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Science Cafe: 50+ Years Since Apollo 17 Left the Moon and Why We Should Go Back to Stay

  • Thursday, May 18, 2023
  • 7:00pm - 8:00pm

Science Cafe: 50+ Years Since Apollo 17 Left the Moon and Why We Should Go Back to Stay with Dr. Clive Neal, University of Notre Dame.

Grab a bite from the Daily Planet Cafe and join host Chris Smith and special guests for the Science Cafe. On the 3rd Thursday of every month at 7 pm, gather with other curious minds at this after-hours event for an informal presentation and conversation about current science topics with guest experts. Join us in person or watch the livestream on YouTube.

Tonight’s Presentation

Humans last walked on the Moon in December, 1972. Our nation is on the verge of the third attempt to return there since Apollo. Why is the third time the charm?

Join Dr. Clive Neal as he explores what we can learn from the history of lunar exploration. He will highlight the very different political and commercial environment enabling a human return now, and investigate the intricacies of making this return “sustainable.” To be sustainable, human space exploration must demonstrate an investment in the future of the United States – by sending humans into space, we make life better on Earth. Come learn how returning to the Moon could the Moon could propel humans to become multi-planetary species and provide significant benefits for society.

About Our Guest

Dr. Clive R. Neal, Professor of Planetary Geology in the Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, University of Notre Dame.

Dr. Clive Neal is passionate about NASA and in returning humans to the Moon and beyond in a sustainable, economically beneficial and permanent way.

Dr. Neal obtained his PhD in geochemistry and petrology in 1986 from the University of Leeds, UK. He started working with Apollo lunar samples as a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and has been involved in the study of the Moon ever since. He has served on numerous mission and research review panels, including as the Chair of the Lunar Sample Allocation subcommittee from 2005 to 2009. He was a member of the Senior Review panel for NASA’s Planetary Science Division in 2012, and chaired that panel in 2014.

Dr. Neal was the chair of NASA’s Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG) from 2006 to 2010, where he led a community effort to develop the Lunar Exploration Roadmap, and again from 2015 to 2018, when he formed the LEAG Commercial Advisory Board. In 2015, he received the NASA Wargo Award for contributions to the integration of exploration and planetary science throughout his career.

Dr. Neal is currently a member of the National Academies Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Science and has helped in the training of future NASA astronauts. In 2021, he received the LEAG Service Award, which recognizes a member of the lunar science and exploration community who has exhibited exemplary service to that community.

The Daily Planet Cafe is open 5–8pm with a full menu of food, drinks, and beer/wine during the Science Cafe.



May 18
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Daily Planet Cafe

Downtown Raleigh
11 West Jones Street
Raleigh, NC 27601 United States
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Chris Smith