Landing Site Study Online

In 2007, the National Research Council published a report called The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon, which provided NASA the scientific guidance it needed for an enhanced exploration program that would provide global access to the lunar surface through an integrated robotic and human mission architecture. Over a five year period (2008-2012), eight summer study groups were organized to determine where on the surface those scientific objectives could be addressed. Maps with those locations were compiled for each scientific goal. This was a completely novel and objective way to identify the global distribution of future landing sites. In the end, when the maps for all of the goals are overlaid, a series of scientifically-rich landing sites emerge, some of which had never been considered before.

A final summary report of those studies was compiled in 2012. This report called A Global Lunar Landing Site Study to Provide the Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon was edited by David A. Kring and Daniel D. Durda and is available online.