Since 2003, Ian shifted the balance of his research activities away from observational astronomy and into planetary science, focussing especially on the Moon. Ian was co-investigator on the D-CIXS instrument (Demonstration of a Compact Imaging X-Ray Spectrometer), which orbited the Moon on ESA’s SMART1 spacecraft between 2004 and 2006, and chaired the Science Team for the Chandrayaan-1 X-Ray spectrometer (C1XS), on India’s Chandrayaan-1 lunar mission launched in October 2008. Together with colleagues at Birkbeck College, University College and the Natural History Museum, Ian is involved in the geochemical and mineralogical analysis of lunar samples, in part with a view to using these samples of the Moon to calibrate and interpret lunar remote sensing data. Ian is also a member of the UK Lunar Penetrator Consortium, which aims to emplace geophysical instruments on the lunar surface, and acted as Project Scientist for the proposed UK-led MoonLITE mission for which he helped define the scientific objectives. Last, but not least, he has a significant interest in defining the scientific case for renewed human exploration of the Moon and was a member of the UK Space Exploration Working Group in 2007, which recommended increased UK involvement in global space exploration.
Ian will be giving a talk to the Flamsteed entitled “The Scientific Legacy of Apollo and the Case for Renewed Exploration of the Moon”.