Moon Travel | Prof Phil Bland & Prof Gretchen Benedix

It's been half a century since humans travelled to the moon when astronauts explored an area of the moon known as the Taurus-Littrow Valley in 1972. Now, NASA's Artemis space program could resume travel to the moon by 2024 and provide exciting opportunities for the next generation of planetary scientists and space explorers.

To explore this topic, Sarah was joined by Professor Phil Bland and Professor Gretchen Benedix. Phil and Gretchen are both planetary scientists from the Space Science and Technology Centre at Curtin University. They talked about NASA's Artemis program, how Curtin University is involved, the evolution of CubeSats and lunar mining. 

  • How NASA’s Artemis program will contribute our understanding of the moon [01:17]
  • Curtin’s involvement in the program [08:35]
  • Resources that can be mined from the moon [13:48]
  • How the Artemis program will shape the future of human civilisation [25:28]
  • Watching the 2023 solar eclipse [32:54]
  • The best ways the public can stay across the Artemis program [35:31]

Learn more

  • Here’s why humans are going back to the moon
  • From WA to the moon

Connect with our guests

Professor Phil Bland, Planetary Scientist, Curtin University

Professor Bland is a planetary scientist who is the Director of the Space Science and Technology Centre (SSTC) at Curtin University, Director of the Australia node of the NASA Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute and Director of the Desert Fireball Network (DFN).

He has worked with NASA, ESA and JAXA and led the Curtin team that coded and built the Binar-1 CubeSat, which was launched into low orbit from the International Space Station in August 2021. Six more Binar missions are planned over the next 18 months.

Professor Bland was named Western Australia Scientist of the Year in 2019. His goal is to see Australia take its place amongst space faring nations by leading our own planetary missions, and to inspire the public and advance industry through space mission science and engineering.

Professor Gretchen Benedix, Planetary Geologist, Curtin University

Professor Benedix is a renowned planetary geologist and meteorite expert who works at Curtin University. She is particularly interested in extraterrestrial geology, the physical and chemical processes that shaped the asteroids and how they relate to the formation and evolution of the planets.

Professor Benedix has made significant contributions to the field of planetary science through her research. She has participated in numerous expeditions including a two-month-long expedition to Antarctica in 2001, where she led a team of researchers to collect meteorites from the ice. 

In addition to her research, Professor Benedix is a dedicated educator and mentor, working to inspire the next generation of planetary scientists. She is actively involved in science outreach programs and regularly speaks at public events to share her passion for planetary science with the broader community.

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Behind the scenes

Host: Sarah Taillier

Researcher and Editor: Anita Shore

Producer & Recordist: Emilia Jolakoska

Social Media: Amy Hosking

Executive Producers: Anita Shore and Jarrad Long

First Nations Acknowledgement

Curtin University acknowledges the traditional owners of the land on which Curtin Perth is located, the Whadjuk people of the Nyungar Nation, and on Curtin Kalgoorlie, the Wongutha people of the North-Eastern Goldfields; and the First Nations peoples on all Curtin locations.


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Curtin University supports academic freedom of speech. The views expressed in The Future Of podcast may not reflect those of Curtin University.