Lunar and Planetary Institute
Lunar and Planetary Institute



IAU Formally Adopts Name Haskin Crater

January 28, 2009
Source: LunarWiki/Chuck Wood

Haskin Crater

When Riccioli gave names to lunar craters in 1651, many were for his contemporaries, scholars he knew. This is happening again, with the recent addition of Ryder Crater in 2006 (named after Graham Ryder, 1949–2002) and now Haskin Crater, named in honor of Larry Haskin. Haskin died in 2005 of myelofibrosis, a bone marrow disease for which he had been treated for more than 15 years. He was 70 years old.

Haskin was a highly regarded lunar geochemist who was a major contributor to the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference for decades until his death in 2005. In the 1960s, his research helped establish the field of rare-earth-element geochemistry. In 1969, he was one of the researchers to study the first lunar samples returned by the Apollo 11 mission.

In 1973 he became Chief of the Planetary and Earth Sciences Division at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston. One of his major accomplishments at JSC was to begin the task of securing the lunar sample collection for future researchers by building a safer, modern curatorial facility. Haskin continued his lunar research until his death.

Haskin’s work on the Moon included many important discoveries, with the recognition of the Procellarum KREEP terrain as one of his final contributions. The IAU officially gave Haskin’s name to a farside crater on January 22, 2009, along with 18 other scientists, most Nobel Prize winners. The crater Haskin is a degraded 58-km-wide feature, about 10° degrees from the north pole.

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Last updated January 28, 2009