The annual Canadian Space Summit is a gathering of the world’s biggest and brightest space scientists, and this year will be hosted by Western University for the first time. A lineup of speakers from NASA and other American and Canadian space organizations will meet to discuss the future of space exploration.

“We live in exciting times right now,” said Gordon Osinski, a professor at Western University. “Many believe Obama is about to re-open American space programs. The U.S. drives space exploration, but Canada has a role too.”

Osinski, whose studies at Western focus on the planetary geology of the earth, moon, and Mars, is also co-chair of the summit.

Headlining the list of speakers is retired NASA astronaut and former U.S. Senator, Harrison (Jack) Schmitt. Schmitt is one of 12 people to ever walk on the moon, and as a member of Apollo 17 in 1972, is the last person to do so.

His talk, titled To the Moon with Apollo 17, is scheduled for Friday, at 6 p.m. in Western’s Natural Sciences Centre, Room 145. Tickets ($15-$40) can be purchased at cpsx.ca/2012_lecture.

The Canadian Space Summit takes place at Western from Wednesday to Friday. For more information, visit css2012.uwo.ca.

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