University of Luna Award Given to Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Former President of India

Dave Dunlop presenting award to Dr. Kalam

9.30.2010 – Today, the Moon Society presented its University of Luna Award to Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for his vision and advocacy of space solar power to meet global requirements for clean energy, economic development, and environmental restoration. David A. Dunlop, Moon Society Director of Project Development and our  unofficial roving Ambassador, made the presentation at the prestigious McDonald Club in Toronto, Ontario after a two-day drive from his home in Green Bay, Wisconsin, stopping at the Milwaukee home of Society President Peter Kokh to pick up the award.

Dr. Kalam was visiting Canada where he received an honorary Doctorate from the University of Waterloo and spoke at several other Universities in the Toronto region.

When we received word that Dr. Kalam would be in Canada, a quick search showed that we had one certificate frame ready to go. Otherwise it would have been a special order taking 7-10 days, time we did not have.

Dr Raghavan Gopolaswami a distinguished scholar on India’s energy economy was able to arrange the schedule for the presentation of the award in Toronto and Dunlop had the pleasure to present the award to him after he spoke on the topic of Green Technologies Initiatives at the Albany Club, a historic club founded by Canada’s first Prime Minister. His presentation there to a select group of Ontario’s business and political leaders was sponsored by Camden Salon’s Azmi Haq and  Dr. Steven Andrews of Borden Ladner Gervais.

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Dave, already tall, was standing on the steps, making Dr. Kalam appear shorter than he actually is.

Certificate Award
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Unframed certificate prior to signing by Dave Dunlop
Artwork, “Space University” by Pat Rawlings, personally signed by the artist

The Award Reads

to Dr. A.P.J. Kalam
for his vision and promotion of
space solar power as a solution
to global requirements for clean
energy economic development,
and environmental restoration

(The actual date was September 30, 2010)

This award was also proudly given on behalf of Moon Society India

Moon Miners’ Manifesto #205, May 2007 featured a three page article about Dr. Kalam’s vision. More recently, MMM #237, August 2010, featured a two page article about Dr. Kalam’s Space Solar Power Challenge to the National Space Society and to the World, an address delivered via telecom at the 2010 International Space Development Conference in Chicago over the Memorial Day Weekend.

We wanted to give Dr. Kalam this award for the numerous contributions he has made over his career to advancing the technological, scientific, and political agenda of the human advance into space. Dr. Kalam lead India’s  successful launcher develop programs making it a full space faring power.  Dr. Kalam also was a major force in the push for the highly successful  Chandrayaan I mission insisting that India” touch the Moon”, which revolutionized the scientific understanding of the presence of water on the Moon. And it was Dr. Kalam who as President of India, suggested to the Indian space agency, ISRO, that they carry a Moon Impact Probe with the idea of permanently placing the Indian flag on the Moon.

ISRO complied with this request and made the sides of the MIP (The Moon Impact Probe released by the Chandrayaan-1 Orbiter) of a special material which was meant to withstand the crash landing and it’s sides was to fall apart rather than break. ISRO scientists also decided to put scientific instruments in MIP which led to the first detection of water vapor  and carbon dioxide along with heavier elements ( e.g. iron) in the lunar exosphere (this was before NASA Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) aboard Chandrayaan-1 was switched on, and hence well before M3 found water on the Moon’s surface).

President Kalam has also suggested carrying a penetrator with Chandrayaan-II, so that we can touch the lunar water ice.

He is also the first global leader to call for an international research and development initiative of the group of G-20 nations for space based solar power.

Dr. Kalam is an ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) “rocket scientist” who rose to prominence and became President of India 25 July 2002 – 24 July 2007.


Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam – A Site for Inspiration and Nation Building