. Clive R. Neal
University of Notre Dame
E-mail:  [email protected]

Dr. Bill McKinnon
Washington University
E-mail:  [email protected]

For further information regarding meeting coordination or announcements:

Kira Honnoll
Meeting and Publication Services
Phone:  281-244-2011
E-mail:  [email protected]

For further information regarding registration:

Linda Tanner
Meeting and Publication Services
Phone:  281-486-2142
E-mail:  [email protected]


Deadline for hotel reservations at the group rate September 2, 2013
Deadline for registration at the reduced rate September 10, 2013
Deadline for registration in advance of the workshop September 26, 2013
Workshop on Golden Spike Human Lunar Expeditions: Opportunities for Intensive Lunar Scientific Exploration October 3–4, 2013

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