astronauts on the moon

Special Events

David Elder Lecture - Dr Alice Gorman

The lecture, 'Archaeology on the Moon' with Dr Alice Gorman will be presented on YouTube and Facebook. The link to the lecture is in the confirmation email. This event is free, but we ask that you consider making a donation. All donations help support Glasgow Science Centre's charitable mission to create interactive experiences that inspire, challenge and engage to increase awareness of science for all in Scotland. Glasgow Science Centre is a registered Scottish Charity (SC030809)

Archaeology on the Moon

The Soviet probe Luna 2 was the first human object to make contact with the Moon in 1959. Ten years later, US astronauts landed at Tranquility Base and left behind a famous set of footprints, and 106 artefacts including numerous experiments and a flag. For nearly 50 years afterwards only occasional missions to the Moon were launched. It seemed like humanity had abandoned our nearest celestial neighbour.

Now, in 2022, there are nine missions proposed to return to the Moon – and this time people plan to stay. A lunar orbiting space station is being built and the technologies to extract lunar resources, like oxygen and water, are being developed. The Moon is soon going to be a busy place. What’s going to happen to extraordinary places like Apollo 11 landing site, the archaeological record of humans on another world? These spacecraft and their infrastructure, at over 100 locations across the Moon, are also our cultural heritage. They speak directly to how we can make sense of our place in the solar system.

Associate Professor Alice Gorman

Dr Alice Gorman

Dr Alice Gorman is an internationally recognised leader in the field of space archaeology and author of the award-winning book Dr Space Junk vs the Universe: Archaeology and the Future (MIT Press, 2019). Her research focuses on the archaeology and heritage of space exploration, including space junk, planetary landing sites, off-earth mining, and space habitats. She is an Associate Professor at Flinders University in Adelaide and a heritage consultant with over 25 years’ experience working with Indigenous communities in Australia. Gorman is also a Vice-Chair of the Global Expert Group on Sustainable Lunar Activities and a member of the Advisory Council of the Space Industry Association of Australia. In 2021, asteroid 551014 Gorman was named after her in recognition of her work in establishing space archaeology as a field.