No Images? Click here

- Summer 2016 -


Welcome to Stanford on the Moon Summer 2016 Newsletter

Stanford on the Moon Endowment Fund: Summary of our Discussion with Stanford Development in June, 2016

In our June 8 meeting with Denise Ellestad, Director of Development at Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences, we discussed several options for awarding the Stanford on the Moon endowment funds to appropriate projects. 

We focused on the Graduate School of Education and the School of Humanities and Sciences which has more than 570 faculty members: 30% of the students at the H&S are Computer Science Majors, 5% major in Earth Sciences and 65% major in Humanities and Sciences.

Denise mentioned that one of the projects that could benefit in 2017 is the Stanford Student Observatory; the SSO is part of the Department of Physics.

We also discussed the possibility of supporting Stanford’s research in Antarctica.

Denise pointed out that we could also allocate funds for a campus museum exhibition related to space exploration, or possibly assist the Department of Music in funding student projects about space music.

We would also like to explore how to increase contributions to the Stanford on the Moon Endowment Fund over the next five years. Denise explained that if we raise less than $20,000 in contributions, those would go to the ‘Expendable Fund’ and would be allocated to projects during the school year. If we raise more than $20,000 from one contributor, those would be added to the Endowment Fund.


SOM Homecoming Reunion Conference 2016 Set for October 21, 2016 from 3 – 5 pm

We plan to hold the Stanford on the Moon Conference on Friday, October 21, 2016 from 3 pm – 5 pm. We are inviting several Stanford Professors to join us including Professors Bruce Macintosh, Steve Allen and Marco Pavone. We will also contact Professor Sigrid Close and other Stanford Professors who work on space related research.

We will reach out to the SOM Advisory Committee members to discuss and incorporate their suggestions about the 2016 SOM Conference Agenda and the initial recipients of the SOM Endowment Fund. We will update you with the final SOM Conference Agenda in early October.


In the 2016 SOM Homecoming Reunion Conference we would like to:

  • Introduce Stanford on the Moon to Stanford’s 11th President Marc Tessier-Lavigne, who will succeed President John Hennessy starting September 1, 2016.
  • Discuss new outreach efforts to increase SOM membership.
  • Explore how to increase contributions to the Stanford on the Moon Endowment Fund.
  • Steve Durst and/or a member of the ILOA (International Lunar Observatory Association) will present an overview of the planned missions to the Moon over the next two or three years.
  • Our speakers will also give an overview of how to overcome the barriers that prevent people and educational institutions from teaching that human operations can exist on the Moon in the 21st Century. Some of these barriers can be changed with education and with inspired media coverage.
  • We will email the SOM Invitations in September; they will include the location of the SOM Conference and Agenda.

Goals We Have Accomplished After Our Previous SOM Meetings:

We are pleased to report that we have accomplished the following goals:

  • We have established the Stanford On The Moon Endowment Fund.
  • We will communicate with the SOM Advisory Committee members to update them about the various departments at Stanford that could benefit from receiving the SOM Endowment Fund awards. We will incorporate the suggestions of the Advisory Committee members on how to select the first Stanford on the Moon Endowment Fund recipients.
  • We have developed a long range plan to work with Stanford University’s Development Office in order to reach more students who are interested in lunar and space research.
  • We are in contact with the teams participating in the Google Lunar X Prize and have had many meetings with them. 

New SOM Publishing Initiative:

Would You Like to Publish Your Articles about Space with Stanford on the Moon?

We invite you to send us your articles and comments about space:

Starting with our 2016 Fall Newsletter, we will publish articles and blog posts about space, space exploration as well as the Moon, that are submitted by members of Stanford on the Moon. We will also post these articles on our website.

Please email your articles to


Creating Regional and International Chapters for Stanford On The Moon:

We are organizing regional Stanford on the Moon groups. Sarah Taylor is our first alumna to volunteer starting a Stanford on the Moon group in Southern California. We are looking forward to working with Sarah and other Stanford alumni volunteers to start Stanford on the Moon groups around the globe.

We would appreciate your creative suggestions as to how these groups could best connect with social media.


Image Credit:, Anna Cobb